Hi! My name is Patrick John Collins, I was born in London in 1981, raised in Johannesburg. When people ask me where I from, I say South Africa, because that is where I grew up and that’s what my accent sounds like when I speak English, although I am not officially a citizen of that country. As a teenager, I witnessed the abandonment of Apartheid, the transition from minority to majority rule, the rewriting of the constitution, the redesigning of the national flag, the relaxation of censorship, a Truth and Reconciliation commission, the recognition of homosexuality, a stunning rise in corruption and criminality, and an HIV epidemic. Turbulent times.

At the turn of the century, my sister and parents left South Africa for Ireland, and I subsequently followed them. I have yet to return to South Africa, my early life there now feels very far away. My father’s parents were born in Ireland, and through them I obtained Irish citizenship, and therefore European citizenship. I decided to employ my rights as a European citizen and settled in the south of France for a decade, where I became fluent in French. I then settled in Spain for 5 years, between Catalunya and the Canary Islands, where I became fluent in Spanish. Between that, I spent a few months in Grece, a few months in Berlin, and days to weeks in many other European countries. I also spent six months in Brazil, split between Rio de Janeiro and Bahia, where I learnt passable Portuguese. More recently I married Alison Gilbreath and settled in the United States where I obtained residency. In the future I hope to spend more time touring Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

As far as I can see, humans originated in Africa, spread out and settled the globe, divided into tribes, language fragmented and became mutually unintelligible, our DNA began to diverge leading to differing morphology and appearance, yet we are still one species. Culture can be learnt, I believe that any human can learn any language and fit in anywhere. I believe that people should be free to travel where they please, and I would like to see a world without borders. Hailing from a family that has a long history of migration, and holding a cosmopolitan outlook, I regularly find myself at odds with nationalists.

I oppose tyranny in all its forms, and promote liberty, love, kindness and respect. Furthermore, I believe that people should be free to do whatever they want with their bodies, including aborting a fetus, consuming substances, engaging in sexual relations, or choosing to end their life. I judge organizations, especially goverments and corporations, based on their commitment to liberty, democracy, and human dignity.

After spending a few hundred sessions in therapy, I began to realize just how traumatizing my childhood was, and am able to identify more clearly the unhealed emotional trauma that practically everyone carries around with them. Fear permeates society, influencing so many decisions, generally to our own detriment. I long for a day when all humans have healed their trauma, where all children can grow up healthy and happy.

Professionally I develop software for corporate clients using primarily Microsoft technologies, such as Azure cloud, .NET framework, C# programming language, and also web browser accessible user interfaces using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. For most of my career I have worked as an independent contractor, preferring to maintain some distance in my relationships with my clients. In the future I hope to establish a thriving software design consulting firm. I cherish the concepts of free and open source software, and I hope to pour more energy into such initiatives.