Tom Addison was born in Wythenshawe, Manchester, on 4 March 1987. One of seven children (father twice married), he grew up in Knutsford, Cheshire, before going to Nottingham Trent University and graduating with a degree in Economics (BA) in 2008. He has lived in Salford since April 2010 and worked as an auditor at a large accountancy firm since October 2009, studying towards his ACA qualification. Tom writes for Truly Reds, a Manchester United fans blog, and is season ticket holder at the club.
Why do you blog? > To raise awareness of, and bring together other people's ideas, philosophies and opinions about, football in order to stimulate intelligent debate about the sport, thus improving my and other people's understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of the game.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Managing to put together an article that applied many of the ideas proposed in Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics to football.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > Writing a rather stern (and purposefully biased) anti-Liverpool article that had a sizeable factual error in it that many critics pounced upon and tried to use to invalidate my entire argument. Got loads of hits for the site though!
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Know what your area of expertise is and who your target audience are. Appreciate the limits of your own knowledge and the possible extent of other people's. Do plenty of research and planning for each article you write, trying to anticipate what readers' criticisms and responses will be. Network and make friends and contacts, helping one another out.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > John Maynard Keynes, Bertrand Russell, Nassim Taleb and Johan Cruyff.
What are you reading at the moment? > Futebol: The Brazilian Way of Life by Alex Bellos.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > Even though I studied it at school, To Kill a Mockingbird.
What is your favourite movie? > It's a close call between The Godfather, The Lives of Others, Casablanca... and Rocky II.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > That the less and more fortunate in life may be the victims and beneficiaries of circumstance and luck, rather than being directly responsible for the situation they find themselves in.
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, as it helped me appreciate the significance of luck and our inability to predict the future in life, and also how our cognitive biases and inherent psychological characteristics try to prevent us from realizing and appreciating this.
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > 'The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.' (Bertrand Russell)
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > Make investment in science, technology and R&D as big a priority as healthcare, education and defence.
If you could choose anyone, from any walk of life, to be Prime Minister, who would you choose? > Brian Cox (the physicist).
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > Religious fundamentalism and the lust for success and status. As Ben Okri said, success justifies greed, and greed justifies indifference to our fellow man.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > Because of the seemingly relentless march of technological innovation and liberalization of the attitudes of society, I believe the best is yet to come. The human race seems to possess a canny ability for solving any problem that is placed in front of it.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > 'An individual cannot start living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.' (Martin Luther King Jr)
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, because I think what's more important is how the person has reached those views. Have they reached their beliefs out of a desire to help others, or a desire to help themselves? Did they embark upon open-minded inquisitiveness, or close-minded prejudice?
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Compassion for the welfare of other people, and the ability to appreciate our individual insignificance.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Pride and ignorance.
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Crosswords.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > Above a pub around the Old Trafford area.
What would your ideal holiday be? > Travelling around Europe and South America, experiencing numerous iconic football matches with the local supporters.
What is your most treasured possession? > My computer, the gateway to so much knowledge.
What talent would you most like to have? > Hendrix-like guitar skills.
What would be your ideal choice of alternative profession or job? > If I had the brains, theoretical physicist. Seeing as I think I don't, football writer (no offence to football writers).
Who are your sporting heroes? > Football: Eric Cantona, Peter Schmeichel, Paul Scholes, Zinedine Zidane, Dimitar Berbatov, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Andrés Iniesta. Non-Football: Boris Becker, Damon Hill, Roger Federer, Steve Redgrave.
If you could have one (more or less realistic) wish come true, what would you wish for? > For the Glazers to leave Manchester United and be replaced by morally responsible owners who appreciate and set out to fulfil the wants and needs of the fans, understanding the social responsibility of the local institution that is a football club.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > John Maynard Keynes, Karl Marx and Milton Friedman. Don't think I'd get much of a word in though.
If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to? > Lance-Uppercut.
[The normblog profile is a Friday morning feature. A list of all the profiles to date, and the links to them, can be found here.]