Ryan and I have been the best of friends for well over a decade and have corresponded about every week over the phone or by email for most of that time. We were oddly matched roommates in college. Ryan was more interested in reading the university newspaper cover to cover every day than doing his school work, and I was intent on getting a 4.0 so I could earn a scholarship.
I would come home exhausted from studying all day and then, after the lights went out, Parker would pepper me with questions. I was tired, and I frankly thought this midnight speculation was pointless, but each question was just interesting enought, and Parker such an engaging conversationalist, that we’d often find ourselves talking until 2 or 3AM each night.
Both Parker and I grew up as poor farm boys, he on a real ranch in Montana, and myself on a hobby farm in Nevada. Having little exposure, we were experiencing the world for the first time and didn’t know how it worked. I guess neither of us ever lost that childlike curiosity.
Our roles have been the same every since. Parker informs himself of everything going on in the world, and I consider everything he educates me on and try to recognize patterns and see deeper meaning. Even though Ryan contributed most to my discovery of Valerianism, it took me a while to get him to realize that it was fundamentally different from the Conservative views bequeathed to both of us. Parker knew so much that only a robust and universal world view could bring everything together and make sense. Once he was converted, It was very liberating to be freed of conventional thinking.
Since that time Parker has made vast contributions to Valerianism. Early on he changed the focus from fixing broken Conservative arguments to describing how we can best help the poor and disadvantaged in society — something that carries a lot more meaning. I’m very happy to have him as a co-author of this blog.