Scott Burgess grew up in New Orleans, where he necessarily became a hedonist, as is legally required there. His childhood and early adolescence saw him being shunted from would-be hippie, McGovern-liberal parents to fundamentalist Christian grandparents, thus creating an interesting worldview - one which ultimately rejected both belief systems. An undergraduate career at the University of Chicago established him as a pedant of the highest order. After a series of failed career moves, he married well and moved to London in 1998, where he now resides with his successful American wife. Scott blogs at The Daily Ablution.
Why do you blog? > To call self-important journalists to task and, more importantly, to display my own self-importance.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Looking back at early posts and realising how much I've improved.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > Looking back at early posts and realising how embarrassing they are.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Add value: don't just repeat what everyone else is saying or pointing to. Post at least every weekday, and publicize yourself relentlessly, but cleverly. And if you can't write, please don't bother.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > George Orwell, Douglas Hofstader (Gödel, Escher, Bach).
What are you reading at the moment? > Kennedy: an Unfinished Life by Robert Dallek.
Who are your cultural heroes? > The Neville Brothers (the New Orleans R&B band, not the Manchester United players).
What is the best novel you've ever read? > Pale Fire, by Vladimir Nabokov.
What is your favourite poem? > 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock'.
What is your favourite movie? > Dr. Strangelove.
What is your favourite song? > 'In My Life', by the Beatles.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > The utter sanctity of the Green movement; the unmitigated evil of nuclear power.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > Religious extremism, primarily radical Islam.
Who are your political heroes? > Walesa, Havel, Gorbachev.
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > 'The people have spoken, the bastards.'
What would you do with the UN? > Expose the graft, malfeasance and hypocrisy therein.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > Islamic terrorists with WMD.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > I'm an optimist - the best is yet to come.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > Enjoy it, but not too much.
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? > Sure, why not? I expect that it would be lots of fun, as long as we avoided spousicide.
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Computer games, most TV programming.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > Deaths of my wife and friends.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Reading in the garden on a summer's day, while listening to Henry Blofeld drone on about pigeons and buses, and drinking Pimm's and soda (not lemonade - that's far too sweet).
What talent would you most like to have? > Savant-like skill at learning languages.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > Ricky Gervais.
Who are your sporting heroes? > Muhammad Ali.
Which English Premiership football team do you support and which baseball team? > Manchester United and the New York Yankees.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > It would lead to retirement and a quiet life in the mountains - probably the Tatras of Poland/Slovakia.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > Jesus, to keep the food and wine bill down (and for the conversation); Hitler (to hear Jesus take him down); Orwell (to write about it).