The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissention, which in different ages & countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders & miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security & repose in the absolute power of an Individual: and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.

from Farewell Address (1796)

Portrait of George Washington

George Washington

President, Statesman, and Military Officer
February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799

George Washington (1732-1799) was an American Founding Father and military leader who served as the first president of the United States. Appointed commander of the Continental Army in 1775, he led the Patriots to victory over the British in the Revolutionary War. He presided over the Constitutional Convention in 1787 that established the U.S. federal government.

Washington began his public service as a surveyor in Virginia in 1749. He later served in the French and Indian War and was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses. As a delegate to the Continental Congress, he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army and led the Americans to defeat the British, forcing them to acknowledge U.S. sovereignty and independence.

As president from 1789-1797, Washington implemented a strong federal government, remaining impartial between feuding cabinet members. He set enduring presidential precedents like republicanism, peaceful transfer of power, and the two-term tradition. His 1796 farewell address promoted national unity and warned of foreign influence and hyper-partisanship.

Washington ranks among the greatest U.S. presidents. He has been memorialized on monuments, money, and a federal holiday. In 1976 he was posthumously made General of the Armies, the highest U.S. Army rank.

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Kevin Kelly

What Technology Wants

One of today's most respected thinkers turns the conversation about technology on its head by viewing technology as a natural system, an extension of biological evolution. By mapping the behavior of life, we paradoxically get a glimpse at where technology is headed—or "what it wants." Kevin Kelly offers a dozen trajectories in the coming decades for this near-living system. And as we align ourselves with technology's agenda, we can capture its colossal potential. This visionary and optimistic book explores how technology gives our lives greater meaning and is a must-read for anyone curious about the future.