Am I The Most Notable David Charles In The Whole Entire Universe?
There’s always a profit, even if it’s not in honey. You’re releasing your bees at half past six in the morning: that’s the time you see deer walking along the ridge. That's all part of the harvest.
And a warm welcome from a febrile workings of an overclocked mind.
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For those of you new to these pages, hello 👋 My name is David and I’m a writer, outdoor instructor and cyclist-at-large with Thighs of Steel. I write stories that help you and me understand the world (and ourselves) a little better.
I had drafted something smart and serious for you this week, but that didn’t make a convivial counterpoint to the rest of my frantic preparations.
So instead here’s something stupid and vain.
And maybe a tiny bit profound.
Welcome to edition 348.
Am I The Most Notable David Charles In The Whole Entire Universe?
This conceited question demands a few boundaries. And, within those boundaries, I think the straightforward answer to this question is yes.
But that’s not the same as the boundless, infinite answer to this question. Which we’ll get onto once I’ve finished stroking my ego.
First, let’s all say a big hello-how-are-you to David Charles:
“David Charles” On The Google Front Page
The world’s biggest creepy crawler (that’s actually quite a clever search engine joke, if you please) seems a reasonable place to start when judging notability in the Internet age.
I searched in private mode and logged out of my Google account, which hopefully mitigated at least some of the bias towards my own search history. (More on that anon, however.)
Once you’ve stripped out the Google Maps and Images results, there are only six pure “David Charles” Google Search results on the front page.
David Charles Residential Sales and Lettings
You’d hope that there is or was a David Charles involved at some point, somewhere, but I’m discounting them because there is no David Charles on their Meet The Team page.
As there isn’t even anyone with the first initial D, nor the second initial C, I fear that they are only trading on our good name. Vampires unworthy of top spot.
David Charles Property Consultants
Seemingly totally unrelated to the residential sales and lettings company, but, again: no sign of anyone actually called David Charles. Founded in 1994 by Peter Amstell.
Given that they’re trading under davidcharles.co.uk, I’m furious.
David Charles Childrenswear
With a head office on Seven Sisters Road, this ‘Iconic British Brand for Luxury Designer Girl’s Dresses’ now has boutiques in Shanghai, Suzhou and St Petersburg.
At least they’re older than me: founded in 1970… by husband and wife team David and Susan Graff. My blood boils.
4. David Charles, Me
Give the first three results, I’m now wondering whether I should double check my birth certificate doesn’t expose my true name, Danglebert Thumpernickel.
5. David Charles, Welsh TV actor
The bastard that snagged davidcharles.biz before I could.
David Charles’s IMDB profile informs us that he has appeared in shows such as Grange Hill, The Bill, Doc Martin, The Crown and something called High Hopes, in which, pleasingly, he played Prince Charles.
Legitimate David Charles? Hard to say for sure because actors union Equity demand uniqueness in name.
I’ve given David Charles the benefit of the doubt because he is Welsh and Charles is a stoutly Welsh surname (although as many as 1 in 28 Grenadians are Charleses).
6. David Charles, Professor of Philosophy and Classics at Yale University
No doubt a notable fan of Aristotle, but, seriously, who’s looking this far down the list?
There was a brief summer where both David Charles and I were engaged at Oxford University: he as professor and I as messenger boy. No wonder he felt like he had to move abroad to make a name for himself.
Among The Weeds
That’s it for the first page on Google, but I can’t help myself diving deeper:
David Charles, psychic who does Youtube readings for the Royal Family and ‘red hot lucky lottery numbers’
David Charles, legal counsel at McKenna & Associates, Pittsburgh
David Charles, Account Executive at Alan Boswell Group, an insurance brokers
David Charles, Head of Risk and Compliance at Calibrate Partners, a wealth management hedge fund
David Charles, Teaching Assistant Professor at EdD, Organizational Change and Leadership, University of Southern California
David Charles, teacher at the University of Havre Normandie with an interest in nineteenth century French literature
David Charles, an internist at a clinic in Rockville, Maryland
David Charles, solicitor at Darby & Darby in Torquay
David Charles, Principal Engineer at Kingfisher IT Services in Olney
David Charles, cofounder / CEO of The Strive Initiative, Pasadena
David Charles, Client & Market Development Manager at Clifford Chance, Frankfurt
David Charles, psychologist in Louisville, Kentucky
And — pass the oxygen — deeper:
David Charles, a farm vet in Derby
David Charles, Programme Director at the Disclosure and Barring Service (I regularly update my DBS certificate — has my paperwork ever crossed his desk?)
David Charles, Head of Climate Action at University of Strathclyde (congratulations on recently handing in your PhD, sir!)
David Charles, Partner at Bickerdike Allen Partners LLP, an architecture and planning company in London
David Charles, an accountant in Glasgow
David Charles of David Charles Ministries, producer of hits like Standout Christian, Thank You Father and God Sent Riddim, with as many as 30 monthly listeners on Spotify
Okay, too deep now.
Or, wait — not deep enough — the CEO and Founder of David Charles Ministries is none other than David Burkley.
What the actual hell? Can everyone just keep their hands off our name, please?
Spitting feathers at the gamesmanship of these masquerading charlatans, I turn my attentions to that bastion of knowledge, Wikipedia, an encyclopaedia with a redoubtable test of notability embedded in its editorial code.
People are presumed notable if they have received significant coverage in multiple published secondary sources that are reliable, intellectually independent of each other, and independent of the subject.
Selecting only the David Charleses who are (probably) still alive, what do we find here?
David Atiba Charles
Retired professional footballer from Trinidad, who was part of the Trinidad & Tobago World Cup squad in 2006. He didn’t get any playing time, but, to be fair, nor did I.
It’s harsh, but I’m ruling him out on the grounds that the ‘Atiba’ seems to be a foundational element of his name.
David Charles and David Charles
Both Australian, the first a retired politician, the other a retired senior civil servant.
Yes! From 13 March 1985 to 19 February 1990 there were not one, but TWO David Charleses serving in the Australian government. I am in awe.
Professor and Vice-Chair of Neurology and Medical Director at Vanderbilt Telehealth, Tennessee.
But — controversy ho! — yet another David Charles imposter.
As you can see from Charles’ latest paper (BDNF rs6265 Genotype Influences Outcomes of Pharmacotherapy and Subthalamic Nucleus Deep Brain Stimulation in Early-Stage Parkinson's Disease), his first initial is actually ‘P’.
British drummer, recording engineer and record producer, most notably for The Charlatans 1997 album Tellin’ Stories. Last active: unknown.
So, in summary: there are six notable and living David Charleses recorded on Wikipedia. Two of them aren’t bone fide David Charleses and another three are, by all accounts, long retired.
The only one who stands is David Charles, our favourite professor of philosophy, who, famously, languishes not one but two places below me in the Google rankings.
The Search Concludes
And I’m afraid that this is where we must call a halt to our search.
Yes, I could plough on through the 48 David Charleses on IMDB. But only two of them are notable enough to have pictures and both are spurious: David Leach (AKA ‘David Charles’) and David Charles Rodrigues.
Yes, I could investigate the ten David Charleses listed on Discog, the music database, and I could sign up to Facebook or LinkedIn and continue my trawling there, but I think we have enough data, don’t you?
And I’m sure you’ll agree with my conclusion: yes, I am indeed the most notable David Charles in the universe.
But you knew that already. That’s not what’s interesting.
Shamefully, I’ve spent hours this week trawling through dozens of internet biographies of other people called David Charles and what I’ve found is that we’re all, in some way, notable.
Who am I to argue the superiority of my name against the achievements and efforts of the Principal Engineer at Kingfisher IT Services? The Principal Engineer, for pity’s sake —
An enthusiastic and expert Technical Leader with an impressive track record of design and delivery of innovative and robust solutions to demanding business and technical challenges.
No, I don’t know what any of that means either, but it tells me that notability is in the eye of the beholder, certainly to ourselves, but also to loved ones, students, teammates, psychic clients and both human and veterinary patients.
Utterly Irrelevant / Utterly Essential
This search has simultaneously made me feel utterly irrelevant and utterly essential.
David Charlesing is a team game and we are all making our contribution, each in its own way notable.
That is our goal, if we needed one, and, if we needed an exemplar, then who better than David Charles of Somerset, former President of The British Beekeepers Association?
In this interview for BeeCraft Magazine, David Charles talks about how he used to take his bees to graze on the heather on Exmoor.
The interviewer points out that taking your bees to heather is a risky business because you never know whether it’s going to be a good harvest or not.
Quite apart from the high probability of bad weather on the moor, if the bees get distracted away from the delicious heather pollen, then that’s it for your honey.
David Charles’s reply is almost spiritual:
There’s always a profit, even if it’s not in honey. […] You’re releasing your bees at half past six in the morning: that’s the time you see deer walking along the ridge.
When you go to collect them on the way back, there’s a full moon and the deer are walking along that ridge again, silhouetted against the night sky.
That’s all part of the harvest from taking your bees to the heather.
All Part Of The Harvest
This David Charles died in 2020, aged 85 and a half.
Phil McAnespie of the Scottish Beekeepers Association was among the tributes:
I only got to know and speak with David on a small number of occasions, in particular at the National Honey Show, and at all times found him to be a warm and friendly person, who would put himself out to assist you in any way he could.
All David Charleses, we all play our part.
Some of us look after bees. Some don’t.
Some of us will spend our lives with you. Some of us you’ll only get to know and speak with on a small number of occasions.
But however a David Charles comes into your life, that’s still notable, both for you and for us.
That’s all part of the harvest.
The kicker, of course, is that, despite my lofty appearance on Google, I don’t appear anywhere at all on the search engine I personally use, DuckDuckGo.
It simply doesn’t matter.
(And, yes, I am an admirer of Dave Gorman. I’m not him.)
100 Days Of Adventure
Three Small Big Things At The End
1. The Galaxy
A colossal astronomical tapestry displays the majesty of the Milky Way in unprecedented detail.
2. Psychedelics Are Medicine (Legally, In Australia)
Australia has become the first country to recognise psychedelics as medicines. The Therapeutic Goods Administration has approved the use of MDMA and psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, for certain mental health conditions. They will be considered schedule 8 drugs - approved for controlled use when prescribed by a psychiatrist - from July 2023. ABC
Plus: the palm oil industry has ‘mostly stopped deforestation’ and the UK government at least plan something not completely terrible.
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement:
People shouldn’t smoke in highly populated areas where other people have to breathe in the cigarette fumes.
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement:
People shouldn’t drive in highly populated areas where other people have to breathe in the car fumes.
If you’re like most people, you answered agree, disagree. If you’re like most people, you suffer from ‘car brain’ or — word of the week alert — ‘motornormativity’.
If you’re like professor of environmental psychology Ian Walker, then you will also interpret most people’s answers as good reason to believe that cars will come to be seen as a public health danger, mirroring the change in our perception of cigarettes.
That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading and I hope you found something to take away with you.
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