I hope this doesn't sound like bragging, but I knew John during the days of thermite and D&D. He was my DM for those D&D games. (Incidentally, the best role-playing experience I've ever had, and that was around 10 years ago). When I knew John, his 'crime' days were already over. This was before Shreveport (although he did come back to town once with some S'port friends that he gamed with, for a game. I wish I remember who!) Anyway, I think that John is just damn smart and figured out that he didn't need to resort to illegal means to do the things that he wanted to do, and earn the money that he wanted to be able to earn. I think it actually comes to a well considered and strongly developed moral structure. He is NOT religious by any means, and has put thought to all of those philosophical questions without relying on a religous construct to do his thinking for him. A friend of mine described a situation that resonated with me and my personal experiences, and I bet it did with John too. (Although I could be wrong. As I said before, I didn't know John before about 10 or 11 years ago, so I don't know much about his youth during and before highschool). Here it is. When someone grows up under a belief structure (christianity for example), and they abandon that belief structure, they enter a phase of amorality. A phase defined by the lack of meaning behind the words 'good' and 'evil'. You just do the things you do because you want to. Not because it's right or wrong. Eventually, you begin to figure out that morality isn't directly tied to religious beliefs, and that you can do things that are 'right', or things that are 'wrong', simply because they ARE right or wrong. You don't have to give up your non-religous scruples, or kowtow to a deity just because you're doing the 'right thing'. The doubling of knowledge in 6 months thing was a great example (unrelated to what I'm talking about above). I think I could see John's confidence in his intelligence during the time that I knew him. He didn't have a lot of regard and respect for idiots. (I think I held my own during that time, so he was pretty cool with me). I suppose that during his time in Shreveport, he moderated that opinion as he described above. In any case, I've ALWAYS had a great deal of respect for John, and I love the interview. It brings back a lot of nostalgia for me. I only wish that I had been able to keep in touch with him back then. (And not because of what he's become, but primarily because of the great deal of respect that I have for him. I'd LOVE to have some philosphical discussions with him sometime).