Dave Weeden was born in Edinburgh a shockingly long time ago, and has been in denial about 'adulthood' since his teens finished without him. He admits to being unable to write anything witty about himself when under pressure to do so. He now lives in Cardiff, and has sojourned in London. He cannot recall ever being mistaken for anyone famous. Dave blogs at Backword.
Why do you blog? > It's a way of keeping political arguments between me and the very few people who want to have such arguments, rather than with the great majority who don't.
What has been your best blogging experience? > I think being called 'Traitor scum' by someone who wisely decided to remain anonymous.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > Being continually asked when I'm going to program working comments. Soon (as I've been saying for the past 15 months).
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Snark comes back at you. I read once that Bertrand Russell wrote in some review that Godel believed in a Platonic heaven where you could actually meet the number 3. When Godel heard that, he's supposed to have said something like, 'I don't think that at all, but I always thought Russell did.' Be careful what motives and intentions you ascribe to others.
What are your favourite blogs? > Rather than name favourite blogs, I'd rather say that I consider Katherine's Maher Arar series on Obsidian Wings the most important journalistic endeavour of the past few years.
What are you reading at the moment? > Ken MacLeod's Cosmonaut Keep, Hunter S, Thompson's Kingdom of Fear, Asne Seierstad's The Bookseller of Kabul, and Richard Rorty's Philosophy and Social Hope.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > This week it's Nineteen Eighty-Four, but it's very much a mood thing.
What is your favourite poem? > The Waste Land.
What is your favourite movie? > Apocalypse Now.
Who is your favourite composer? > Beethoven.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > The proper answer is obviously 'Yes', but I can't think of anything where I used to be on one end of the spectrum and am now on the other. I did realize that mobile phone users weren't all apes when I got one myself, though.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > Be excellent to each other.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > That's there a big guy in the sky who cares which end you open your eggs.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > Koestler's Reflections on Hanging. I was probably anti-capital punishment before I read it, but far more weakly than I am now.
Who are your political heroes? > Politicians! Fah!
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > 'I am always asking myself, "Why is this lying bastard lying to me?"' - Jeremy Paxman on interviewing politicians.
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > I think I'd restrict election to Parliment to those over 35, and insist that there are other careers for aspiring politicians than journalism, the law and political party research.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > George W. Bush.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > I hope the latter, but it looks an awful lot like the former to me.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > 'Keep a clean head and always carry a light bulb.'
Do you think you could ever be married to, or in a long-term relationship with, someone with radically different political views from your own? > Nah.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Compassion, empathy, basic understanding of others.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Not reading.
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > Politicians.
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Blogging certainly is. Fortunately, it hasn't caught on.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > Can I start with different parents?
Who would play you in the movie about your life? > Jason Alexander.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > West Coast USA, barring LA. Probably Oregon: fresh air, decent beer and very few Republicans.
Who are your sporting heroes? > Lance Armstrong, Haile Gebreselassie, Emil Zatopek and Seb Coe.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > Nietzsche, Shelley and Pythagoras (all vegetarians).
What animal would you most like to be? > I'm happy enough to be human.