Matthew Yglesias was born and raised in New York City. He started the first version of his blog way back in January 2002 when he was a junior at Harvard. Since graduating, he's worked and blogged in various capacities for The American Prospect, Talking Points Memo, The Atlantic, and now - at Yglesias - the Center for American Progress where he's a Fellow. Matthew's first book, Heads in the Sand, was published in May 2008. He lives in Washington, DC.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Getting to know so many new and fascinating people.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Specialize! I'm a generalist, but that'd be hard to pull off in the more mature blogosphere of 2009. Focus on something, and be great at it.
What are you reading at the moment? > Justin Fox's The Myth of the Rational Market.
Who are your cultural heroes? > The Clash, Dostoevsky, René Magritte, Wallace Stevens.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > Crime and Punishment.
What is your favourite poem? > 'The Snow Man' by Wallace Stevens.
What is your favourite movie? > Blade Runner.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > Capital punishment, used to be for it; now I'm not.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > That selfishness is more rational than benevolence.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > There are plenty, but recently Gregory Clark's A Farewell to Alms, which for me put the problem of growth and development in a whole new light.
Who are your political heroes? > Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Norman Thomas.
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > 'All politics is local.'
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > Serious reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
If you could choose anyone, from any walk of life, to be President, who would you choose? > I think Obama's the right man for the job.
What would you do with the UN? > Expand Security Council membership and end the unilateral veto; but domestic political change in China would do more to change the UN than any institutional reform.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > The spread of nuclear weapons.
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.
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? > I doubt it.
In what circumstances would you be willing to lie? > Like most people, I'm pretty sure I've been known to lie simply to avoid embarrassment or awkward situations; probably not the best reason.
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > I don't like businesspeople.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > A lot! A person with no regrets isn't thinking very clearly.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > I always say Portland, Oregon, but I've never actually been there.
What would your ideal holiday be? > Taking the time to explore a new city in a relaxed way.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Watch movies and sports, cook, share a beer or two with friends; whenever possible I like to travel.
What is your most treasured possession? > Blogger that I am, I think I'll go with my MacBook.
What talent would you most like to have? > I wish I could draw.
What would be your ideal choice of alternative profession or job? > Probably something professorial in nature.
Which basketball team do you support? > Washington Wizards.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > I'd travel more and buy some more expensive stuff.
[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.]