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In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Category archive: Bloggers and blogging

Monday February 01 2016

Last Friday evening, at that meeting, I talked with Perry de Havilland about writing for Samizdata.  I told him that I have recently been taking longer to finish my postings, to get them nearer to completely right.  He compared blogging to rock ‘n’ roll.  The clear implication being that blogging, like rock ‘n’ roll, is most truly itself when done, so to speak, live.

Each to his own.  I now find that one of the symptoms of advancing years is that I am no longer as confident as I once was about the first thing that comes out of my mouth, or about what emerges from my tapping fingers.  I prefer to have several reads-through of it, with gaps of time between them to think more.

My two most recent Samizdata postings are results of this more considered manner of writing.  They may not seem so to readers.  But they are much better than they would have been without any polishing.

Such polishing is not new, for me.  I used to do it to stuff I wrote for the Libertarian Alliance.  Stuff like this piece, which Patrick Crozier kindly linked back to, in one of the comments on the first of those two recent Samizdata pieces.  As Patrick said, what that earlier piece said was very similar to what the Samizdata piece said.  Appropriately enough, both pieces (separated by a quarter of century) were about how reluctant people are to change the basic way that they think about things.

Then as now, such polishing did not make my writing perfect.  But it did make it quite a lot better.

Well, now, I seem to be reverting to writing more considered and revised essays, short or not so short, rather than “blog postings”.  Rock ‘n’ roll is a young man’s game, and I do not feel comfortable writing in that manner.  I used to.  If Perry de Havilland still does (and he does), I am very happy for him.  But it seems now not to suit me so much.

However, I do actually think that rock ‘n’ roll is now less appropriate.  The novelty of just anyone being able to shovel stuff onto the internet has now passed.  The mainstream media have now thoroughly internetted themselves, and the “any old stuff” approach (such as prevails here) does not get a blog like Samizdata the traffic that it used to get.  I think that some of us at least should be polishing.  More and more, my role model is becoming the late Findlay Dunachie.  Not in the sense that I intend only to review books from now on.  I mean that I find myself wanting to write more in the way he wrote, more thoughtfully, in a way that is more considered.

I am not now deciding to write differently.  (I promise nothing.) I am merely noting that this is what seems now to be happening.  An earlier stage in the change of attitude I am describing was earlier described in this posting here.

By which I mean, what seems to be happening at Samizdata.  Here will continue to be the impulsive, sloppy, last minute, thinking aloud, what you get is what you get operation that it has always been.  I did a little polishing of this piece, but not a lot.

Friday January 15 2016

Today I was in Borough High Street, doing some things with some people, and after that ended I was able, finally, to enjoy some proper winter weather.  Instead of warm and grey, it was cold and blue.  Bright blue:

image

That’s the Slug and Lettuce in Borough High Street, which I assume to be but one link in a franchised chain of some sort, which is very ordinary.  But behind this slug and this lettuce is: the sky, which is not ordinary, given the very ordinary indeed weather we’ve been having lately.

This posting is my attempt to emulate the great Mick Hartley.  I know that won’t work, but as soon as I got home after my wanderings and saw his blue sky posting, done this morning, I knew that I had to find the snap with the bluest sky in it that I had taken.  The secret is to light the building very strongly, by firing the the sun straight at it.  This turns the sky dark blue.  There were not that many dark sky pictures like this one to choose between.  A lot of my snaps today were taken down in those shadows that you see down at the bottom of that picture.  So the above snap was my clear winner.  Very clear.  Hartley probably had dozens of dark blue sky snaps to choose between.  Either that, or he’s a Real Photographer and he took only the pictures he blogged, and gets every shot right first time.

More blue sky, from another of my blog-favourites.  “Zuma”.  That’s a dance/exercise craze, right?

Saturday December 12 2015

One of the things I have had to learn as a blogger is to go ahead with my little photo essays, even if I absolutely know that there are more relevant photos to be found in my archives, which I would love to include if only I could find them quickly.  When that happens, I should just go ahead anyway.  If I later encounter the photos I would like to have included the first time around, fine.  I should do another posting and link back to the first one.

You are probably expecting a photo here, to back up the above point …:

image

… so there is a photo.  It’s a nice photo.  But it doesn’t really make the point above it.  Perhaps, somewhere in my archives, there is a photo which does exactly make that point.  But, it would take too long for me to find it.

Friday November 20 2015

I see that of Counting Cats, in the person of Julie near Chicago, recently linked to a piece by the late Antony Flew entitled The Terrors of Islam, a piece which I had totally forgotten about.  But I am sure that this piece influenced me very strongly when I read it.  And I definitely did read it because I published it, for the Libertarian Alliance (Chris Tame Tendency).

It always pleases me hugely when someone links to an old LA effort of mine like this.  Not exclusively mine, you understand.  Somebody else had to write it.  But … mine.  And this particular piece of Flew’s is downright prophetic.

Counting Cats had a strange outbreak of junk postings about fake university essays a week or two back but seems to be over it now.

Tuesday November 03 2015

... causing them to stay stuck inside my head for ever.

That’s it really.  Provided something can get out of hand inside a head.

What I am talking about, in the event that you don’t already recognise the syndrome, is that you think of something to put on your blog, and start seeking out links, and you find highly pertinent links to add, but at the far end of them, you find further highly pertinent things to add to the original posting, until it ceases entirely from being the piece of fun that blogging ought mostly to be, and becomes a giant piece of homework that never gets done.

So, memo to self: Stop it.

Friday October 30 2015

6k:

As I published this, I made another mental note to look up a bit of the history of this place on Cambridge Street. I also made a mental note that my mental notes seem not to be working at reminding me to do things.

This is a big part of what blogs, and now Twitter, Facebook, and all the rest of it, are for.  Never mind all those damn other readers.  What proportion of internet postings of various sorts are there not for anyone else, but for the poster himself to remember whatever it was?  This of course requires you to trawl back through your own output from time to time, which I do do from time to time.

Here is another internet posting vaguely relevant to the above, about people who find it impossible not to remember things, the things in this case being faces.  Most of us have heard of those unfortunates whose brains have been smacked and they can’t remember faces that ought to be familiar, like their children’s.  This is about people who have received a different sort of smack, from their own DNA, which makes them super-good at remembering faces, even ones they don’t want to.  When someone says to you “I never forget a face”, it just might be true.

The piece includes gratuitously irrelevant pictures of that actress who was in that favourite TV comedy series you know the one and of that other actor who was in that James Bond movie from way back, called whatever it was called I don’t remember.  It’s on the tip of my … that thing inside my face … you know, that hole, under my eyes …

Going back to 6k’s bon mot above, this only got typed into the www on account of his rule, and mine, of trying to do something every day.  You start doing a pure quota posting, and then you think of something truly entertaining to add to it, which you would never have put on the www had it not occurred to you at the exact moment you were in the middle of typing in a blog posting that was in need jazzing up a bit, e.g. with a bon mot.

Friday October 09 2015

Later on, in Richmond, still beside the river, but upstream, practically in the country, I espied a cat.  Here is the context, and the cat:

image
image
image

In other cat-related news, 6k did a cat-related posting for me to link to last Friday.  He mentioned me in the first line, and then showed one of my photos, but I only realised that there was cattery later in the posting too late for last Friday so I had to wait a week.  He went on to mention that video of that giant white fluffy Goodie stroke James Bond villain kitten attacking the BT Tower.  Said 6k:

Yes. Kittens were huge (literally) in popular culture, even before the internet was around.

Very true.

And if Brian reads this before the end of the day, he’s got a lovely Feline Friday tie-in opportunity with his post from yesterday.

Better a week late than never.  (There is also a cat connection in this posting, which is about the head of another sort of big cat.)

6k is taking a bit of a break, or so he says.  I’ll still keep checking in, just to see.  “For personal reasons”.  Ah yes, there are lot of those about, rampaging the earth, closing blogs and generally causing havoc.  Me, I try to avoid having personal reasons.

Another favourite blogger of mine features more cattery here, in the form of East End high end graffiti.

Saturday October 03 2015

Here being Epping Underground Station, which is not actually underground, but you know what I mean.

As already recounted here, I was recently in Epping.  But I just looked again at the photos I took that day and realised that, fascinating though the M11 is, this sign is even more interesting:

image

I did not know there was such a thing as the Epping Way.  But there is.  It is 82 miles long.  Did you already know about this “way”, from Epping to Harwich?  I didn’t.

This is not really a case of “blog and learn”, but blogging did help, because as so often I was looking for something interesting to pass on.  Which meant I first had to learn something more about it besides its name on a sign.

I also like the photo.  Without photography I would have completely forgotten about this.

When I was at Essex University, I used to go there from London by train, or by car, or by bus.  Now I learn that I could have walked, by what would presumably have mostly been a rather scenic route.

Here begins the Essex Way
White cat – Mick Hartley’s photos and other photos he likes – black and white and colour
Tomorrow I will get out less
What writing for Samizdata should now (for me) mean
Why I mostly write about architectural design rather than about interior design
Reading Anton Howes again
The ROH bar and its floating-in-the-air drinkers
Why quota photos?
January newspaper pages
Thoughts on habits and on changing incentives with the passing of time
Hand done photos
Photoing at the ASI party
How the internet is cheering up Art
MicheldeMontaigne.fr
An old story about colour perception
Not about cats
Breaking my Samizdata silence
A Sunday ramble
OpenOffice Writer default resetting nightmares
Amusing cats versus important people
A quota post (with a quota link to a post about a post about a quota photo) and another quota photo
Megan McArdle on success and failure
6k quota photo of sea
Bits of music at non-musical blogs
Tube interrupted
A quota thought that (luckily for me) went nowhere
A blog as a semi-dustbin
Pain in the midriff
Simon Gibbs last night at the Rose and Crown
Guido in the Spectator (and in Free Life)
Chain link fence reflected in a puddle
Quotes from there
A free man
Getting started a bit earlier
Rob Fisher on the 3D printing future
The Alex Singleton blog
A fake feline photo and a faltering feline enumerator
The Johnathan Pearce Samizdata gap
On the pleasure of assuming the worst
The right sentences but not necessarily in the right order
the Norlonto Review is back!
Alastair James on Blythe Hill Fields and smartphones
Bad times for the NHS
Is Samizdata in danger of becoming a photo-blog?
Nice blog you have here … shame if something happens to it
All change at Samizdata and another outage here
On how being linked to enables you to tell your story as you wish and why long titles are good
Patrick Crozier has just arranged for accessing ancient comments here to be much easier
And on my other personal blog …
This is transport
Say it again Perry
Is Samizdata dying?
America 3.0
Lighter blogging here but not none
Matt Ridley’s demolition of CAGW
A review of Detlev Schlichter’s new book (multiplied by 4)
Alex Singleton has a new blog
Big Things and small things
A board to stick Post-it notes on reminding me of all the things I hope to blog about
Less (here) is more (at Samizdata)
My personal Fixed Quantity of Blogging unfallacy
A Good Old Day at Samizdata
The politics of humour in the USA and in Britain
Everything competes with everything
The most celebrated sporting win ever
Quota choke?
BM.com quote of the day
Why I prefer blogging to writing for a magazine
On the rise of Bishop Hill
Sean Gabb’s recent statement about the Libertarian Alliance
David Thompson’s blog is now four years old
On pictures that don’t get any bigger when clicked and on the power of the tangential
Yet more redirection
Leytonstonia
A down and up weekend
Obamanomics dod not work
Another ephemeron for David Thompson?
Giant Jesuses
Paulina Porizkova gets older
Blog hiati
Transport Blog restarts
10/10/10 launch for Norlonto Review
What if the British Empire had stayed together?
A blog posting linking to a science article
Woody Allen on media lies and on not learning as he gets older
Anti-aircraft guns may not have killed many enemy airplanes but they did point them out
Is Timberland guilty of spam commenting me?
“An alternative definition of intelligence …”
Sneezing chat
Natalie links back
Making those Big Statements one slice at a time
Robert Chambers
Muggins
A good bit about the future of art galleries and how to rescue good bits
Three cheers for Molly Norris but also a few small grumbles
Goddaughter One is now a photoblogger
I flipping told him
Why David Hepworth is wrong about podcasting
Will I ever tire of writing about the relationship between the new media and the old?
BrianMicklethwaitDotCom blog posting title of the day
BrianMicklethwaitDotCom understatement of the day
Old-school media versus (or becoming) new-school media (again)
India looking good against Sri Lanka
ClimateGate roars on and Man(n)-made warming is taking on a whole new meaning
The angst of team blogging about stories like the CRU hack
What’s up with this?
Samizdata and Zimbabwe both on the up and up?
A great Johnathan Pearce Britain-can-dump-the-EU blog posting - and the value of informative titles
Climbing aboard Samizdata
Rude Ian Morbin should have a blog
Unfair advantage?
Johanna Kaschke versus the Deluded Leftwinger
Quotes dump
Back
Chrome now seems better than IE or Firefox
Idiot Toys is broken!
Summer break
Cat blogging and Gormley blogging
Minimum Wage flatvert at Guido’s and Iain Dale’s
Snapping the police
Our shortening atten … ooh look!
Quota posting
Is the original version of this with all the spelling mistaks what goes on all teh uther blogs?
Edinburgh’s skyline doesn’t suck
UK libertarian bloggers 2.0
Indy Flatverts and a Guido Q&A
What next for Guido Fawkes?
Thinking thin at the top
Tea hea
Thoughts on the Go Gordon petition
Who are all the UK libertarian bloggers?
Globalisation Guido – and other Bright Young Things
Two Samizdata comments on the sinking of Brown and on the sinking of the Daily Telegraph
Hail Guido
There’s no need to comment on this posting because it’s already perfect
James Tyler’s speech at Policy Exchange
Daniel Hannan and the shape of the media to come
Clay Shirky on newspaper doom
Redesigned Bishop
The Rand revival - and some thoughts about Rand’s failure to understand architectural tradition
Clockwisdom and wisdom
Effing newspapers
You don’t wait for it – you go looking for it
Advice to daily bloggers
More random links
P. J. O’Rourke confuses the average with the significant
Why Willem Buiter blogs and why I do
Billion Monkey hits 40
New addition to blogroll
That went okay
JD gets PTD
I need to get out less
Nothing here again
Guido Fawkes conflates the Monetarists and the Austrians – needs to chat with Antoine Clarke
Busy at my other personal blog
Mini-lit
Notes on libertarian tactics August 2008
Will Wilkinson
Not in the top twenty
Clang
Cats are (as of) now being counted in permanent italics
Linkable Lefever
Mainstream media bloggers and the problem of my blogroll
Today I have been blogging elsewhere and also doing other things
Permanent Bold Disease strikes Brassneck
PID strikes Guido
Ducks - frogs - turtles – beavers – Galaxy Quest
Guido on Gordon
Underestimating crime
Stuff God Hates
Oddities and specialisms
An impulse posting about procrastination
PID hits DK
Kings Cross gasometer sunset travels 6000 miles
This is why I put stuff up here every day
Coffee House struggles with Permanent Italics Disease
Travis Perkins of Pimlico Road are not good at delivering timber
A blogger mutates towards being a journalist
The return of Friday cat-blogging
Instapundit succumbs to PID
Permanent italics disease at the Coffee House
The eloquence of the Bishop and a lady holding a big wheel
I love the internet
He is white and he is poking fun at himself
The white stuff
Obama a loser?
Posting with Jesus at the far end of the Kings Road
On hating and not hating commenters
Flat horse pictures
Not obviously but maybe …
Blogging – the end of the beginning
Now we aren’t allowed complete sentences in brackets
Facebook – not so social
Another don’t-get-it-right-get-it-written Samizdata posting
A bog standard (but rippling and therefore ultra-cool) tower soon to be built in Chicago
Engadget suffers from intermittent giant text disease
Treating the internet like the printing press
When the penny drops
Probably not right - but definitely written
Finally …
November 15th 2007 resolution - good enough is good enough
What kind of blogger are you?
It’s the decline of old-school advertising that’s really hurting old-school journalism
The business of gadget blogging
She’s alive I tell you! Alive!
Blogging as thinking aloud
Breaking blog silence
Che Guevara was a murderer and your T-Shirt is not cool
The permanent italics disease
An education link
Rival demonstrations in Parliament Square
Link
Alisher Usmanov is now better known for being nasty
Blogs are not cacophonous
Ideas and opportunities
Pleasure
Publogging
Adriana and Ivan in Addis
When inimitable means very imitable
Splog is the new splig
Lots of links
Short picture of a long distance
Voluntary World 3: Transport Blog illustrates the Muggins principle
Left behind?
How compulsion deranges the spreading of ideas
I know the feeling
If they don’t get who they would have preferred then silly them
A movie about a typeface
Lebrecht daily?
Susie Bubble turns shopping into a job with her blog
Stupid Billion Monkeys!
The Great Global Warming Swindle debate now begins
Umbrellas and other gadgets
“I already knew most of what they were to try and teach me …”
Fat Man on a Keyboard
Susan Hill on not having to be up-to-the-minute about book blogging
It’s only a Billion Monkeys if you count mobile phones (and then it’s far more)
One man one blog
One Man and His Very Thin Blog
The future of music
Normblogging
Me on internet telly this evening with Andrew Ian Dodge
Blogging has arrived
ASI blog post deleted under fire
Superb Simon Hewitt Jones gig – and a couple of blogger gripes
Screwed by Google – and Google screwed by the kitten-bloggers?
What next for the virtuoso violinists? - Simon Hewitt Jones has some answers
Everyone in the world is not like me
Perry de Havilland on the thinking behind Samizdata
Spreading the word for free
Antoine says why he got the midterms wrong
Load - fire - howl in agony clutching foot
“Publish it in your Blog!”
Hands off the Net
Talking with Tim Evans about the Libertarian Alliance
Antoine Clarke and I don’t talk about elections
Grassy car with blog
Editing as falsifying
Me on 18 Doughty Street tonight
How blogging is making Conservatives more polite to each other
Thoughts on the Age of Google
Greatest hits – good idea
Blogging is filing for those who can’t
Blogging pause continues
29th and 14th
Latest Brian and Antoine mp3 - Middle East, Mexico, USA
Patrick and Brian mp3 about libertarianism and spreading libertarianism
The More4 news blog – I’m grateful but I’m also confused
Treacle
Kristine writes down some of what Adriana said
Jeffrey Archer - blogger
Being real on digital
Adriana’s Thing mp3
Unpaid happiness is not misery but it is a step in that direction
Blogging takes longer than doing things - a picture - and why does a hot bath make me colder?
Guido’s narrative
One click
Latest Brian and Antoine mp3 on democracy etc. - UK, Latin America, China
“We are looking for a Cricket obsessive . . .”
The latest Brian and Antoine elections around the world mp3
Bashing on for Samizdata
This is Iain Dale’s seventh favourite non-aligned blog
Banana phone
Spleeyiiiich-glockglock-glockle-PLOINK
On style and politics
Nosh
Unintended consequences
Wichita line (and colour) man
It’s help Brian with his new computer time
They really were excellent
Election Watch podcast number three
How links have weakened the mainstream media
Wrong comparison
Quoted but not linked to
Blogging fun and blogging profit
Antoine Clarke
The new comments arrangement – why and how
The Micklethwait Clock suffers
Flickr blog in and Flickrzen out
“What on earth gives every computer owner the right to exude his opinion, unasked for?”
The problem of long blog postings
Dr Robert Lefever
Iain Dale
Another permanent link
Deep fried eyelids anyone?
“The Internet has also brought a new class of people into politics”
The return of the prodigal
He loved my book
Talking about my generation
The Great Gulf War?
AngloAustria joins the blogroll
Some ins and outs to and from the BrianMicklethwait.com blogroll
Very readable blog but rather unreadable links
I am not too clever
More about music bingeing
Not well
Welcome back and goodbye
New blog?
And this blog is my blog of the day
Is sit-down comedy the new rock and roll?
A brief posting on causation and responsibility
What we eat but not what we say
The Micklethwait Clock is now back to being right
Perry and Adriana in the Guardian
tompeters!
“They needed one another”
This and that at 9.07am
When blog meant something different
Everything
The risk of not taking any risks
Cillit Bang made-up twat
What the …?
Progress
How can intelligent decent people be so badly mistaken?  And did 9/11 make you more opinionated?
I’m seriously thinking of restarting Brian’s Education Blog and Brian’s Culture Blog
More on Katrina
A new word for a new menace
On short postings
Today I am going to break the record here for the number of postings in one day
Blowing Smoke all over old school advertising
On error correction
From now on I’m going to try to put something up here every day
The joy of blogrolling
Giving the blogs what they want