Hi folks! Thanks for visiting my user page!
My name is Kevin L. Jones, my background is in law and economics, and I love Wikimedia edit
It is time for me to write a little bit about myself on my Wikimedia user pages: my real name, some information on my background, and why I contribute to Wikimedia projects like Wikipedia and Wikiquote.
My educational background - economics then law edit
I graduated magna cum laude (top 3.5%, if I remember correctly) with a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Utah in 1992. I graduated with a juris doctor (law degree) from the University of Utah College of Law in 1995.
I practiced law for 13 years in the Salt Lake City area edit
I practiced law from 1996 to 2009 in Salt Lake City and its vicinity, including separate stints with what were then the two largest law firms in Utah.
I am very grateful for the time I spent practicing law, but it was not a stress-free period in my life. I spent a fair amount of time working with and arguing against some of the best lawyers in the Intermountain West, and learning all the things I had to learn by the deadlines I had to learn them was like trying to drink from a fire hose. The entire time I practiced at firms I was an associate. The original smaller firm where I started merged with a larger firm; that larger firm subsequently split up. I knew that my associate track would be a seven year trial period before I came up for a partnership review (I was on a cumulative eight year track because of the merger), and I was determined to learn as much as I could during a season that would not come again in my life. When it was time for my partnership review at a subsequent large firm, I wasn't pulling in enough business to make me an economically attractive candidate for that firm's owners, and I was just exhausted. I didn't even try to make partner. I wanted something less demanding.
I decided to give it a go as a sole practitioner a few years before the Financial Crisis of 2007-2008 and subsequent Great Recession (2008 to 2009) caused a general contraction in the supply of legal work. I allowed my legal license to lapse in 2009 because I couldn't afford to keep an office and pay my bar dues, etc. with the minimal income I was making at the time.
As of the date of this writing, you can still access the Martindale-Hubbell webpage for my solo practice here. I can't guarantee that that page will remain accessible forever (it's been over a decade since I practiced), but it's accessible as I type this contribution.
I love, love, love working on Wikimedia projects edit
In 2010 I started working on edits to the "John R. Park" Wikipedia page, under the Wikipedia user name "UtahEducation." I discovered while I was working on that page that I could write about ANYTHING I WANT, AND NO ONE COULD STOP ME. I had spent many, many hours writing research memoranda, briefs, complaints, replies, petitions, etc., etc., etc. in law firms, but frequently I didn't have a lot of say in determining the cases my supervising partners would accept, and I always had a billable hour requirement hanging over my head. Words that describe the way I felt upon discovering the "Freedom of Wikimedia" are almost unseemly: it was intoxicating, addictive, mesmerizing.
I would guess that I have contributed well over 98% of the wiki markup that constitutes the "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" Wikiquote page. As I got close to completing that page, I thought, "Forget about getting paid for my Wikimedia contributions, I would pay my associate's salary at Utah's (then-) largest law firm just for the right to continue working on this." It was just such a privilege to be involved in putting together something so beautiful, so uplifting, so optimistically forward-looking.
Wikiquote pages I have edited edit
- Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
- Renewable energy
- How to Avoid a Climate Disaster
- Space exploration
- Ketanji Brown Jackson
- Hamilton (musical)
- Joe Biden
- Bill Gates
- Paul Romer
- Barack Obama
- William Nordhaus
- George Shultz
Wikipedia pages I have edited edit
- A Beautiful Planet
- Vergara v. California
- Wanderers (2014 film)
- Russ Roberts
- John King Jr.
- Richard Thaler
- Rocket Lawyer
- Arne Duncan
- William Nordhaus
I will soon change my user name edit
I have decided to discontinue using the "Pithy Francoln" user name. This is not because I determined that my writing really out to be more verbose and less memorable, or that I was just wrong when I concluded that Benjamin FRANklin and Abraham LinCOLN possessed many traits worthy of emulation. However, I do think that the "LinCOLN" portion of the name might convey the idea that I harbor an ill will toward my fellow citizens from the Southeastern US that I simply do not feel.
When I was younger I enlisted in my state's Army National Guard. I was sent to Basic Training in the Southeast, and my company was a mixture of troops from the Guard, the Reserves and the Regular Army. I'll bet that 75% of the soldiers I trained with were originally from the Southeast. I found that I enjoyed being around all of the Southern guys, no matter what their race, and that they were dependable people I would be willing to rely on in a dangerous situation.
Also, even though Abraham Lincoln and the US discovered that it is absolutely critical for a world-leading democracy to be ready and able to defend freedom (as Europeans also learned in September of 1939), the American Civil War was such a tragedy that I want to keep the idea of war in my head as a last resort, not a go-to solution.
I will write more on this issue as I have time.
What does my user name, "Pithy Francoln" mean? edit
I chose the "Pithy Francoln" user name because it keeps two things that I aspire to before me as I contribute both to Wikipedia and Wikiquote.
"Pithy" just means "concise and memorable." I like using quotes, both in Wikipedia articles, and, obviously, in Wikiquote. Good quotes are frequently brief, they often reveal something profound about a complicated subject in a simple way, and they don't require the reader to wade through unnecessary verbiage. I would really like to think that when my writing is at its best, it is concise and enlightening.
"Francoln" combines the last names of two men I would like to emulate in many (not all) respects: Benjamin FRANklin and Abraham LinCOLN. Benjamin Franklin was curious and knowledgeable about EVERYTHING, he was committed to self-determination and the ideals of the Enlightenment, he was an engaging and effective writer, and he was hard working and practical. Abraham Lincoln basically embodies leadership and moral vision during a time of profound crisis. I am astounded that he was able to rid the United States of the curse of slavery and yet somehow avoid creating so much animosity that the separate, war-ravaged states could never again function as a unified nation.
Often my writing isn't pithy, and I am under no illusion that I come close to possessing all of the admirable traits of either Franklin or Lincoln. However, I find that this user name is a helpful reminder. It's useful for me to think briefly about my orientation and the goals I should seek to accomplish every time I enter the name and log in to work on a Wikimedia project.