The author's wife continually accuses your interlocutor of being a butterfly. He is said to pick up a new interest, insanely obsess about it (ordering books, reading articles, immersing himself) for .. oh, a few weeks ... until the next big thing comes up and, magpie-like, he moves on.
I naturally deprecate this characterisation but how to disprove it? Time to ask an artificial intelligence. Here is the transcript of my query to the mighty and powerful SWI-Prolog system.
/* Is Nigel a butterfly? */
interests(Person,List) :- findall(Topic,likes(Person,Topic),List).
obsessive(Person) :- interests(Person,L),length(L,N),N=<2.
butterfly(Person) :- not(obsessive(Person)).
Welcome to SWI-Prolog (Multi-threaded, 32 bits, Version 7.2.2)
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For help, use ?- help(Topic). or ?- apropos(Word).
1 ?- interests(nigel, L).
L = [physics, prolog, genetics, politics, cosmology].
2 ?- obsessive(nigel).
3 ?- butterfly(nigel).
I am abashed, but what can I do? Clare was right after all: computer says yes ...