In the before time, man was differentiated primarily by physical prowess. In the middle time, we were differentiated by wealth or poverty. But in the age of information and intellect, individuals are defined by their ability to communicate effectively and by their opinions…
I write with verve and panache. I am also one very opinionated, idiosyncratic SOB.
To my colleagues, I am in need of Valium. To my superiors, I am a wild duck that needs to be controlled and channeled. To my subordinates, I am in need of patience. To my ex-wife, I am sometimes a jerk. And to my offspring, a hero, but–at the same time–very, very weird.
When you reach the half-century mark, you are entitled to opinions and habits. But those fortunate enough to leave a positive legacy in their wake have learned to revisit and reassess opinions. They should never become so entrenched that they become inflexible in light of new ideas and alternate assumptions.
Ellery is my Nom de Plume. I’m not ashamed of my Clark Kent reality, but here, at Wild Duck, I more freely express opinions.
I have led high-tech startups, run support organizations, designed missiles, and taught fencing (not the fence that surrounds your yard…but rather the sport in which you don head gear and poke opponents in the heart with a foil).
I love Star Trek, Euclid and classical music, but also relish in Doo Wop and Calypso. I kvell over the combination of Stilton cheese with a dry Cab. It is one of my 5 Raison d’être (a fundamental purpose for existence). My taste in woman is utterly unconventional, yet I love my family unconditionally.
I am Ellery Davies. The Blog starts here…
For a quick vitae, see Ellery’s interests. —
Or for Dogbert’s thoughts on the meaning of “Fungible”, click here.
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Would love to be subscribed, thanks!
Thank you, Cory. I have added you to my update list. I only send updates by email about every 2 or 3 months… But, if you wish to track a specific article, you can leave a comment on it. Then, you will be notified of follow-up & feedback, including very similar posts in the future.
It’s a pleasure to have a new reader!
I am putting this feedback on your bio page, because I don’t know where else it fits. It’s not really about one article.
Regarding the sprinking of Trump critiques amongst the meat of your tech Blog, I say: God bless you sir, thank you for you work!!!
There is a risk of alientation when mixing politics or divisive social issues into a professional or technical forum. You have taken that risk, and I deeply appreciate it.
I bask in your praise, and I fully appreciate the risk of mixing divisive topics into one website.
My daughter frequently reminds me that if a journalist or blogger hosts a Pro-Choice web site (or a Pro-Life one; take your pick), it can only alienate an audience to inject remarks about her position on gun control. After all, some pro-life readers are for gun control and some are against. Why drive a wedge into the audience of a single-purpose forum?
But, Wild Duck is not a single purpose forum. It is a personal Blog expressing my opinions on a wide range of topics, including social, political, economic, and religious issues. I also have expressed strong opinions on privacy and the risk of an emerging surveillance state. (Though, not to the level of conspiracy sites!)
Sure. I would like to think that I can influence readers to take my side on one issue or another, but the real reason for this Blog is to help my family and friends to better understand me.
In the past few years, my blog has become 60% about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. And by no coincidence, this is the area to which my career has shifted. While I am considering splitting that topic into a completely separate blog (perhaps under my real name, instead of “Ellery”), this Wild Duck blog will remain a place where I can speak freely about my feelings on any topic.
Thank you for giving me a chance to think through my purpose and clarify the purpose for expressing opinions on so many different topics.
What exactly is a wild duck. I get that you like the metaphor on a personal level. But, what is the general meaning and why how did you acquire that label?
Hello Minneapolis Mom, and thank you for being a returning reader.
I am miffed to discover that I overlooked your feedback to my very first article so many years ago, and so I have reposted it with a current date.
You asked “What is a Wild Duck”.
The above post gives a personal definition — as it applies to my own unconventional taste and pearls of wisdom. But, perhaps, it is time to offer a general definition…
A Wild Duck is a metaphor for an individual who has an unconventional and seemingly chaotic approach to their job, or any task they set themselves to. They are difficult to control, because they work outside the boundaries—inventing tools and practices as they go. But this doesn’t imply that they cannot work within a group toward a common goal. Wild ducks can be good team players.
It is not that wild ducks lacks a plan or structured process. In fact, they have plenty of structure and are often ADHD; compiling lists, sketches and idea logs to keep on task. Rather, they don’t commit to a structured template from the start, because they are highly adaptable and willing to shift or create a new approach that suits the work flow. This sometimes frustrates the individuals with whom they must communicate, but in the end, it often results in a job that pleases the boss or client.
Joe Caruso of Boston is an investor, advisor and advocate for entrepreneurs. He was an advisor to one of my start-ups, long before we raised venture capital. In fact, he helped us to identify and persuade investors.
Joe told the story of a radical square peg who worked for IBM in the early days. He didn’t fit into with blue suits or structured thinking. A manager was asked to get rid of him. But, instead of sitting on his tail or firing him, the manager pushed back. He spread the word on the high productivity of this individual and the successes attributed to him. Ever since (the story goes), IBM has encouraged department managers to allow for at least one wild duck in their group.
Joe gave me the nickname “A Wild Duck” and it stuck. Of course, one mustn’t bask in the reputation of being different. Yet, there is no badge that I am more proud of. My role model is the late physicist, Richard Feynman—though I am unworthy of comparison. In both the art of physics and his ability to teach, he was a Wild Duck, extraordinaire!
Professor Richard Feynman, mid 1970, Caltech University