Thursday, January 6, 2011

Inaugural post

This is intended to be a blog for me to ramble on about theoretical politics. I've no idea how often I'll manage to post to it, or if anyone will read it---but should you stumble upon it accidentally, hi!

A bit about me: I'm a New Zealander, I'm fiercely interested in politics, I'd describe myself as left-wing but don't necessarily think that means much, and I like analysing things. I really don't take criticism of my ideas as criticism of me (unless it's coupled with personal attacks); but I also think that people who make ad hominem attacks or who avoid the crux of the debate to suit their own opinions are doing themselves a serious disservice. I really want to know what makes people believe that their opinions are right, and I enjoy deconstructing ideas to see what makes them tick (or if they tick at all).

For various reasons, I don't intend to talk about current politics or politicians much, if at all. Of course what I'm talking about will be informed by what's going on in the news---but I think there's a number of really good sources of discussion for that, and what I really want to be doing is poking about what I believe.

An example of what I believe: there is no such thing as a good idea that doesn't work in practice. At best, an idea which doesn't work in practice has the potential for being a good idea if a lot of research, testing, and analysis is done. (This sort of thinking makes me spectacularly bad at idealist politics of any kind. I always always always want to know how things are going to work in practice, right down to details about how and where and who by information will be held after the form is sent in. Idealism, when I've encountered it, usually focusses on big-picture stuff, and I don't like plans in soft focus.)

Should this blog get any sort of traffic at all: please don't be a dick in the comments. If you think what you're writing could be construed as dickish, try to reframe it in a way that doesn't imply anyone is an ignorant buffoon with the charm and style of dirty linoleum, or refrain from commenting. Meanwhile, I'll try to respect people's arguments even if I vehemently disagree with them---though you should know that the best kind of respect I can give an argument is to test it (this goes for my own).

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