Thursday, 24 July 2008

Home truths

The author Michael Kimball has granted me the honour of writing my life story.  He's a bit short of time though, so he did it on the back of a postcard.  Actually it's part of his Postcard Life Stories project which may eventually be turned into a book.  You can read everything there is to know about me here.

In other news, I have started reading again.  I cycle endlessly between reading and not reading, each period lasting about three months.  Whenever I fall out of the habit, I instantly seem to forget just how beneficial it is.  When I first started reading aged fifteen, I devoured nothing but classics; Thomas Hardy, the Brontës, Jane Austen.  Then I bridged the gap with Graham Greene, who remains my favourite novelist, before moving on to contemporary fiction.  More recently it has been biographies that tickle my fancy, but my latest love is for science.  Not science fiction, but real science.  Suddenly I feel like that Paul Whitehouse character - "Int science brilliant!  There's all this stuff, right, that people prove by trying to disprove it.  If they can't disprove it, it's like a proper fact.  Brilliant!"  I have a moderate obsession with Richard Dawkins right now.  He gets pigeon-holed as a militant atheist, but he knows other stuff too!  I'm just a sucker for things that make you lose yourself in wonder.  Such as, if it were possible to fold a sheet of newspaper over on itself 100 times, how thick would the resultant wad of paper be?  I thought maybe a metre or two, but the answer is that it would be as wide as the known universe (about 12 billion light years).  Wow!  Geeks like me are really impressed with stuff like that.  We can't help sharing it.  I'm also developing a healthy scepticism for all things supernatural and learning to accept that even the wildest coincidences have no significance whatsoever.  It's amazing how much bullshit we swallow from people who convince us that perfectly ordinary things have deep spiritual meanings.  The most remarkable thing about thinking scientifically is that far from robbing life of mystery, it makes it ten times more amazing.  Believing in the paranormal used to intrigue me, but casting it aside and revelling in what's around us is immeasurably more satisfying.  Every night I can't wait to read more, learn something new about this world we live in.  The truth isn't just stranger than fiction, it kicks fiction's imaginary arse.


Ariane said...

He didn't even scratch the surface! What about you being a kind and loyal friend, caring for animals, being very close to your Mum, loving music, science and all aspects of creativity, being a devoted football follower and very talented webcomic designer?

I know he didn't have much space, but those things constitute 'life' and are much more important than mere bare facts. Graham - you are far more than the sum of your parts.

Josh said...

To see your life 'summed' up on the back of a postcard? I don't think that's possible, for everything you put in there must be thousands you leave out.

Science it brilliant! Never stop learning I say.