“I won’t send a picture of myself since Answers is meant to be confidential but here is a picture of my great-grandfather taken in about 1908 because people say I look more like him every passing year. He was then about the same age I am now.”
Every so often we come across Answers users who are so wonderful we have to share them with you all as a Featured User. So meet Victor: author and expert contributor with a nearly 70% Best Answer percentage who’s been with us since spring ‘06. Why did he join? He saw someone write that recession and inflation were the same thing. And when someone else answered that the French Revolution came before American Independence, well, he had to step in. Answers has been the better for it ever since.
Some great Answers by Victor:
- How did Napoleon’s downfall lead to his death?
- How long is it going to take for the economy to completely fail?
- What does the expression ‘economies of scale’ pertain to?
- Was the enlightenment period a positive or negative influence on Europe?
- In Physics why does equation E = MC2 use the square function?
Yahoo! Answers Team: What do you enjoy about answering?
Victor: “Two parts to it. First, I like to think that my answers are interesting and may be helpful for someone who needs to know. Secondly, it’s a kind of competition with myself: how much do I know about this subject that I can write down? I’m willingly ignorant about some things and wouldn’t ever answer on those, but some subjects are very close to my head and heart, and I stick to those.”
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Where are you based?
“I spend about half the year in South London and the rest at Igatpuri, Maharashtra, India because my wife is Indian and there is a big family there. Although I’ve worked in education and the Civil Service, I’m self employed now, so I can find work in both places and India is nicer than UK between November and April. At this moment, therefore, I’m at Igatpuri which is 19 deg N of the Equator and about 73 deg E of London.”
You seem to answer in some quite diverse categories, such as history, economics and mathematics – can you explain a little about your interest in these areas?
“I went to university in the early 1960s and studied mathematics and economics, and then did a Masters 15 years later in management sciences [maths in business and engineering]. I’ve written books on these subjects. However, my real intellectual love is history and I’ve studied that formally and informally since childhood – but you can’t make a living from it! I did a minor in my BA in history, especially the development of government and democracy in Europe and N America. As you see, I’ve a big interest in a range of subjects and special knowledge is some of them.”
Does work, education or your own personal experiences inform your choice answering?
“Mostly, I answer from personal knowledge or from academic research interests. If a question is about business, management or government then I can answer from experience, and the same goes for maths and economic theory. History involves judgement as well as knowledge and I try to bring both into my answers. For a time, some weeks ago, I was a Top Contributor in History but then that status was removed. I don’t know why or if the removal indicates something I’ve done wrong.”
Can you tell me more about where you live (some of the year) in India?
“Igatpuri, to be honest, has been a rail station and truck stop until this past 5 years. Now it’s a boom town because of the dual carriageway highway from Mumbai to Nashik, and the opening of the big Mahindra diesel engine plant. The town is a pilgrimage centre because of the Vipissanar meditation centre and ashram, and the old temple of Ghatendevi (goddess of the mountain). Attached are two images with names to indicate which is which. The elephant statues at Ghatendevi are carved out of wood and covered in stucco, which is whitened each year.”
“The town is located at about 1300 metres (4400 ft) above sea level and the mountains behind the town rise to about 1900 metres (6000 ft). Igatpuri is in the Nashik District of Maharashtra, which is the centre of the Indian wine-making industry and produces some very fine vintages, similar in style to California and some Australian types. See, for example www.tigerhillvineyards.com.”
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