Better Know a Skeptics: 10 Questions for Brad Leclerc
“Better Know a Skeptic” is a series of articles introducing the members of the Ottawa skeptics by asking ten questions. Feel free to offer up your profile. Details are in the forums.
Screen name: Brad Leclerc (I’m THAT original)
Member Since: Pretty Recently
Chosen quote: “Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.” — Isaac Asimov
1) Briefly describe yourself. What do you do for a living, etc.
I’m an on again/off again freelance writer, podcaster, and generally just a massive computer geek. I like reading (or whatever you call listening to audiobooks) about a number of topics…from science, to philosophy, to law, to classic Victorian literature that has had zombies injected into it.
2) Why are you a “skeptic”? Was there a “wow” moment?
I have an insatiable need to learn everything I can, so once I could get information for myself, it quickly led down the path to understanding that most people were full of crap most of the time. The rest just kinda falls into place on it’s own after that.
When I got my very own Bible, and got to read it at my own pace from cover to cover, it became very clear how different a book it is when you’re quote-mining than when you’re getting the full thing in context. After that there was no turning back from thinking critically about the world around me and working to always have as complete a picture as possible.
3) What are your hobbies/interests?
I’m big into computers and electronic gadgets. I love all things physics (except the math…if that makes any sense). I’m also a bit of a law nut.
4) What are you passionate about at the moment?
Lately for some reason I’ve been on a political bender. My obsession bounces around a lot. Next week I’ll probably be completely engrossed in something completely different from anything I’ve studied before.
5) Do you have a hero? Why him/her?
Anyone who does their best to be intellectually honest and consistent in how they think about the world is my hero.
6) If you could have dinner with 5 people, dead or alive, who would they be and why?
James Randi – Because really, who wouldn’t want to have dinner with Randi?
Carl Sagan – Another given. I’d love to pick his brain on his use of
marijuana, among plenty of other things.
Douglas Adams – My favourite author, would be great to discuss his
skeptical side. I am an avid celebrator of Towel Day.
Steven Fry/Hugh Laurie – Separate they are glorious. Together they are
GENIUS. Plus I just want to say “Soupy Twist” just ONCE and have someone
understand, and that might be my only chance…
Derren Brown – I enjoy a lot of his work, though some is a
bit…er…strange. And his book “Tricks of the Mind” is both a
wonderful book of magic and mentalism, and a great skeptical guide to
thinking about things.
7) Do you have a favourite: album, musician, sports team, movie, TV show, book? (Feel free to list one, some, or all.)
I’m quite fond of “Flight of the Conchords” (The band and the show), the show “Psych”, I enjoy movies of all types, and can’t stand sports.
8) What grinds your gears?
Hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty. Also Steve Carell.
9) Tell me something I don’t know about you.
I am very quite typically, so people tend to think I’m shy. Really it’s just that unless I actually have something to say, I don’t bother saying anything. I’m not much for small talk. Ask me something though, and I will almost certainly answer…possibly to the point of going into TMI territory.
10) Why are we here?
We are here due to the laws of physics that determine how the universe works. As to specifically why humanity is here or something like that…pure dumb luck of the genetic lottery.