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John C Belcher

John C Belcher

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My life these days is largely centered around my work.  However, I have always been very active physically and remain in excellent physical condition notwithstanding my ever-expanding girth.  I ran and coached competitively for about 25 years and then switched over to bicycling, which I have done all my life. Every year I promise to drop some pounds so that I can get back to doing time trials.  In the meantime, I enjoy riding 4-6 days per week during the summer, with one long ride of 40-70 miles and the other rides 15-20 miles.  I also lift weights, and am much stronger now than I was when I had skinny runner arms in my twenties and thirties.      Other than work and exercise, I follow a lot of sports, mostly at the professional level, including MMA (big fan of Royce Graycie back in the day and Fedor Emelianenko), Nascar (Jeff Gordon although I think his winning may be in the past), MLB (excited about the Nats), NFL (Redskins, since I live here), NHL (Caps, for the same reason, plus they're good), Le Tour de France, and track and field.   Although I long ago gave up my intellectual pretensions, I spent  my younger adult years studying and teaching philosophy. In addition to Socrates and Plato, whom virtually all philosophy students in this country love, my favorite philosophers at the beginning of my studies were late nineteenth century Germans better known for their literary brilliance than their metaphysical prowess.  Thus in 1975, I published my first paper on Schopenhauer and wrote a master's thesis comparing Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Neitzsche with Sartor Resartus by Thomas Carlyle, who was not a German philosopher but wished that he were.   As I progressed in my academic studies, I moved towards a style of philosophy formerly known as the British analytical school (I don't know if the term still is used), although one of the central figures in this school was Ludwig Wittgenstein, who was every bit as strange as Neitzsche and Schopenhauer.     Before leaving academia, apparently for good, I completed my Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico with a dissertation that concerned "self-defeating" and "self-fulfilling" predictions in the social sciences.  This was more or less an interdisciplinary study in which I discussed certain theories of explaining social behavior then prevalent in sociology, psychology, economics, and sociobiology, none of which fields I have kept up with, since lawyers as a whole are rather anti-intellectual in nature.