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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Catching Up With Blogs

I'm still debating with myself on the vacancy rate listed for metro areas in the HVH. Half of me wants to claim it just isn't true. The other half points out that I have no evidence for that. A minor technical difficulty, to be sure. I think I'm just being all emotional about it.

So, to cheer myself up, I made the rounds of the blogs. I love blogs. All different types. To me, bloggers are the modern day equivalent of the old coffee shops and corner stores in which an awful lot of discussion and consensus is reached.

These struck me (not that I'm even halfway through my blogroll):

Mamacita, who is now teaching adults, posts a compilation of spousal requirements and comments from a class assignment. If you have a remotely decent spouse, reading this will remind you of how lucky you are. A sense of gratitude for what you do have seems to me to be one of the basic prerequisites for happiness, so this one's a keeper.

Aldon Hynes at Orient Lodge is one of my quiet favorites. He's a very interesting man who is quite involved in politics in a resoundingly healthy way. He's also very interested in how things work - take a look, for example, at this map of which Dem candidates got the most funding in various states. There were quite a few surprises for me.

EU Referendum posted on the demise of Rantings of a Sandmonkey. I've read that blog along with other Egyptian blogs, and this made me sad indeed. To be intimidated out of blogging by this:
I no longer believe that my anonymity is kept, especially with State Secuirty agents lurking around my street and asking questions about me since that day. I ignore that, the same way I ignored all the clicking noises that my phones started to exhibit all of a sudden, or the law suit filed by Judge Mourad on my friends, and instead grew bolder and more reckless at a time where everybody else started being more cautious. It took me a while to take note of the fear that has been gripping our little blogsphere and comprehend what it really means. The prospects for improvment, to put it slightly, look pretty grim. I was the model of caution, and believing in my invincipility by managing not to get arrested for the past 2 and a half years, I've grown reckless. Stupid Monkey. Stupid!
No, not stupid. Gutsy. He was no fool, as this post about the Turkish presidential election, or this on the French election, prove. Democratic freedoms are not something that we should take lightly. There is something awful about this man being constrained to stop posting on his blog because he lives in Egypt.

Big Pharoah may be back, and then again he may not. In his second to last post he referenced Abdel Kareem, who got four years. For writing.

Without the ability to speak freely, how does a country adapt and decide? Just reading Calculated Risk should make anyone understand how essential it is to have people of varying backgrounds discussing issues of the day. Sure, the details of what can and cannot be down with various MBS structures may sound like a boring, narrow topic, but actually these two posts address a reality that is probably going to affect more than a million American households, to varying degrees. This is the nuts and bolts of democracy. What is the situation, what are the possibilities, and how could we have a reasonable certainty of improving matters?

When I was in high school, there was a meme going around the NY Times and university crowd about our society becoming too technically complex for democracy. The theory was that average individuals were too uninformed to decide political matters, and that some sort of technocracy should be formed to do it. Uh-uh. Technical societies may become complex, but they also develop the means to deal with complexity. The range and depth of discussion going on at Calculated Risk demonstrates that average individuals often have much more to contribute to the discussion than some narrow subsegment, and that bringing together a range of people from different backgrounds to discuss a situation deepens and enhances understanding.

I'm not voting for McCain, because he doesn't get it, as McCain-Feingold proves. Oh, free speech means stupid speech, silly speech, ill-intended speech, and lies. But only free speech prevents stupid, silly and lying ideas from gaining the day.


Comments:
When I was in high school, there was a meme going around the NY Times and university crowd about our society becoming too technically complex for democracy. The theory was that average individuals were too uninformed to decide political matters, and that some sort of technocracy should be formed to do it. Uh-uh.

Let me guess, did the "NY Times and University Crowd" have a suggestion as to just who they would nominate to be the Enlightened Technocrats who would ride booted and spurred ove the sheeple -- for their own good, of course?

I suspect each had only one individual who was sufficiently Intelligent and Enlightened to be nominated, and each had a different individual. Guess who?

"The only object of power is Power."
-- Comrade O'Brian, Inner Party, Airstrip One, Oceania, 1984.
 
Funny, but you may have pegged it.

They couldn't have been more wrong.
 
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