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On Tue, 09 Feb 2010 18:51:11 UTC Ashwin Murali (21) answered the Proust Questionnaire (click on a question to read other answers):

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
To have no purpose. To be mediocre and expendable.
Where would you like to live?
Switzerland with an apartment in New York for occasional visits.
What is your idea of earthly happiness?
To have knowledge at my beck and call. To be alone with the company of people I love close-by and sufficiently stocked in food, drink, cigarettes and entertainment.
To what faults do you feel most indulgent?
Arrogance that is justified.
Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?
Great thinkers who acted. Those who were revered and feared all at once.
Who are your favorite characters in history?
Socrates, Alexander, Newton, Einstein, Feynman, Gautama Buddha, Tagore
Who are your favorite heroines in real life?
Women who are fearless, intelligent and fun without trying to become men as they do so
Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?
Jesse Bannon. Most fictional women do not fit my criterion.
Your favorite painter?
Maurits Cornelius Escher
Your favorite musician?
Jonny Greenwood
The quality you most admire in a man?
Intelligence, fortitude, a stoic nature
The quality you most admire in a woman?
Intelligence, fearlessness, honesty
Your favorite virtue?
Your favorite occupation?
Reading, dreaming, writing, theorizing.
Who would you have liked to be?
A mixture of Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin's mind, Socrates attitude and Alexander's zeal
Your most marked characteristic?
A false sense of arrogance that shields a deep, insecure and very afraid individual
What do you most value in your friends?
Their ability to tolerate my idiosyncrasies without judgement
What is your principle defect?
Laziness, paranoia, fear of failure
What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes?
To not be where I want to be. I'd end my life.
What would you like to be?
A seeker of answers and great universal truths. A god of knowledge.
What is your favorite color?
Black. White. Red. Hard colors.
What is your favorite flower?
What is your favorite bird?
The Eagle.
Who are your favorite prose writers?
PG Wodehouse, Douglas Adams, Isaac Asimov, Neil Gaiman, Dawkins, Hawking, Guha, Frank Herbert, Kurt Vonnegut...
Who are your favorite poets?
Rudyard Kipling, Edward Lear
Who are your heroes in real life?
Stephen Hawking. Grigori Perelman.
Who are your favorite heroines of history?
What are your favorite names?
Ones that convey a deep meaning.
What is it you most dislike?
Same answer as Proust.
What historical figures do you most despise?
The one's who called themselves great and built monuments to themselves.
What event in military history do you most admire?
Alexander's defeat of the Persian Army. And the Battle of Thermopylae.
What natural gift would you most like to possess?
Will power, irresistible charm, good looks and a quick mind.
How would you like to die?
What is your present state of mind?
Same as Proust. Also irritation that I have become someone I despise.
What is your motto?
An unexamined life is not worth living - Socrates.


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