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Me & where I am from
I live in Montréal, Québec. I am interested in pretty much all fields of knowledge. My two great passions are a free Québec and free software. The first has to do with my own freedom, as a human and a citizen, relative to the State above me. The second has to do with humanity's freedom relative to these machines that are already everywhere in our lives.
I am a computer technologist by training. I am particularly interested in free software which I adopted because of its compatibility with my vision of what the social relations should be in the production and distribution of software and also because I see great value in the free sharing of knowledge in the world community.
I am an amateur of Québec history and the history of political ideas.
At the philosophical level, I am a self-proclaimed free thinker and humanist and I intend to remain that way until someone can demonstrate to me, in a convincing manner, that I am mistaken for wanting to seek the truth by myself and with others, using the weak instrument of human reason. I know myself to be profoundly ignorant, as are all human beings on the planet. I am trying to be less ignorant.
I play a little bit of fiddle, but I do not practice as much as I should and I very much neglect my instrument nowadays.
So far, my main contributions to this encyclopedia have had something to do with Québec's history, culture, language & politics or with free software. Being very much interested in knowledge in general, you can expect to see me contribute to a wide array of subjects.
In addition to contributing to the English-language Wikipedia, I contribute to the French language Wikipedia and ultimately I will try to make sure that everything I contribute to en.wikipedia.org is also in fr.wikipedia.org and vice versa. This is going to be good translation practice.
Quotations that I like for one reason or another
- "The truth belongs to those who seek it, not to those who claim to own it." — Nicolas de Caritat, marquis de Condorcet (1743-1794), in Discours sur les conventions nationales, April 1791 (Original French: La vérité appartient à ceux qui la cherchent et non point à ceux qui prétendent la détenir.)
- "Between the strong and the weak, between the rich and the poor, between the master and the servant, it is liberty which oppresses and law that frees." — Henri Lacordaire (1802-1861), in 52e Conférence de Notre-Dame, 1848. (Original French: Entre le fort et le faible, entre le riche et le pauvre, entre le maître et le serviteur, c'est la liberté qui opprime et la loi qui libère.)
- "Logic which alone can give us certainty is the instrument of demonstration : intuition is the instrument of invention." — Henri Poincaré (1854-1912) in The Value of Science, 1905 (Original French: La logique qui peut seule donner la certitude est l'instrument de la démonstration : l'intuition est l'instrument de l'invention)
- "I referred previously to our "assimilation". I do not for a moment wish to imply that I desire such an end. Our national character is too historically famous, and, in spite of every degradation, too fine to make its annihilation desirable." — Theodor Herzl (1860-1904) in The Jewish State, 1896
- "When we defend French at home, it is all languages of the world we defend against the hegemony of a single one." — Pierre Bourgault (1934-2003), Allocution lors de la remise du Prix Georges-Émile-Lapalme, December 6, 1997  (Original French: Quand nous défendons le français chez nous, ce sont toutes les langues du monde que nous défendons contre l’hégémonie d’une seule.)
- "I have hinted above, that the name loyalists, was improperly assumed by these people. Royalists they may perhaps be called. But the true loyalists, were the people of America against whom they acted. No people were ever known more truly loyal, and universally so, to their sovereigns: the protestant succession in the House of Hanover was their idol. Not a jacobite was to be found from one end of the colonies to the other. They were affectionate to the people of England, zealous and forward to assist in her wars, by voluntary contributions of men and money, even beyond their proportion. The king and parliament had frequently acknowledged this by public messages, resolutions, and reimbursements. But they were equally fond of what they esteemed their rights, and if they resisted when those were attacked, it was a resistance in favour of a British constitution, which every Englishman might share in enjoying who should come to live among them: it was resisting arbitrary impositions that were contrary to common right and to their fundamental constitutions, and to constant ancient usage. It was indeed a resistance in favour of the liberties of England, which might have been endangered by success in the attempt against ours; and therefore a great man in your parliament did not scruple to declare, he rejoiced that America had resisted." — Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), in a private letter to Baron Francis Maseres, June 26, 1785. (The great man alluded to was William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham.)
- "The truth sometimes hurts the rules of plausibility." — Denis-Benjamin Viger (1774-1861), in Analyse d'un entretien sur la conservation des établissements du Bas-Canada : des lois, des usages, etc. de ses habitants, 1826  (Original French: Le vrai blesse quelquefois les règles de la vraisemblance.)
- "One could almost say: a little internationalism moves away from the fatherland; a lot of internationalism brings back to it." — Jean Jaurès (1859-1914), in L'Armée nouvelle, p. 464 (Original French: On pourrait presque dire : un peu d'internationalisme éloigne de la patrie; beaucoup d'internationalisme y ramène.)
Some places I visited (as a tourist)
United States (Boston, New York) // Canada (Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver) // Québec (Montréal, Laurentides, Cantons-de-l'Est, Québec, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspésie) // France (Paris, Morcourt, Éourres, Marseille, Cassis, Carcassonne, Toulouse) // Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sarajevo, Mostar) // Croatia (Dubrovnik, Zagreb) // Montenegro (Kotor) // Serbia (Belgrade, Zuce)
Maxims of my own
- "Beware of the one who has and the time and the audacity to invent maxims."
- "The really useful encyclopaedia is the one which shows us as much of what we know as what still evades us."
- "The Creator, in His infinite consistency, gave man legs to chase his prey, hands to cut the stone of the lance, words to coordinate the hunt, a little intelligence to defend himself in a hostile world and finally a conscience to torment him each day and make his life impossible."
- "Publish less, publish better."
I award you this LibertyBellstar for your dedication to Quebec's independence.Mezek 01:15, 11 October 2006 (UTC)