Brian Micklethwait's Blog
In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.Home
Peter Briffa on Ashes black out
Michael Jennings on Happiness is Gold Blend at only £3 instead of £4.50
Michael Jennings on Happiness is Gold Blend at only £3 instead of £4.50
Schrodinger's Dog on Happiness is Gold Blend at only £3 instead of £4.50
Tatyana on Victor!
Daniel Hannan on Daniel Hannan's latest book(s?)
Tatyana on Michael Jennings photos the bridges of Porto
Brian Micklethwait on Happiness is Gold Blend at only £3 instead of £4.50
Brian Micklethwait on A quota thought that (luckily for me) went nowhere
Michael Jennings on A quota thought that (luckily for me) went nowhere
Most recent entries
- Sculpture at St James’s Tube
- Digital photographers holding maps
- More photos of things past
- Father Christmas Aerodrome
- How big should these squares be?
- Daniel Hannan’s latest book(s?)
- The Kelpies of Falkirk
- A quota thought that (luckily for me) went nowhere
- Polish girls in Moscow doing a selfie
- Music classified
- Quota videos
- Happiness is Gold Blend at only £3 instead of £4.50
- Sidwell (and me) on selfies
- Mark Steyn on Obama’s Hoover Dam and me on paywalls
Other Blogs I write for
6000 Miles from Civilisation
A Decent Muesli
Adventures in Capitalism
Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
Another Food Blog
Antoine Clarke's Election Watch
Armed and Dangerous
Art Of The State Blog
Boatang & Demetriou
Burning Our Money
Chase me ladies, I'm in the cavalry
China Law Blog
Civilian Gun Self-Defense Blog
Coffee & Complexity
Communities Dominate Brands
Confused of Calcutta
Conservative Party Reptile
Counting Cats in Zanzibar
Deleted by tomorrow
Don't Hold Your Breath
Douglas Carswell Blog
Dr Robert Lefever
Englands Freedome, Souldiers Rights
Everything I Say is Right
Fat Man on a Keyboard
Ferraris for all
Freedom and Whisky
From The Barrel of a Gun
Gates of Vienna
Global Warming Politics
Greg Mankiw's Blog
Guido Fawkes' blog
Here Comes Everybody
Hit & Run
House of Dumb
Iain Dale's Diary
Jeffrey Archer's Official Blog
Jessica Duchen's classical music blog
Laissez Faire Books
Last of the Few
Libertarian Alliance: Blog
Liberty Dad - a World Without Dictators
Lib on the United Kingdom
Little Man, What Now?
Loic Le Meur Blog
L'Ombre de l'Olivier
London Daily Photo
Metamagician and the Hellfire Club
Michael J. Totten's Middle East Journal
More Than Mind Games
Mutualist Blog: Free Market Anti-Capitalism
My Boyfriend Is A Twat
My Other Stuff
Nation of Shopkeepers
Never Trust a Hippy
Non Diet Weight Loss
Nurses for Reform blog
Obnoxio The Clown
On an Overgrown Path
One Man & His Blog
Owlthoughts of a peripatetic pedant
Oxford Libertarian Society /blog
Patri's Peripatetic Peregrinations
Police Inspector Blog
Private Sector Development blog
Remember I'm the Bloody Architect
Setting The World To Rights
SimonHewittJones.com The Violin Blog
Sky Watching My World
Social Affairs Unit
Squander Two Blog
Stuff White People Like
Stumbling and Mumbling
Technology Liberation Front
The Adam Smith Institute Blog
The Becker-Posner Blog
The Belgravia Dispatch
The Belmont Club
The Big Blog Company
The Big Picture
the blog of dave cole
The Corridor of Uncertainty (a Cricket blog)
The Daily Ablution
The Devil's Advocate
The Devil's Kitchen
The Dissident Frogman
The Distributed Republic
The Early Days of a Better Nation
The Examined Life
The Fly Bottle
The Freeway to Serfdom
The Future of Music
The Happiness Project
The Jarndyce Blog
The London Fog
The Long Tail
The Lumber Room
The Online Photographer
The Only Winning Move
The Policeman's Blog
The Road to Surfdom
The Wedding Photography Blog
The Welfare State We're In
UK Commentators - Laban Tall's Blog
UK Libertarian Party
Violins and Starships
we make money not art
What Do I Know?
What's Up With That?
Where the grass is greener
White Sun of the Desert
Why Evolution Is True
Your Freedom and Ours
Arts & Letters Daily
Bjørn Stærk's homepage
Butterflies and Wheels
Dark Roasted Blend
Digital Photography Review
Ghana Centre for Democratic Reform
Global Warming and the Climate
History According to Bob
Institut économique Molinari
Institute of Economic Affairs
Ludwig von Mises Institute
Oxford Libertarian Society
The Christopher Hitchens Web
The Space Review
The TaxPayers' Alliance
This is Local London
UK Libertarian Party
Victor Davis Hanson
WSJ.com Opinion Journal
Bits from books
Bloggers and blogging
Brian Micklethwait podcasts
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This and that
Category archive: Bloggers and blogging
This evening I hope to be attending an Event. And now, having performed all my obligatory duties for the day, I am turning my attention to this blog. I am very pleased that for the last however many days it is, I have managed at least one blog posting here every day, and I want today to be no different.
It is now, as I write this, just after 1pm, and the Event is not until the evening. Yet, I find blogging even under such relaxed circumstances as these extraordinarily difficult. I do not mean truly difficult. I merely mean extraordinarily more difficult than it surely ought to be. Even a window of several hours, yet a window which has a definite end when I have to stop the blogging and start to do whatever it is, seems, maybe, too small. What if my writing catches fire? What if what began merely as a small quota thought ignites into a long essay? What if I suddenly decide that I want to add photographs, know the photographs I want to add, but do not know where they are on my hard disc?
Luckily for me, nothing clever is now occurring to me of the sort that will make ending this blog posting difficult. No added photo seems needed. So, I will just end it.
There. Easy. I reckon that took about ten minutes.
I will even have time to take some shirts to the laundrette, and have a clean one ready to wear, at the Event.
It was Hemingway, I think, who said that thing about how your writing is only as good as the stuff you remove from it, or words to that effect. (Exact quote anyone?)
And I think one of the reasons why some writers especially like blogging is that a personal, I-write-what-I-please blog like this one (but done by a Real Writer who also does Real Writing) is where such offcuts can go, and still have a half life. The offcuts are no longer completely wasted. But neither do they get in the way.
This is a posting of a type that is likely to become more common here, as the years roll by, because it is about bodily discomfort.
The discomfort today, which lasted all day, came whenever I tried to walk, and was all around my midriff. This was either caused by eating too much junk food, or by the manner in which I slept last night. Perhaps both. Maybe it was not junk food, but rather: too much cheese. The pain is in what I think is called the lumbar region, lumbar being a word I googled with the spelling wrong, making it sound like wood, which tells you that this kind of thing is rather new to me. Google corrected me, like a rude doctor. I hope that tomorrow morning all will be well, but just now that does not feel likely.
The blogging advantage of this particular discomfort is that it is not too undignified or disgusting. I am also beginning to experience discomforts that are very undignified and very disgusting, but these I prefer not to tell you about.
This latter reluctance explains, I think, why the discomforts of old age come as such a surprise to many people. The previous lot of old people only supplied to me a very censored version of what was happening to them, so I now have to find most of this out for myself.
Although, it could be that the previous lot of old people did tell me these things, but I wasn’t paying attention.
The worst thing about it is that you just know it’s going to keep on getting worse, and worse, and worse.
Last night I attended the Simon Gibbs talk about how to herd cats. For me the problem was right there in the title. It was like he knew he was attempting something impossible.
My immediate reaction is that what I do to cats is stroke them, if they will let me. If I “owned” a cat, that would mean that it would also be my duty to feed it. But herding cats? There’s a reason this phrase is used to describe social schemes that can’t work.
Simon’s scheme seems to depend on some kind of website. Websites are not my strong point, even understanding the point of them let alone actually making them work. The less new software I have in my life, the happier I am. So maybe I am missing not something here, but everything. Simon made several mentions of a “button”. When I find out where this is (somewhere at Libertarian Home?), I’ll give it a go. If others do and do whatever Simon wants them to do, then I guess the cats will start being herded and my present scepticism will be proved wrong. I hope that happens. (As I said to Simon after his talk, see this.)
Slightly more seriously, Simon’s talk made me think of a distinction that I associate with the great American theorist of management, Peter Drucker. As I recall it, Drucker describes various different ways to do organisation.
One is to imagine the perfect organisation. You ask: Suppose we had no organisation already, with all its obligations and habits and rituals, what would the ideal organisation for what we are trying to accomplish look like? And then let’s turn what we have into that. An example Drucker was fond of was Sloane’s General Motors, probably because Drucker worked for Sloane, although exactly when he did that work, I’m not sure.
Another is not to dream dreams of future perfection. It is to ask: What little steps can we take, now, immediately, in the right general direction, given the strengths and resources that we already now possess?
In my opinion the second attitude is better suited to the life of a London libertarian with a bit of influence but not much (i.e. libertarians like me and like Simon Gibbs), than is the first.
The late Chris Tame, whose Number Two I was for about a decade, was one hell of a libertarian organiser. Over the years he organised some superb and superbly ambitious events, because he asked what the perfect event would look like (as I did not) and then went ahead and organised it. But my ongoing disagreement (it never boiled over but it was always there) with Chris was that too many of his ideal schemes did not achieve anything other than some rather demoralising costs.
My own approach was to concentrate on much smaller completions – a small meeting, a pamphlet, a radio performance – and just try to get each potential completion completed as quickly and satisfactorily as possible, at which point it was on to the next one, and so on until victory is achieved. (You can see why I like blogging so much. And perhaps also why Chris never liked it, although he had other reasons besides the mere smallness of individual blog postings.)
The reason I mention Chris Tame, apart from the fact that I think it may illuminate, is that what I may very well be doing here is being reminded by Simon’s current scheme, as expounded last night, of a past argument in my life, and then slotting him into that argument on the other side from me. I may, that is to say, be completely misunderstanding what he is now proposing. I might, as the saying goes, be fighting the last war rather than this one. Since I do not now really get what he is proposing, this is not, to put it mildly, unlikely. Happily, Simon’s talk was being videoed, so you’ll soon be able to watch it for yourself and decide for yourself what you think about it.
I may very well, at some future date (maybe after watching the talk again), be explaining why this posting is completely wrong.
I enjoyed reading this review of McBride’s book, by Guido, not least because it is a reminder of how capably Guido can do posh. His blog is deliberately tabloid, and he greatly admires the tabloid style. But, as I learned when he was still at the stage of occasionally contributing stuff to the Libertarian Alliance, way back when, this is not the only style he can do.
I just did a bit of searching for LA stuff he had written, and found my way to this (scroll down to page 8), from the turn of the century. It’s about how he wants to switch to a kinder, gentler libertarianism.
Yes indeed, the ultimate quota photo:
The thing is, when I do a quota photo posting, I don’t want to waste something important on it. I don’t want to put up a photo of something that actually matters, that actually signifies, something that on a better blogging day, a day when blogging is not a tedious duty but is instead a pleasure, would cause of flood of really quite impressive verbiage to assemble itself in my brain, then tumble down onto the keyboard and into the wires and tubes of the www and thence to seep into your house and into your brain. I want to stick up a photo which normally would stay put on my hard disc and would never show its face in public.
So, a chain link fence reflected in a puddle is what you are getting today, and a chain link fence reflected in a puddle is all you are getting today.
There being there.
I think the fact that she likes finding quotes elsewhere is closely related to the fact that there are quotes to be found aplenty in her own stuff. I’m not saying I agree with all these, although I do quite a lot. It’s more the fact that something is said that lots of people, maybe including me and maybe not, are have surely thought, often without having ever having put it into words. Then when it is put into words, you go: yes.
Personally, I have this fantasy that the Internet becomes conscious and she turns out to be a lot like me and starts putting people in time out.
And, yes, lately mostly what I have been doing is “sharing” stuff but I refuse to share anything that contains the words “share if” even if I agree with it.
Generally people who have blogs are people who have something to say. Now I’m not bragging on myself here but on the many excellent blogs out there, some very popular, some unknown and ignored. They say blogs are out. Blogs are so last decade. But we’re still here cranking out words for our half-dozen loyal readers and we’ll still be here when Facebook is out and the next social media sensation is in because we have something to say. We may desperately wish someone was listening but the fact that they’re not will not stop us.
I have a wonderful husband. Ladies, I swear I am not making this up. My husband actually told me to buy new shoes.
So lyrics don’t really mean all that much to me anyway. I prefer music without any words at all. Or with words in a language I don’t understand. Especially Latin. It’s all about the music.
One’s opinions are not always consistent with one’s values. We all think they are and if someone points out the inconsistencies we will perform the most incredible logical and ideological gymnastics in order to avoid seeing these inconsistencies.
I hate when I have to sign something. My signature never looks the same twice so I’m always a little worried that someone is going to have a problem with it.
I feel sorry for people who are so afraid of being un-cool or unsophisticated that they can’t just enjoy beautiful things.
So today I have plenty of time for some good blogging. Um … well … I’m drawing a blank. Other than this nonsense that you just read I don’t have anything right now that I want to say. There might be a cat picture later.
I find I am very loyal to the earliest blogs I just happened to tune into, and this was one of the first.
I like this, from The Pointman, one of my favourite commentators on the Great Climate Debate just now (very anti-CAGW):
That’s what I’ve come to think blogging is. Yes, you can muck around showing how slick or amusing you are but unless you’re genuinely trying to talk to one or two other human beings out there, who perhaps may only exist in your mind’s eye, you’re just adding a bit more volume to the background noise of the internet. You have to take the view that apart from them, nobody out there is listening, so you can talk freely and at your own pace.
To take that thought one step further, once you accept the very real possibility that you might well be talking into an empty void, you don’t really have to care from then on about how the viewpoint you’re expressing will be received and of course, how you choose to express it is your own business. It flows. You’re a free man.
I was tempted to put this on Samizdata, but I think it fits better here, don’t you? Hello … Hello … Anyone there? … Oh well, just me then. No worries.
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?
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
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
A down and up weekend
Obamanomics dod not work
Another ephemeron for David Thompson?
Paulina Porizkova gets older
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 …”
Natalie links back
Making those Big Statements one slice at a time
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
Johanna Kaschke versus the Deluded Leftwinger
Chrome now seems better than IE or Firefox
Idiot Toys is broken!
Cat blogging and Gormley blogging
Minimum Wage flatvert at Guido’s and Iain Dale’s
Snapping the police
Our shortening atten … ooh look!
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
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
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
The Rand revival - and some thoughts about Rand’s failure to understand architectural tradition
Clockwisdom and wisdom
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
Notes on libertarian tactics August 2008
Not in the top twenty
Cats are (as of) now being counted in permanent italics
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
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
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
Alisher Usmanov is now better known for being nasty
Blogs are not cacophonous
Ideas and opportunities
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
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
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
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
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?
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
On style and politics
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
Quoted but not linked to
Blogging fun and blogging profit
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
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
Welcome back and goodbye
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
“They needed one another”
This and that at 9.07am
When blog meant something different
The risk of not taking any risks
Cillit Bang made-up twat
What the …?
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