Joe Gremillion was born in the late 1960s, grew up in New Orleans and graduated from Louisiana State University with a bachelors in Mechanical Engineering. He's spent his career working for an oilfield service company which is alternately fascinating and maddening work. Joe currently lives in northern Italy and blogs at Coonass in Italy.
Why do you blog? > I started blogging as part of a running argument with a co-worker about the Iraq war when office policy banned political discussions via email. I've continued with a sparse 'Where am I now and what am I thinking?' journal that is generally just snark from the cheap seats.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Blogging about Katrina. Watching that disaster unfold with most of my family in the storm's path was terrible, but at least the small amount of blogging I did enabled me not to pop from tension.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > Spending more than two minutes on writing something and getting zero comments. (I used to think that getting no comments or links was a bad thing, but now it's equivalent to singing in the shower. No one is listening so I'm always Frank Sinatra.)
Who are your intellectual heroes? > Barbara Tuchman, Winston Churchill.
What are you reading at the moment? > War of Honor by David Weber and Collapse by Jared Diamond.
Who are your cultural heroes? > Robert Heinlein.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > The Forever War by Joe Haldeman.
What is your favourite movie? > Let it Ride with Richard Dreyfus.
What is your favourite song? > 'Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress' by the Hollies.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > When I was a freshman at university, I was arguing why we should support South Africa against Communism until a friend explained apartheid to me. Doh.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > Freedom. Freedom to succeed, freedom to fail, is what drives the few people that really succeed towards a goal. When no one can fail, the rate of success will go down.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > Equal outcomes instead of equal opportunity.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > The Black Swan. I read it and it affected the way I see planning and decision making; now, where I used to see unexplained failures in a statistical universe, I see black swans.
Who are your political heroes? > Winston Churchill, Abe Lincoln.
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > A return to federalism: get the federal government out of everything except trade and national defence.
If you could choose anyone, from any walk of life, to be President, who would you choose? > Jerry Pournelle.
What would you do with the UN? > Move them to Sierra Leone or Rwanda.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > Human nature. Wolves attack, sheep cower. Sheep see a sheep dog and scream 'wolf'. It never ends - the wolves among us attack, sheep dogs defend until they are forced to convert to sheep, then the wolves attack again. (Mangled metaphor, sorry.)
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > I think much better is possible, but the window is closing on whether it is achievable. If we don't get off the planet and away from the idea of limited energy we'll swirl down the drain as cheap energy goes away with oil production.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Keeping your word.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Dishonesty without reason.
In what circumstances would you be willing to lie? > To protect family, or someone's feelings, or to get good seats for a basketball game.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > Study more or study less.
Who would play you in the movie about your life? > The actor who plays George in Seinfeld.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > Santa Fe, New Mexico.
What would your ideal holiday be? > In Aruba, drinking on the beach during the day, and in the casino at night.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Reading, computer games, movies.
What is your most treasured possession? > Backup of digital photos.
What talent would you most like to have? > To be able to write fiction.
What would be your ideal choice of alternative profession or job? > Alternative energy contractor.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > Robin Williams.
Which football team do you support? > New Orleans Saints.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > I'd quit my job and start an alternative energy business.
[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.]