Patchen Barss: Proust Questionnaire

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What is your ideal living environment?
Warmth, quiet and light during the day, unpolluted view of the cosmos at night.

Where is your favourite place to visit, virtual or real?
I love to go anywhere I’ve never been before, but northern India is the place that draws me back again and again.

What are your favourite simple pleasures in this modern world?
Lazy meals and time for music and conversation.

What person, place or thing would you revive from the past?
The philosophy of William Morris, that our tools should be beautiful as well as functional.

What do you embrace now that you never thought you would?
Exercise.

What is something you would love to be able to do in the future that you can’t do now?
Visit outer space.

Would you like to live forever?
I will never be ready to die.

Who has impacted your thoughts the most lately?
Quantum physicists and field theorists – they’re causing me to view the physical world as a mere mathematical notion.

Which celebrity or public figure deserves their iconic status and why?
Jad Abumrad, the host of NPR’s Radiolab. He sets a new standard for storytelling and I wish there were a dozen more shows as compelling and beautiful as his.

The book, the movie or the video game?
I want it to be the video game, but I fear my brain architecture is still better suited to the book.

What fills you with gratitude?
The needless and extravagant beauty of the natural world.

Do you see flaws as part being human, or as something to overcome?
Inherently human.

If you were being gentle with yourself, what would you forgive?
My terrible, terrible memory for names and faces.

What is your loftiest wish for yourself or the world?
Peace and quiet for us all.

Watch the interview with Patchen Barss, and read his full bio

 

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