Conflict of Conscience

I hand-coded and published my first HTML web page in 1993, ever since then my thinking about what I should be doing with my web-publishing passion, has vacillated between projects for helping disadvantage children in third-world countries, or providing information and services to help wealthy North Americans invest offshore.

Living in South Florida at that time, every day we watched images, or in one case I eye-witnessed, Haitian families coming ashore in home-made rafts because they were so desperate to escape the poverty of their Island Nation. It prompted me to start-up “PC on Earth” a non-profit organization that would find ways to get information technology to schools in the Caribbean.

It felt noble to be working on a worthy cause that had a chance to make a positive difference, even if for nothing more than to keep a young person occupied on their Island instead of embarking upon a crazy dangerous journey aboard bit’s of wood lashed to patched and inflated inner-tubes. Meanwhile, the education of business start-up had begun and looking back I can tell you that the same issues arise as those of a capitalistic venture; cash-flow. Added to the hurdles of the non-profit are all sorts of unforeseen problems to do with egos and agendas of other people and groups, some of whom, like church groups for example, wield much more power and influence than a start-up. However, the entire process was very enlightening but in the end a person of reason would realize that more good can be done, if you’re serious about doing good, by a wealthy philanthropist than by someone who starts-up yet another non-profit.

So the Robin Hood plan was concocted early on in my career, except I wouldn’t steal from the rich to give to the poor. I would sell information to the rich and provide education to the poor. OffshoreNet was incorporated in 1995 and I began publishing web pages about offshore banking and investing offshore, it wasn’t too long after that when I was first introduced to on-line gambling. Casino is the ideal marriage of entertainment and excitement for the Internet, I knew it from the start. The idea of placing sports bets on-line also seemed very natural but the concept of playing poker on-line was something I just thought would happen inside the Casinos. I never predicted that Poker would become so huge and that it would just continue growing and growing.

Now all these years later I’m about to embark upon the most important project of my career because it holds the promise to provide me with the resources necessary to be able to fulfill some of my altruistic dreams, to be able to open a Silicon Palms office and recruiting center here in Brazil, for the purpose of finding and teaching young people, who have a desire, and show a passion for learning, how to become a web developer.

In my own journey, I’ve learned allot about offshore banking and how to invest offshore by both providing the information and by becoming a student of what I was publishing. As for Poker? Ironically, when I was 19 years old and living a winter in Grand Prairie, Alberta, working 12 – 16 hours per day, 7 days a week, in temperatures well below zero, towards the end of a 3 month stint I was lured into the nightly Poker game, after 3 nights of thinking I was skilled and gifted in the game, I earned such a Bad-beat that I came to the conclusion, that I would never give away my very hard-earned money in that manner again. However, I gained a major appreciation for those that have mastered the art and science of winning in Poker, and I enjoy watching them play.

As for Gambling in general? I’ve often used the tired quip “I gamble on myself everyday, so who needs to?” and if you knew the entire story of my life you’d know just how truthful that bad-joke is but the fact of the matter is, that I’ve never gained enough pleasure from winning to make the uneasiness of the risk seem worthwhile. However, I have a couple of found memories of winning, once at Gulfstream Racetrack on a thoroughbred race, with a pick that Paula (my wife) made, that was chosen after watching the Jockey’s preview the horses in the paddock and another of a Roulette betting scheme my sister Shannon and I employed at a gorgeous Casino in Adelaide, South Australia. In both cases the victory was sweet, like being a rock-star after the encore of a sold-out show.

The Casino’s themselves though, now there’s something I can honestly say I enjoy. I’ve been to hundreds, all over the world, on cruise ships and Islands, in deserts and in cities. My wife loves Las Vegas more than I do and we count the days until our next visit, plus we always check out new Casinos whenever we travel to new places. Something about the atmosphere in these glorified gambling dens is infectious. The people watching hardly gets better than when it’s related to winning or losing money, it’s like the observation of human nature at it’s core.

As a web developer nothing could be as exciting, than to design and program places on-line where people from anywhere could meet and play with other people from all parts of the world, over a game of cards, or around a gaming table. The idea of integrating the excitement and entertainment of Casino Gambling into a virtual reality situation, is an extremely compelling challenge.

To create a successful Gaming company is my objective as a Cyber Estate Developer. This is what sometimes gives me my “Conflict of Conscience” because I ask myself; what impact my success could have on the planet? will my career path help or hurt more people? is this the right choice for me? The answer; my cards have been played and I’m all-in. There’s no turning back from what’s been put in motion, so it’ll be up to me to make good on my own promise, to be an Internet evangelist and share the great vocation of web development and to teach the computer language of HTML to as many young people as I can.

All bets are on!        

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