David Mintz, homo sapiens


You can find more than a few people named David Mintz on the internet. This one was born in 1958; grew up in Maryland and spent his teenage years in Chile; studied classical guitar at the Hartt School of Music and the University of Arizona; became a Spanish<>English court interpreter after about ten years as a capable but chronically underemployed guitarist; eventually became a staff interpreter at the Interpreters Office of the US District Court in Manhattan; retired from the federal judiciary in July 2020.

I live in a state of near-continuous bliss in South Orange, New Jersey, with my incomparably lovely wife Amy Hartford. We have four fascinating kids (Evan, Mylie, Josie, Gabriela). Also on our payroll we have three superb cats -- Kiki, Vernon T. Bludgeon the Cat, The Master Lin-chi -- and the delightful Maggie, a true dog-dog from a garbage dump in rural Georgia.

Shall we talk about the weather? As of 23-Jan-2021 at 6:51 am, our local weather was mostly cloudy and 28.0°F/-2.2°C with relative humidity at 34% and winds northwest at 15.0 mph (13 kt).


I'm a socialist. That is to say, my politics are Marxist-Trotskyist, and I wholeheartedly support the Socialist Equality Party. There is a great deal more to say, but for now suffice it to say that I have lived in the world long enough to understand that capitalism is a system under which the social needs of the many are subordinated for the sake of the enrichment of a few at the top; inequality is an essential feature. The capitalist profit system is a disaster for the great majority of the world's population. The only rational, viable alternative is socialism. I recommend the World Socialist Web Site (wsws.org) for further reading; it offers singularly honest and clear-minded reporting and commentary.

Ok, let's change the subject. Tell me about you... Really? My, that's so interesting! All right then, more about me. My other interests, aside from raising a family and arguing politics, include distance running and Web development. And I sit every day.


Running is about as natural a human activity as can be -- so we're told by modern research. The researchers don't need to tell us that children spontaneously run from place to place, and sometimes stage impromptu races to see who can run faster from here to that tree. We adult distance runners are a bit more methodical and formal about it, but I think the fundamental reason we run is essentially the same: it comes naturally, and we like it. Training and racing is a game we like to play, with the simple objective of running as fast as possible.

There's probably an element of addictive defense in there too. Be that as it may, South Mountain Runners is our highly informal local club. Those of us who train seriously place high in our age/gender group when we race, or otherwise achieve our objectives. In my case, I don't expect to set any more PRs in road races -- that's behind me. But I still manage to sneak off with an occasion age group award in your small (and sometimes not-so-small) 5K races, and I get immense satisfaction from running either in solitude or with my crew, especially on the trails of our our lovely South Mountain Reservation.

That last sentence or two was overdue for an update. You've noticed how time keeps marching relentlessly in one direction, right? I think I've aged out of the game. My interest in training in any serious way has all but vanished. But I'm too sentimental to delete this section outright. Anyway...

The South Mountain Runners welcome not just fanatics and rock stars, but anyone who shares our interest in running, whatever the pace.

Zen, a/k/a just sitting

Once upon a time I was a student at a zendo in New York City, drawn to it because I was curious about practicing meditation. I participated in formal sittings and certain Zen Buddhist rituals -- chanting and bowing and so forth -- worked with a teacher, studied koans. After a couple years I moved on, but continued the habit of sitting every day. There's ample evidence that sitting still and breathing in and out is beneficial to psychological and physical health, but that isn't what motivates me. Nor do I care for what is commonly known as spirituality. I've been sitting long enough to do it for no reason or purpose, with no expectation of reward. I am pleased to report that I have accomplished nothing!

Web development, etc

I enjoy making web applications, such as the court interpreter management system I wrote for my old interpreters office, which I fondly call InterpretersOffice. The source code is hosted at Github and the project website is interpretersoffice.org.

I'm a grateful user of Linux and countless other open source products. I despise Windows.

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I could cheerfully continue ad nauseum, but instead I will refer you to my dear friend Professor B, whose mordant wit and perspicacity are unsurpassed: blog.vernontbludgeon.com

If you would like to contact me, please feel free. The domain is davidmintz.org. Prepend to it the username david followed by @. (Forgive the circumlocution, it's designed to confound spambots.) If you like digital privacy, please help yourself to my public PGP key.