Paul Butzi |||

About Me

If you’re interested in my approach to life and the way I think, you might find it useful to read my pages on ultrarunning, amateur radio, and life in the forest.

I have a degree in Computer Science and Statistics from the University of Delaware. I worked part time as a mainframe computer operator and computer programmer to help pay my way through college. I worked at Bell Telephone Laboratories (aka Bell Labs”) and then for Microsoft. I stopped working for pay when I realized I had enough money and I wanted to actually see my kids grow up. Contrary to social consensus, the natural state of Man is not employed’.

I spent a fair amount of time seriously pursuing photography. I am (was) fairly adept at B&W darkroom work. When inkjet printers reached a decent level of quality I transitioned to scanning negatives and printing them digitally, becoming good enough at Photoshop that for a while I taught private lessons. I’ve led several landscape photography workshops, kept a blog on photography for a number of years, and started Solo Photo Book Month, a project where photographers from all over the world would put together a photo book in one month, start to finish.

Things I believe:

  • Representative democracy is a good thing, and every citizen of a country should have the right to vote unless that right is taken away by the courts. Each illegally cast ballot is exactly equivalent to preventing someone from voting.
  • Freedom of speech is a great thing. The solution to speech you don’t like isn’t suppression of that speech, the solution is for you to speak up and counter the speech you don’t like.
  • Great things aren’t achieved by teams of people who agree on everything. Great things are achieved by people who agree about one thing and set aside all their disagreements to make progress on that one thing. If you can’t work happily alongside people who disagree with your philosophy, your politics, your religion, or your cultural values, you will never be part of a team that achieves anything significant.
  • People aren’t responsible for things they didn’t choose. People are responsible for the choices they make, with the caveat that sometimes people’s choices are constrained by things they didn’t choose.
  • Some kinds of behavior are bad, and others good, and it’s reasonable for me to live my life accordingly.
  • Human cultures differ, the differences matter, and some cultures are more successful than others.
  • Before you tear a fence down, you should understand why it was put up. (This is sometimes known as the Principle of Chesterton’s Fence)
  • Maximizing the comfort of your life won’t even come close to maximizing the happiness.
  • Discipline is freedom. If you can’t control yourself, you can’t control anything. Free your mind, and your ass will follow.