Leaders, kings and emperors always complain that they are the least free of their subjects, and there is some truth to this.

— Stephen Fry, Mythos: A Retelling of the Myths of Ancient Greece

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, in his collection of aphorisms entitled The Bed of Procrustes, said, “You don’t become completely free by just avoiding to be a slave; you also need to avoid becoming a master.” Fortunately, like a gnarled, crooked tree in one of Chuang Tzu’s parables, I’ve been able to escape the notice of worldly carpenters with plans to make something impressive and useful out of me. Should I ever somehow attract offers of power, wealth and fame, though, I too would merely aspire to keep dragging my tail in the mud.