Carlotta was born in the UK and spent a productive time at primary school and an unproductive time at secondary school. After university and a number of jobs, ranging from publishing and librarianship to nursing and ethics committee work, she married, had her first child and realised that despite everything she had been told about the importance of holding down a good (or, at the very least, some sort of) profession, her child was not of that opinion: he didn't like her going back to work and was suffering for it. From that point on, most of Carlotta's assumptions about how the universe functioned started to unravel. She and her family now home educate in the west of England. Carlotta blogs at Dare to Know.
Why do you blog? > It looked like a chance to check that I hadn't got entirely lost along the way, though this hasn't panned out quite yet. People either think I'm so completely off the wall that there's clearly no point explaining why this is the case, or else they are situated on nearly exactly the same spot on exactly the same planet, though we're collectively not quite sure which one.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Waking up, through linking, to the scale of magnitude of truly amazing blogs out there.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > Ditto.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > To home educating and other family novice bloggers in particular, this question. Is revealing the identity of your family strictly necessary? If so, have you got their consent?
Who are your intellectual heroes? > Karl Popper, William Godwin, David Deutsch, F. A. von Hayek and David Friedman.
Who are your cultural heroes? > Viktor Frankl, Kingsley Amis, Lt Colonel Henry Blake.
Who is your favourite composer? > Bach or Chopin, can't decide.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > I've moved from a fundamentalist religious background, through a relativistic and post-modern patch, to a position of humanistic critical rationalism, so I could indeed name a number of major issues, but it might take quite a while.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > That coercion, defined as being forced to enact a theory that is not active in the mind, results in the limitation of rationality and creativity.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > Scientism or moral relativism - more indecision.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > The Fabric of Reality by David Deutsch, for its theories about deep strands of knowledge: computation, evolution, quantum theory of multiverses and the critical rationalist theories of knowledge.
Who are your political heroes? > Anyone who attempts to refrain from taking more power than is due. George Washington, I suppose.
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > 'Don't let school get in the way of your education.'
What would you do with the UN? > Let it flounder about for a bit till it completely ties itself up in knots and eventually hangs itself.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > The inability of educators to free themselves from coercive forms of education, which leads to second-rate thinking and fundamentalism rather than rational enactment of autonomy.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > I'd like to say the best is yet to come, but to be honest, I do worry about asteroids.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > Be truth-seeking.
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? > No.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > An inclination towards fallibilistic truth-seeking.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Authoritarianism.
In what circumstances would you be willing to lie? > Lie when the cost/benefit analysis doesn't seem to stack up the right way.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > Given the chance, I think I might have done a google search on parallel universes, to see if there's a me who's doing significantly better, and if so I'd pop down the nearest available wormhole.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > A peaceful Israel.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Carrying on arguing with people.
What talent would you most like to have? > To be able to do really great forward flips.
What would be your ideal choice of alternative profession or job? > It's difficult to think because I love doing what I'm doing, that is, home educating. Actually, wait: I harbour thoughts about trying to be a humanist celebrant.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > Peter Cook, but only live or uncut, which presents some difficulties.
Who are your sporting heroes? > As I know them relatively intimately, some members of my own family: my grandfather, my mother and my brother all played for international teams of one kind or another and they've talked me through this experience from the inside. Brother in particular helped me realise that co-ordination in space/time is a true art form.
If you could have one (more or less realistic) wish come true, what would you wish for? > Greater freedom in education.
[The normblog profile is a weekly Friday morning feature. A list of all the profiles to date, and the links to them, can be found here.]