Gavin Sheridan is from Cork in Ireland. After studying philosophy for two years in Dublin, he abandoned ship and worked as a barman and sometime freelance journalist. He then worked as an IT technical writer, where he discovered blogging, beginning his blog in July 2002. He moved to London in 2003, interned at the New Statesman, and moved back to Cork in 2004. Later he decided to return to university, during which time he was also employed as a production journalist for the Irish Examiner. Gavin graduated in 2008 from University College Cork, with joint honours in History and Politics. He still blogs at Gavin's Blog, and also at Public Enquiry and Irish Election. He experiments with social media and new media, and is fond of the odd pint of Beamish.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Meeting the people behind the blogs I read, from all over the world. Or just meeting bloggers. Always genuine, always open, and always welcoming. The connections you make blogging make it all worthwhile.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > I can't say I've had one.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Be consistent, be regular, be genuine, be communicative, respond, debate, engage, converse. Be open to ideas you don't agree with. You will get out of blogging exactly how much you put into it, or more even.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > Karl Popper would be up there. I read Conjectures and Refutations when I was 18 and was blown away by his writing style. He makes philosophy easy, and writes devastating critiques of Plato and Marx. After that it would be Bertrand Russell and Daniel Dennett.
What are you reading at the moment? > The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It by Jonathan Zittrain.
What is your favourite poem? > 'Ephemera' by W.B. Yeats.
What is your favourite movie? > Hmmm. Olivier, Olivier, directed by Agnieszka Holland.
What is your favourite song? > 'The Pool Song', performed by Jimmy Crowley, written by Con O'Drisceoil.
Who is your favourite composer? > Mozart, followed closely by Gustav Mahler.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > I guess my shift from left to right of centre on matters economic.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > Confessions of a Philosopher by Bryan Magee, when I was a teenager, impacted on my views of the world and helped me relate my search for knowledge to another person. Descartes to a lesser extent.
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > Root and branch reform of the entire political system: a switch away from PR STV, a more productive method of corruption investigation, a complete reform of the Dail and Seanad, hopefully leading to some form or transparency and accountability - something we have lacked at least since the 1970s.
What would you do with the UN? > Reform it to reflect a non-Post-War era, perhaps better reflecting population trends right now, rather than who won the Second World War.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > The same things that have always threatened peace and security: greed and power. The nature of humanity has not changed, and chances are there will be another significant symmetrical war (perhaps resource based) within my lifetime.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > The best is yet to come, if we manage to survive past the use of nuclear weapons again.
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? > Yes, I could.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Honesty.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > Hindsight is 20x20, so I don't think it's possible to answer - but generally, no.
Who would play you in the movie about your life? > Matt Damon. Ha ha.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > Washington DC.
What would your ideal holiday be? > Somewhere warm, with lots of history, museums and places to look around and explore.
What is your most treasured possession? > My MacBook Pro, late 2008.
What talent would you most like to have? > Being able to sing.
What would be your ideal choice of alternative profession or job? > Stock trader.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > Bill Hicks.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > More travel, more comfortable life, more activities, but keep working on many of the things I am working on at the moment (though not necessarily as an employee).
What animal would you most like to be? > A cat.
[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.]