DIOGENES: The things you must concentrate on are these: always be bold and reckless and jeer indiscriminately at everything, from kings on down. … Speak in a harsh, rough voice … In word, behave exactly like a wild beast. Forget about shame, propriety, moderation.
BUYER: Get away from me! Everything you’ve said is nauseating. It’s inhuman!
DIOGENES: But, listen. It’s so easy. Anyone can do it. No course of study required, not debates, no nonsense. My road is a short-cut to fame …
– Lucan, “Philosophies for Sale”
As of January 2008, I am working as a freelance consultant and translator for a New York-based company specializing in bilingual investor relations for Brazil, a company that serves a lot of publicly traded companies and involves working with confidential client communications.
Nothing published before that date, obviously, was the result of that work (or confidential information from any clients).
And nothing published from then on was, is, or will be, based on any confidential client information.
The phreaky leaky-leaky is bad for business.
Born, reared and initiated into the cult of The Minutemen in Los Angeles and environs — the Plain of Smokes — I graduated from Pomona College with a special concentration in Philosophy & Literature and a thesis on speech-act approaches to related problems in modal logic and the epistemology of fiction.
Translation: What does it mean to say the following?
Bart Simpson does not exist.
After doing some graduate work at Claremont Graduate University in interdisclipinary studies — where I got some first-hand insight into both what Peter Drucker liked to eat for lunch and the emerging (Moonie-funded) neoconservative movement — I got my M.A. from UC Berkeley in comparative literature, with an emphasis on medieval Iberia, Hispano-Arabic poetry and medieval frame-tale narratives from Ibn al-Muqaffa’ to Chaucer.
I completed doctoral coursework at Berkeley in historical linguistics, the history of rhetoric, Romance philology, Arabic literature, medieval neo-Aristotelianism, and related fields while teaching as a GSI in the departments of Rhetoric, English, Philosophy and Comparative Literature.
Correction: I signed the paperwork for a TAship in Philo, but Prof. John Searle screwed me at the last possible moment. See Bernard Williams’ essay Moral Luck — the problem of moral evaluation when talented people whose creative work benefits mankind are also complete assholes in their personal and professional life.
Dean Joseph Duggan, however — labor negotiator in the morning, professor of codicology and paleography in the afternoon — taught me everything I know about how to wear different hats.
The trick: Don’t wear them both at the same time.
While at Berkeley, I served on the executive board of Berkeley’s graduate instructor’s union and participated in negotiating the union’s first contract under HEERA. I also trained new instructors in professional ethics, and delivered a number of papers to the likes of the Philological Association of the Pacific Coast, the American Comparative Literature Association, and other scholarly bodies.
I also moonlighted as a freelance editor and dissertation consultant for ESL doctoral candidates–specializing in social sciences, economics and business–and as a journalistic, literary, technical and academic translator, which is how I became such a connoisseur of global editorial and terminological standards & practices.
I moved to Brooklyn, New York in 1996, where I have worked as a freelance and staff journalist, copywriter, editor, translator, and (penny ante, mostly) cross-cultural communications and branding consultant.
I have specialized in trade publications in the area of technology for finance and capital markets, but have worked in a broad variety of editorial settings, from mass-market consumer and qualified-subscriber trade magazines to pharma marketing — beaucoup regulatory compliance! — human resources research and Latin American cultural affairs and business PR.
Most recently, I led a weekly trade journal for global capital markets practicioners as managing editor and interim editor in chief, then moved to Brazil and bummed around as a freelance journalist and technical and legal translator.
I’ve also worked as a paralegal, a research librarian, a bilingual elementary school teacher, an infographic artist, a content-management supervisor for a trading and research unit at a major bulge-bracket investment bank, a corporate and IT governance technical writer and copywriter, and a Y2K emergency response monkey. In 1999, I worked on the 80-somethingth floor in the North Tower of the World Trade Center for 7 months.
I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate,
A poet, a pawn and a king.
I’ve been up and down and over and out
And I know one thing:
Each time I find myself flat on my face,
I pick myself up and get back in the race.
I’ve managed downside risk from the Noonday Demon for 25 years. My personal motto:
To be is to do –Sartre
To do is to be –Nietzsche
Do be do be do –Sinatra
These days I mostly work as a financial and technical translator from Arabic, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian into English. I am currently doing independent research on the medieval roots of the Brazilian cordel tradition of oral-formulaic poetry.
I’m married to Neuza Maria “Foca Louca” Paranhos de Almeida of Sao Paulo, Brazil, where we own a second home.
Below: Colin at Praia Brava, near Praia Almada, litoral norte, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Colin is a filho de Iemanjá … Click to zoom