About the Gadfly

The name

The SocraticGadfly took the title of his blog, and his own nom de plume, from the words of Socrates. According to Plato, in his book "Apology," about Socrates' trial, Socrates said the gods had sent him as a "gadfly," similar to a horsefly in modern English usage, to sting the Athenian state. He said the Athenian state was a "great and noble steed" which had to be reminded of its proper duties.

Well, behind this is a lot of myth. Athens was a democracy, after the end of the Peloponnesian War, and after two oligarchic coups against that democracy, both backed by Socrates. Socrates in general was somewhat of an elitist.

I am not, but the myth of Socrates as gadfly — which was true, to the degree he allegedly (whether actually or not) stung Sophists who were trying to democratize Athenian education — lives on 2,400 years later, and per "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance," is worth repeating.

The person

The Gadfly in Greg AtLast mode
I am a man of mystery. Well, not totally. A good enough Google might pin an actual name to me. But, having been Googled by one company, as part of a hiring process, and that company getting upset about me reporting some financial information about a previous employer — which had gone out of business — I've tried to anonymize myself at least a modicum.

That said, I am:
A relatively serious amateur philosopher, who considers himself a Neo-Cynic;
A member of the shrinking, dying, capitalistic, Internet-confounded, Peter-principle heavy news media;
A secularist of some sort, who choses what particular word or phrase he'll use to define himself based on the situation;
A huge aficionado of classical music, with classical including 20th/21st century atonal and even some serial, at one end, and, say, Byzantine music or early Renaissance at the other, not to mention classical music traditions from places like India, outside of Western "classical" music;
A nature lover, environmentalist, and Green in all senses;
A scientific skeptic of some sort, but also a philosophical skeptic who recognizes the limits of modern scientific skepticism.

More to come!

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