User:Pithy Francoln

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Hi folks! Thanks for visiting my user page!


This user is currently working on Wikiquote pages that discuss climate change mitigation.

My name is Kevin L. Jones, my background is in law and economics, and I love Wikimedia


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


I graduated magna cum laude (top 6%, 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


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 actually 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


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


Wikipedia pages I have edited


Pithy Francoln (talk) 00:22, 5 March 2024 (UTC) Pithy Francoln

I will soon change my user name


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.

Pithy Francoln (talk) 23:56, 4 March 2024 (UTC) Pithy Francoln

What does my user name, "Pithy Francoln" mean?


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.

Pithy Francoln (talk) 20:56, 18 October 2016 (UTC)