A settler is a person who decides it’s time to live somewhere he’s never lived before. He grabs some friends and family, packs up his things, and plants a flag in a new place.

It sounds harmless enough — even noble, under the right circumstances. The word suggests a person who marches into a wild place and tells everyone to calm the hell down. Without the settler, the place would be unsettled. He completes it. That’s the idea.

Sometimes nobody lives in the new place. Sometimes a lot of people live there and the settler kills them or kicks them out so he can live there instead.

Sometimes a settler and his friends look suspiciously like an invading army.

When you think of yourself as a good influence, a calming presence, a necessary fixture of a place, it’s easy to rationalize whatever you’re doing there.