A short photo-biography.
The Early Years
Thomas was born into the enigmatic nexus of southeast Canadian, midwestern, and northeastern culture (Buffalo, NY), with German, Polish, Czech, Austrian, and Italian family heritage.
Even more important than location, his innermost family brought the excellence of US military culture into the family, serving in WW1, WW2, Korea, Vietnam, and the Attica Uprising.
A remaining curiosity in the family is that public accounts of the Attica Uprising do not speak of involvement of the Army, so we can only presume they used his brilliant civil engineer warrant officer, Uncle Edwin “Bud” Zwetsch, with experience in the Korean War, to consult them on how to best take the prison back. Of course like most servicemen in conflicts, Bud was not apprised of the political motives of Rockefeller and Nixon.
The way he spoke of it, the prisoners were terrorists taking hostages to coerce political agendas, and he had to help keep as many alive as possible. Modern academia and journalism enjoys twisting the history of armed conflict towards a unilateral civil rights narrative, but the conflict in honest terms was about how to minimize the casualties of innocents. The prisoners’ Attica Liberation Faction was organized and galvanized by Marxists, Maoists, Black Panthers, and the Nation of Islam. People who hold knives to the necks of hostages are not victims – they are violent instigators.
War stories like this were joyful interactions between Thomas and his elders. Work ethic, duty, discipline, honor, can-do attitude, faith, and valor were the traits of his elders, which inspired Thomas.
The men of Thomas’ family did incredible things, with a long legacy of civil and mechanical engineering. They brought that excellence into their homes, designing entire family houses, building additions, and using space, money, and resources optimally. Some even learned how to use computers creatively in their retirement. His father is a consummate construction executive and could best Tim Allen at home improvement and carpentry.
Thomas’ mother read stories like Mother Goose and the Bernstain Bears every night, and took him to the library even before pre-kindergarten began. Sunday church and Confraternity of Christian Doctrine were weekly devotions in the Kurek family.
The Kurek family moved to the Washington DC area when Thomas was five years old. He kept one foot in Buffalo NY, staying there throughout summer and winter school breaks. The happiest times were the many weeks spent at the campgrounds of Darien Lake, with extended family, bonfires, fishing, hiking, and amusement park activities. It was much more family-oriented prior to Six Flags buying it:
Primary & Secondary School
Thomas’ teacher at ten years of age, Ms. Whitehurst, was a true old-world Virginian. Her accent was half-southern, half-British; she was all-class, all-dignity, and all-grace. During free-reading time, she noticed that Thomas chose Stephen King’s IT. In disbelief, she interrogated him about the story. She was satisfied that he actually could comprehend the writing, while his peers were struggling with a few paragraphs in children’s books.
She quickly arranged for a day-and-a-half IQ test with the school psychologist, involving a standard MENSA exam on paper, supplemented by personal interviews and verbal testing. He scored within the 99.97th percentile of global IQ, and was immediately put into the gifted and talented program of Loudoun County.
During those days, the program was designed by people like Gail Martin, who curated special curriculum based on Classical Education (Mortimer Adler), with honors classes, early Advanced Placement access, and weekly specialized gifted and talented curriculum. It was a rare oasis of world-class education in the typically regressed public school system. Social engineering was minimized, and knowledge conveyance was maximized, per the classical education philosophy.
Thomas was the first in the history of the county to complete AP courses in science as a sophomore, and take accelerated philosophy and science courses, a year ahead of the minimum prerequisites, with teacher advocates petitioning the vice principal to make an exception for his advanced enrollement.
Thomas’ first passions were American Football and academic studies. He was offered a scholarship to a private Catholic school for football, but the gifted and talented and honors programs were so good that his family declined.
Football helped Thomas to learn about leadership, pain tolerance, and controlled aggression. That came in handy during a handful of violent and natural disaster experiences throughout Thomas’ life. Most others remained paralyzed, while Thomas reacted quickly, calmly, and effectively. After three broken bones, and his left arm ripped out of socket, the doctor advised that he needed to quit football or else risk losing motor control below the left shoulder.
Thomas redirected his energy towards computer programming, independent humanities scholarship, running, weightlifting, paintball, guns, music, and business.
Thomas worked every weekend for two years in high school at a bagel bakery. He baked, mixed dough, and was a night manager. He got up at 3:30 AM on Saturdays and Sundays to bake until 1:00-2:00 PM. His manager, Guy Morgan, was a Texan and former police officer. He also employed Thomas’ best friend, Anthony, who later graduated from West Point Military Academy, and served in Iraq and South Korea. Guy liberally used Lee Ermey boot camp rhetoric in managing the boys, which they loved. They have such mutual respect and admiration for Guy, that they still meet occasionally to catch up on life.
Thomas’ mother taught him financial responsibility as a child by encouraging him to work, buy his own car, pay for his own insurance, gas, 90% of his college costs, and dates.
Thomas acquired prodigious skill in music, inheriting his great grandfather’s talent (a concert violinist). He began guitar at age 12, and wrote his first songs at age 13, mastering jazz, rock, classical, blues, and metal styles. He also sang in the varsity choir as first-chair bass. His choir won Virginia state championship, which was about as competitive as most European “national” championships. The song was Shenandoah (his performance was not recorded, but this is a good rendition):
He wrote a classical score inspired by love of his grandparents. He wrote dozens of rock and metal songs, and an entire world-music styled dance album. He still tinkers with the recordings and new songs in his free time. With modern technology improving recording quality sans soundproofed studios, he will release the songs to the public in the next few years.
Thomas’ rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, using the chords of the comp for the lead, tapping, and pinch harmonics, is much better than Jimi Hendrix’s version:
Thomas enjoys the food, forest, fall weather, handmade crafts, acting, and medieval pageantry of Renaissance Festivals. He has been attending since his high school drama group made it an annual field trip.
Thomas was most interested in high technology. Knowing that he would easily be accepted to wherever he applied, he chose Virginia Tech, and applied to no other school. Virginia Tech was tied for fifth in the world with Stanford in Engineering Physics and it was in-state, so Thomas could pay for 90% of his college cost of living and tuition with his own work earnings.
Engineering Physics, which bridges the gap between theoretical physics and practical engineering solutions, seeks to solve the currently-unsolvable in high technology. The B.Sc. is an honors program and five years of credits at most universities, including Virginia Tech when Thomas was there. In his program, he obtained mastery of biomedical technology, electrical engineering, Newtonian mechanics (fluid, materials, continuum, bio, vibrations, rocket science), advanced economics, advanced mathematics, industrial/organizational engineering, computer programming, and the scientific method.
His classmates were not exactly the rocker/musician types; but together, they shared heavy intellectual conversations, academics, computer gaming, and role playing. At one point, they spent a number of weekends sneaking into an atrium building on campus through 2nd floor windows to play laser tag in the ideal layout with perfect obstacles for the game.
Thomas was one of few students in Materials Engineering to score perfectly on every single assignment and test. Subsequently, his professor hired him as a teaching assistant and to program her websites:
Thomas also carried his legacy from football and music band leadership into community leadership. He was hired as a resident advisor for the last three years of college. It paid for his room and board, and he enjoyed a private room on campus. His policy was “do not disturb fellow residents and there will be no referrals written.” He only had to write four referrals in three years, under his personal enforcement policy.
His residents were consequently very open to seeking his advisory for student life problems and academic struggles. Thomas was beloved by all but the “bad cops,” the fellow resident advisor staff whose social inadequacies drove them to the job so they could punish the “cool kids” who were having fun.
Of course, being somewhat of a Ferris Bueller since childhood, he had to pull a prank on his last day of office hours, rounds, and on-call duty. Cognac in the RA office? What a miscreant!
In his design project, he brought a group of physicians’ dream to life. He gave them a device that could tell them whether or not their tissue sample was suitable to use in a bioprosthetic heart valve.
With mechanical valves, the sheering forces upon the blood create clots and requires the patient to take blood thinners. With bioprosthetic valves, made from the patient’s own tissue, that could be avoided, but short mean time before failure (MTBF) made them infeasible. A large part of that infeasibility arises from the fact that tissue is viscoelastic – part fluid, part solid, with a nonlinear strain/rate curve.
His intraoperative device used moiré fringes, optics, and computational image processing in order to determine if the tissue sample has defects that would reduce the durability of the heart valve. It tells the surgeon the result so that they can choose a new sample when appropriate.
Much bovine pericardium was tested with other lab equipment, to corroborate the results of the new device. It does not emit the most pleasant smell in the lab:
With a bang and boom, the wild ride of Engineering Physics at Virginia Tech’s beautiful campus came to an end, and Thomas left with his very rare and unique degree:
Thomas first job out of college was serving the technology and business needs for South Africa, Columbia, and Cairo, employed by the largest contractor of USAID (US State Department).
He then invented and built systems for an international real estate firm, automating their P&L statements for thousands of properties across the globe, and integrating geodetic information systems with their business and marketing data, and automating language translations between Spanish, English, and French for their global properties, using satellite assemblies in the code. His implementation of Microsoft’s MapPoint enterprise geographic API was so impressive to Microsoft that it received a case study and invitation to the regional headquarters.
Then Thomas was hired by a technology contractor, and served the CIO of DC’s largest children’s medical system, automating their pharmaceutical prescriptions, and financial data reporting, medical coding, and provider portals (in lieu of McKesson). After a short project for the FBI, and inventing e-Discovery designs for the state of New Jersey and Microsoft’s SharePoint platform (a complex problem for courts, Records Management teams, and lawyers at the time), he was brought into the DoD Policy directorate and served them in the Pentagon and Rosslyn for four years.
He implemented a project for DARPA to experiment with tablets in a secure environment, when tablets were brand new. He invented and built technologies for SCIF administration and management, physical security, and counterintelligence. Men like Henry Kissinger were frequently in his presence during his work activities.
If it’s not clear by now, Thomas thrives on invention, investigation, complex problem solving, and creation itself. Unlike some trivial entrepreneurs who are content to ride current trends in markets to move pointless dollars around, Thomas needs to transform the world to a better place with ingenuity, whether music, national security, technology, organizational design, business, or economics and cultural research.
He founded MYnstrel, Inc. with ten other partners in order to forever improve the music industry. The idea was to use technology in order to wrest control of the industry from the global oligopoly dominated by three transnational corporations. They succeeded in design and prototyping the solution. They did not succeed in finding the right investors to back it with capital. They are seeking those visionary investors to this day – with a meager $14-20M capital investment, global music can be rescued from the corruption of central planning, popularity bias, and commercialized Faustian bargain that has made low quality culture in music the norm.
The prime partner in MYnstrel is Thomas’ best friend since childhood – Anthony Abbruscato. They played in the school audition-only jazz band for four years and their own rock band. They wrote songs together and worked at the bagel bakery together. Since they were both weekend bakers, getting up at 3:30 AM every weekend to do their jobs, it wasn’t a big deal when Tony needed to prepare for West Point Military Academy. Thomas was in supreme athletic shape and happily trained Tony by running with him for five miles before jazz band practice. Those times are still some of the happiest times of Thomas’ life, with his best friend.
Anthony Abbruscato, Thomas’ best friend
For many years – beginning in high school – Thomas had collected arcane knowledge, buried in university and corporate repositories. He collected obscure data sets in his technology education and career as well. He accurately predicted the housing collapse and Great Recession of 2008. What activated him was the elected officials and American citizens’ response to the collapse. He expected erudite reactions from professors, journalists, and politicians in a nation that spends $1.5 trillion per year on education and training.
Instead, he encountered a mob of pure economic destruction, ignorance, propaganda, class warfare, fantasy masquerading as “expert” authoritative truth, and twisted sociopolitical discourse which galvanized mobs of unjustified parrots, who couldn’t even argue their beliefs with any empirical or logical basis. It was then that he realized fundamental aspects of his classical education were rare and needed to be shared with the greater public.
He spent years of his free time codifying the rare knowledge and analytical models in Alvarism, LLC. He used T-SQL programming, database servers, and excel spreadsheets for the analytical work, evaluating so much data for economic and cultural inquiry, that he reached excel’s design limit and had to move the data to SQL Server.
He began giving speeches. He was invited to the Senate, and men like astronaut Buzz Aldrin were so interested in his research that they attended two of his speeches in the US Senate:
Soon enough, Thomas developed enough material for four textbooks, based on Alvarism – his own method of evaluating any problem of the humanities with rigorous and veracious methods. The first book, Economic Sovereignty, addresses taxation, jobs, industry, wealth, poverty, vision-based political ideology that impacts economics, and economic freedom vs. serfdom. Trevor Loudon appreciated his book and attended one of his briefings on the content:
Steven Yeh, an economic genius with a storied career at McKinsey, is not only the foreword author for Economic Sovereignty, but has also given speeches with Thomas for years:
Thomas was interviewed for a documentary on Transhumanism. He was the only person with relevant scientific knowledge in the documentary (biomedical engineering). The journalist extracted six hours of scholarship on the topic from Thomas. Thomas was also one of the few skeptical voices in the film:
Through Alvarism, Thomas has also enjoyed much private networking, with men like Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer (Operation Dark Heart):
Thomas has also given many private briefings for Alvarism’s research:
Thomas could write an entire book on surviving lethal conditions in the land of plenty. His unfortunate affliction was so bad that a coworker (special operator) who had been blown up, with a shattered back from an improvised explosive device, said that Thomas’ disease was much worse than what he had been through. Over the course of five years, Thomas’ life was threatened five times by the disease. Although he had the expertise to help himself, he did not have the authority to make the doctors pursue the correct diagnostic and treatment orders.
Bounced around the socialistic US medical system, run by dirigiste regulations, medical boards, and oligopolistic insurers, and over 70% of all medical expenditures financed by taxation – the corrupt system nearly killed Thomas numerous times. While Thomas couldn’t get what he demanded, they did take piles of money, and laughed their way to the bank, as they always do, whether they kill people, torture them, maim them, or heal them.
A private doctor who could order any tests by refusing to cooperate with insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare, finally ordered the recombinant genetic testing needed to discover the infection. The hard evidence finally emerged that Thomas had a rare tick-borne illness. Thomas had been demanding dozens of idiot doctors to pursue infectious disease diagnostics for two years. Thomas based his correct inferences on his own interpretation of the biopsies and diagnostic differentials, which turned out to be correct over the failures of more than 100 MDs in two years.
Call of Duty
During Thomas’ treatment and miraculous recovery from the illness, he was called to duty by a contractor of former special operators, serving NRO, JCS, and JSOC – the “tip of the spear” of the US military. He served as their Chief Information Officer to get the company back on the right track with technology management. He even walked into the office a day after surgery to shake the hands of the new hires. Being around men of valor is one of the easiest motivators for Thomas. As it was when he was a child with the men of his family, so he is inspired by the few soldiers in the US military who actually do the things we see in movies.
The Passing of Kathleen Kurek
No sooner did Thomas finish his duty for the JSOC contractor, than his mother entered the last phase of her life. He and beloved family members did what they could to help her in her final months. As her executor, he has been performing the paralegal duties on the complicated estate she left behind, due to the untimeliness of her death.
Her obituary is a very concise summary of her wonderful life, and Thomas misses her every day.
Thomas continues his duty as executor of the Kathleen Kurek estate. He is currently open to investors for MYnstrel, Inc. along with donors and sponsors for Alvarism, LLC. There are many critical inventions and initiatives that must be advanced for the benefit of humanity. His full list of creations, inventions, and research is now online.
Thomas has written the second textbook for Alvarism, which is undergoing editing. He has two more textbooks planned for the content of his many briefings as well. He is also refining his data models and producing media to convey the knowledge of Alvarism to people who are not apt to read scholarly books.
Thomas will accept project work or employment opportunities that are interesting enough to be on par with the world-altering research, initiatives, and inventions of Alvarism, LLC, and MYnstrel, Inc.
Life, of course, is not all work. Along the way, our humanity absorbs grand experience and emotions. So we seek, an aurified life, turning the trivial and the inconsequential into immutable gold. What we do in life echoes in eternity, and that eternity should be filled with more gold than contagion. Whether or not this modern state of humanity will opt for gold or contagion is yet to be determined.
by Thomas E. Kurek
Résumés can’t tell the story of life,
Full of wonder, full of strife.
Family, friends, love lost and found,
Nurture the roots, or they part from the ground.
Good times, good goals, good love, good souls,
They stay in the sky if they know their roles.
It’s a blessing to have flown at all,
The higher you rise, the farther you fall.
Erratic irrationality can turn mirth to ash,
Clodhopping cosmopolitan cultural clash.
All suffering is good if you turn it to gold,
My aliens’ fate is their own to unfold.
Gold overflowing from my spirit, aurified
Aligning my life to eternity, glorified.
The bad turned to good, and the good got better,
I’m eager to embark upon the next adventure.
- Height: 6′ 1″
- Weight: 200 – 215 lbs
- Eyes: Hazel
- Heritage: German, Czech, Austrian, Polish, Sicilian
- Favorite foods: Greek, Italian, German, Japanese, Indian
- Favorite thinkers: Thomas Sowell, Thomas Aquinas, FA Hayek, Milton Friedman, Ludwig von Mises, Edmund Burke, William F. Buckley Jr., Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, Sir Isaac Newton, Galileo, Dinesh D’Souza, Peter Robinson (Stanford Uncommon Knowledge), Karl Popper, Niccolo Machiavelli, Marcus Aurelius, Thucydides, Cicero, Aristotle
- Education 1: Gifted & Talented Secondary School with Classical Education advanced STEM and humanities
- Education 2: Engineering Physics with concentration in biomechanics, pre-med, and math minor (Program ranked 5th in the entire world for Engineering Physics)
- Education 3: Virginia Citizenship Institute (postgraduate civics special program)
- Education 4: Economics & Sociology postgraduate research in Alvarism think tank
- Favorite games: Spy Alley, chess, blokus, quoridor, Dota 2, Age of Empires, Skyrim
- Top Motion Pictures: Kenneth Branagh (everything by him, particularly Hamlet, Henry V, Othello, Murder on the Orient Express), Gladiator, There Be Dragons, Agora, Coriolanus, Fight Club, The Matrix 1-3, Edge of Darkness, Book of Eli, Lord of the Ring & Hobbit series, Law Abiding Citizen, Dirty Harry (all five), Idiocracy, Office Space, Mel Brooks movies, Broken Lizard comedies, Batman series, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 300, Dracula, The Count of Monte Christo, Hearts in Atlantis, In the Name of the King series, Hitman, Red & Red 2, Resident Evil series, Scent of a Woman, The Eagle, The X-Files series, The Terminator series, November Man, Sacha Baron Cohen comedies, Crimson Peak, Falling Down, The Godfather series, Joan of Arc (LeeLee Sobieski), Karate Kid series, A Man for All Seasons, The Mission, Apocalypto, The Passion of The Christ, Police Academy series, Scorpion King series, Seven, What about Bob?, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), Vision of Escaflowe, Record of Lodoss War, Final Fantasy series
- Top musicians: Bach, Vivaldi, Yehudi Menuhin, Nobuo Uematsu, Charlotte Church, Mike Patton (FNM, Tomahawk, Peeping Tom, Mr. Bungle), Lostprophets, Mt. Helium, Apex Theory, Fair to Midland, 32 Leaves, Codec, M.E.N.D., Deadguy, Kiss it Goodbye, The Used, Killswitch Engage, Ra (Sahaj), Karnivool, Pete Murray (Ultraspank, Lo Pro, Life on Planet 9, Chokt, White Noise Owl), Chris Volz (Flaw, Five.Bolt.Main), Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Tool, A Perfect Circle, Metallica, The Police, Guns ‘n Roses, Stone Temple Pilots, Peter Cetera (Chicago), Portishead, Credence Clearwater Revival, Seal, Jimi Hendrix, Van Morrison, The Doors, Journey
- No spectator sports, only playing
- Running, weightlifting, paintball, calisthenics, volleyball – preferred sports