According to my parents I was born in the last two decades, but reports of my birth have never been confirmed by my memories. Like the rest of the world, as a child the value of my existence for its own sake was pretty subservient to how it appeared to others and fit into the social hierarchy, and thus I remained without a formed human personality until entering high school. At that point all the inchoate desires, that hideous envy and and that trembling insecurity resolved themselves into a more regular and stable form, less like a statue carved out of a block of marble than the coagulation of a sand storm. And, like everyone else, college radicalized my thinking, which is to say that I substituted a more intimate intellectual conformity for the more impersonal and general one of childhood.

I greatly enjoy the study of philosophy, of literature, of history and of science, but I have no desire to remain a university student until my dotage, which is to say an academic. I have accepted that the wandering, vagrant, misanthropic life of independence is necessary for me, or at least inevitable, but I have no belief that the way of life that works for me should be imposed upon any other. Hence, I am no political idealist. I used to think that religion had a particularly attractive beauty which lay in the force of its convictions. Now I see that the value of it or of any other idea or belief lies in the creative force of its realization. Truth is not discovered, it has to be built from the ground up.