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Hello, my name is Paul, and I compulsively correct punctuation errors. I'm interested in many domains of knowledge, especially language, geography, science, math, science fiction and the deep roots of history. I'm into World Music, especially Celtic, Hungarian and Gypsy folk music. In 2014, the Spanish Ballroom at Glen Echo has become the place where I most often experience joy, which happens while I contra dance with a few hundred other seekers.

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I do a modicum of editing on Wikipedia. It's an eclectic collection of subjects I touch, such as Mondegreen, Ringolevio, Kievan Rus, and Frederick Douglass.

No Exit: A Trip on the Information Super-Möbius Strip[edit]

I got into Frederick Douglass because he was born (probably) less than 3 miles from where I live. A few months ago, somebody was challenging a statement I made (in October 2010) in the lede for the Douglass article: "He stood as a living counter-example to slaveholders' arguments that slaves did not have the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens." I could not remember whether I had stolen that phrase from some writer, or come up with it myself. So I googled it. I probably spent an hour searching, and I could not find a single reference to the 'living counter-example' phrase that was not from the Wikipedia article! So I have no way to determine if I made it up, or stole it!

Update on 'living counter-example': I dug some more, and found a book in Google Books with the quote: "Moreover, though he does not make the point explicitly, again the very fact that Douglass is ably disputing this argument on this occasion celebrating a select few's intellect and will (or moral character) — this fact constitutes a living counterexample to the narrowness of the pro-slavery definition of humans." So I didn't just make it up!


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