Sunday, December 09, 2007

Seven Things About Me

I was recently tagged by the Clues Academy with the "Seven Facts You Don't Already Know about Me" meme. This was a good thing in some ways. It was particularly good to hear that there are other atheist libertarians out there and that some of them are out and proud. May this particular meme continue to grow!

It wasn't such a good thing in that with a little introspection, I realised that regular readers of this blog would already know about the bits I regard as interesting and open to the public, that the really juicy bits would have to remain a matter for pillow talk only and that the rest was too boring to blog.

However, in the hope that there is just a little bit of slack in the above, here goes:

Seven facts that you may not already know about me:

1. My book of the year, without a doubt, is Richard Dawkins' God Delusion, the essence of which is conveyed very effectively in this TED Talk. Both of these give me the kick I need to stop faffing around and declare my atheism with pride. As with all good ideas that I truly treasure, the theories in the "God Delusion" carry explanatory force. They are not contradictory. They match the evidence. They fit with other good explanations and in Dawkins' scheme of things, you don't even have to declare the infallibility of your atheism in order to call yourself an atheist. So phew - atheism can be said to be compatible with the acknowledgment of the tentative nature of knowledge!

There are only two slightly substandard sentences and a couple of dodgy sentiments in this book, and you only notice them as the rest of it is so peerlessly written and so powerfully argued.

2. My moment of the year: attending the birth of someone so precious to me. Seeing her strength. Feeling so good that I didn't get to hold baby for about 12 hours, cos mum didn't see the need to let go of her. Seeing all the skills of proper parenting coming back home to rest. Realising that my own parenting skills are now good and proper in many regards. Feeling proud that we have, with the help of so many people and organisations, learned these skills.

3. Another huge moment: the birth of another miracle baby: a child born against so many odds it is even now, two months later, hard to believe she actually made it here. A beautiful soul who babbles away with amazing virtuosity.

4. I've spent a significant amount of this year being blown away by the things DH gets up to. Walking into a room where he had been working, and thinking "how on earth did you manage that!" Being so perennially grateful that he has such pronounced skills in so many areas where I have none at all, not least in being a huge risk taker. Bother, have just bitten a nail.

5. Our TV programme of the year? Scrubs. It is a huge common preference in our household. I think the children started to watch it since it works on so many levels. They started out enjoying the physical comedy, but they quickly started to derive a huge amount from the more complex parts, such as the insights into human nature and the frequent perfection of the plotting. You forgive the lapses into sentimentality, cos the characters are believably sentimental. Humans are, I guess - witness the two dodgy sentences in the "God Delusion" and of course there's this post...yup, I shan't forget walking on on Dd whilst she was practicing her dancing in front of the computer, courtesy of a master of fun dance, Dr Turkleton himself.

6. Talking of spilling effortlessly into the sentimental, I shall also never forget hearing Ds patiently and good humouredly repeating the phrase "splendid old chap", even if his version didn't exactly carry the precise timbre that could have been expected by his American interlocutors. I shall also not forget hearing him explaining for the umpteenth time that quite a few Brits, himself included, actually have very good, clean, straight teeth. Funnily enough, I think his education so international that I am surprised that people realise he is English at all.

On a related point, he talks and types and completes seemingly impossible tasks so quickly, that I wonder what education in the information age is doing to his mind.

7. I haven't done a sudoku puzzle in a month, though I still wake up in the middle of the night to do a Kakuro puzzle. I don't know which comes first. The insomnia or the Kakuro.

Ignoring the rules of the meme...tag yourself if you want to!


Anonymous said...

Similarly to Darwin, as described by Dawkins in his brilliant TED talk, I refer to myself most frequently as an agnostic, since we cannot ever know... even if a teapotistic (or whatever he called it) is highly unlikely and being an outright teapotist is more reasonable! (one of the lovely examples he gave)

But need to finish God Delusion myself and will perhaps change my mind later.


Carlotta said... could. Dawkins is clear...we cannot prove a negative, therefore it is possible to call yourself an atheist without certainty.

Go for it, I'd say. It actually feels good!

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