Richard Sanderson was born in 1960. He is originally from Middlesbrough, but has lived in London for 24 years. Playing electronics, toys and squeezebox, he has recorded and performed with many experimental musicians. He was a director of London Musicians' Collective for 10 years, and ran several clubs promoting left-field music. He dances with Blackheath Morris Men. In 2005, together with Neil Denny, Richard created the 'rationalist' radio show Little Atoms. In 2009 he left the world of paid employment in the music business, and scaled down his other activities to look after his two young children. He blogs at Baggage Reclaim.
Why do you blog? > For multiple reasons – to comment on politics and cultural matters, to promote my own music, to discuss local issues and events, and to provide an archive of what I used to obsess about. I also use it for social networking, where it has proved to be far more effective than Facebook and MySpace for keeping in touch with old friends and like minds.
What has been your best blogging experience? > When I've posted something I feel strongly about, but haven't seen said elsewhere - and then found the comments boxes filling with people agreeing with me. It doesn't happen very often.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > Taking on the 9/11 and 7/7 conspiracy idiots. What a completely depressing waste of time and energy that was.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Don't feel you only have to write about one subject, keep it open and develop a personality. Try to reply to comments; it keeps readers engaged and coming back.
What are your favourite blogs? > Harry's Place was the first blog I ever read regularly. It was the spur to starting my own blog, and to creating Little Atoms. Paulie's sublime Never Trust A Hippy is a model of an intelligent and readable political blog. Transpontine provides a fascinating and well-researched alternative perspective on the area I choose to live in (South East London).
Who are your intellectual heroes? > A.C. Grayling, Christopher Hitchens, George Orwell, Polly Toynbee.
What are you reading at the moment? > The Rottweiler by Ruth Rendell (the first one I've read by her to disappoint me actually) and Young Hearts Run Free by Dave Haslam.
Who are your cultural heroes? > John Butcher (saxophonist), Bela Tarr, J.G. Ballard, Martin Parr, Martin Carthy, Brian Wilson.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > Ulysses by James Joyce. It's the one I keep coming back to, and there's always more to find in it. It's also experimental and life-affirming, a combination found all too rarely.
What is your favourite poem? > 'Heliographer' by Don Paterson.
What is your favourite movie? > 2001: A Space Odyssey.
What is your favourite song? > 'Green Coaster' By The High Llamas.
Who is your favourite composer? > 'Trad.'
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > It seems absurd that I even have to say it, but... Democracy.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > Cultural Relativism.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > Carl Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World encapsulated for me all the doubts I had about pseudo-science and the other assorted flim-flammery that seemed to go unquestioned in the 'alternative' arts world I used to be a part of. It led directly to a shift of emphasis on the radio programmes I presented, and to a lot of arguments with friends. I haven't looked back.
Who are your political heroes? > Tony Blair and Nick Cohen!
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > Harold Wilson's famous line on Tony Benn: 'He immatures with age.'
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > Stop giving public money to religious schools.
If you could choose anyone, from any walk of life, to be Prime Minister, who would you choose? > Polly Toynbee.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > Religious fundamentalism of all stripes.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > It will get better, I'm convinced. If I didn't feel that, I'd find it very hard to carry on. I'm a terrible Pollyanna.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > Try to spend more time finding points to agree on, rather than concentrating on differences.
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 commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Going to the gym. Morris Dancing has a similar effect on your body, but is a lot more fun - and you get to go to the pub afterwards.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > That I may have behaved like an obnoxious idiot.
Who would play you in the movie about your life? > Anthony Perkins.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > Within 'The Culture' from Iain M. Banks's novels.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > I now have two small children under four, so I have very little spare time. However, in the snatched moments I get, I like playing and listening to music, morris dancing, and talking to and meeting friends for a beer. Oh, and fannying about on the internet.
What is your most treasured possession? > My Hohner Pokerwork Melodeon.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > Max Wall.
[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.]