Patrick Byrne: Who are you?
Patrick M. Byrne is the CEO of the Internet retailer Overstock.com. Byrne received his B.A. from Dartmouth, studied at Cambridge University as a Marshall Scholar, and earned a PhD in Philosophy from Stanford University. He co-founded Overstock.com in 1997 and became CEO in 1999. In 2005, Byrne initiated a controversial campaign against "naked short selling" in which he accused a "Sith Lord" and various financial firms of sabotaging Overstock's share price. Byrne also serves as head of First Class Education, an education lobbying group that seeks to require that 65% of all educational spending be spent "in the classroom." A strong proponent of school vouchers, Byrne spent almost four million dollars in advertising for a bill that would have given Utah residents who enroll their children in private schools taxpayer-supported subsidies. The bill lost, 62-38%.
Patrick Byrne: Patrick M. Byrne. Where am I from? Well I currently live Utah, but I’m actually from back east. I was born in Indiana, grew up around New England. I think of Vermont and New Hampshire as my home, but I spent my teenage years in . . . just outside of Washington, D.C.
Well I’m sure the New England upbringing gave me a traditional set of values and sort of Yankee values. I had . . . The time in D.C. really gave me a lot of exposure, I think, much more than I had growing up in Vermont and such – in New Hampshire and Connecticut – to the way things work. And . . . that’s kind of a vague answer. How did it shape me? I’d say actually where I came from, if I were to . . . If you want me to take a running start at it, I’d say I come from a family that’s Irish, middle class or lower middle income Irish immigrants from Long Island and New Jersey – Patterson, New Jersey and down to the southern tip of New Jersey. I think my pop was the first guy not only in his family but in his high school to go to college. He went on to the . . . went on to the GI . . . into the Air Force, but the GI Bill to graduate school in Michigan. And then I was born in Indiana, and I’d say that I know people . . . Well I’d say that my family really lived the Horatio Alger dream, because when I was born he was just off the GI Bill and on his first job. And then by the time I was 16 or 17, he had become . . . or our family had become affluent. So it was unusual in that I . . . I experienced as I was growing up . . . I think my worldview was formed when we were probably still, you know, lower middle income or middle income. And by the time I became 16, 17, 18 we were affluent. So I think sometimes my particular take on things was somewhat formulated by that experience. I was also extraordinarily lucky in that along the way, this funny guy started showing up at our house – this funny guy from Omaha whom nobody had ever heard of at the time . . . And he would show up, and visit us, and sit and talk with me for hours on end. So where I came from, if I . . . I’m probably blending a couple of answers together, but that’s where I . . . I think my . . . I came from in a socio-economic sense.
Recorded on: 10/29/07
Where Byrne calls home.
The stories we tell define history. So who gets the mic in America?
- History is written by lions. But it's also recorded by lambs.
- In order to understand American history, we need to look at the events of the past as more prismatic than the narrative given to us in high school textbooks.
- Including different voices can paint a more full and vibrant portrait of America. Which is why more walks of American life can and should be storytellers.
A glass of juice has as much sugar, ounce for ounce, as a full-calorie soda. And those vitamins do almost nothing.
Quick: think back to childhood (if you've reached the scary clown you've gone too far). What did your parents or guardians give you to keep you quiet? If you're anything like most parents, it was juice. But here's the thing: juice is bad for you.
Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club
- Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
- It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
- This ability may come from a common ancestor
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