14 February, 2021
In the later 1800s, the confession album was a popular fixture in British culture. The name had nothing to do with people's deepest, darkest secrets, though the "confessions" within were of a somewhat personal and revealing nature. It gained prominence for about fifty years, before falling (well, mostly) out of fashion.
Like so many cultural elements of years bygone, today the confession album has fallen out largely out of usage. It only really survives in two forms: the Proust Questionnaire used for interviews with the famous and distinguished, and in the Netherlands and Germany, books for little kids.
But I see no reason for it to stay that way - self-reflection is a quality just as valuable in adults as well, and celebrities are in the greater scheme of things no more important than the common man. Plus, it's a great way of discovering what kind of person someone is - or at least what kind of person the want to be or think they are.
I've taken the liberty of assembling my own list of questions here, with my answers.1 Feel free to use it, so long as you provide attribution.
|Favourite virtue||Selflessness, honesty|
|Chief purpose in life||To make the world a better place, to enjoy life, to create|
|Greatest challenge in life||To define oneself|
|Personal idea of happiness||A nice book next to a fireplace; lack of worries|
|Personal idea of misery||Losing your sense of self|
|Vice you excuse most||Pride|
|Vice you hate most||Selfishness, dishonesty|
|Principal personal vice||Pride|
|Best test of character||How someone treats those in need, or that society looks down upon2|
|Favourite writer||Douglas Adams|
|Favourite visual artist||Albrecht Durer|
|Favourite medium of art||Illustration, 2D animation, electronic music|
|Favourite hero3||Stanislav Petrov|
|Favourite food||Anything sweet, sausage rolls|
|Favourite flower||Pohutukawa, hibiscus|
|Favourite ice cream flavour||Cookies and cream|
|Favourite potato chip flavour||Chicken (reasonably common in New Zealand)|
|Favourite motto||Lucem porta in tenebris, John 8:324|
|Favourite academic discipline||Psychology, computer science, history|
|Personal theme song||"In The End" by Röyksopp|
|Dream home||A wooden hut in the woods, with nobody else around for miles|
|Trolley problem5||Pull the lever|
|Cat or dog person||Cat, but I like both|
|Weirdness or blandness||Weirdness, by a country mile|
Of course, excluding people who have done legitimately done horrible things, like serial killers. You could argue that morals are societal, but that's beyond the scope of this. ↩
This can be either real or fictional - or both. ↩
I'm not a Christian; I just like the quote ↩