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

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Wednesday November 29 2006

Well, the Libertarian Alliance Blog is now up and running.  To be exact, it is now up and staggering around the room like drunken two year old.

After a premature press release, and a premature posting quoting it, followed by several days of silence, postings are now starting to appear.

I have just written a longish posting for this blog entitled “Consent”, which included the following pearls of wisdom:

Every individual involved in a rugby international consented to take part, indeed was probably frantically eager to do so and was thrilled to be selected, despite all the dangers of getting quite badly hurt or being made a very public fool of.  But if even one individual involved in such an event were to be kidnapped and forced against his will to take part, that would be wrong, say we libertarians.  And says almost everyone else.  That a mere majority consented to the event would be no excuse for such a kidnapping.

Good stuff I hope you agree.

But then, my troubles began.

Having failed to make sense of the posting process, which resulted in me either posting this essay or not, as a draft posting or as nothing, I then tried to post the following comment, which by then I was wise enough to save into a word processor, just like the original posting, for when that also disappeared into nothing which it duly did:

When I consented to write for this blog I was told that posting stuff would be no problem for someone as web-savvy as brilliant me.  Like a fool I believed this piece of nonsense, commonly perpetrated by experts of all kinds, who confuse the ease with which they can now do something with the idea that it is inherently easy and cock-up free when someone less expert starts doing it.

The basic problem here is that (a) I have never used this particular blogging software before, and (b) all software without exception is difficult to use the first time.

And, as you can see, . . .

Or as in fact you can’t see.  Just as well, really.

. . . I have failed to, er, master the posting process, and have, in particular, failed to master the process of editing what I have posted.  So, there it is, in all its crapulence.  Either I must learn to sort out this mess, or someone else must sort it out.

Luckily, as I say, there it wasn’t.  But, what is now up at this blog is sufficiently mucked about for the following observation, which came next in my failed comment, to remain true:

There is a moral here.  A tactical moral.  Do not send out press releases until you have something satisfactory to announce.  By all means scatter a few references to a new project on low traffic blogs, and at things like last weekend’s LA Conference, but do not, as they say, alert the media.

Actually, I think this is quite funny, given what the posting says about the possibility of consenting to something which then makes a public fool of you.

Or what the posting would have said if it had actually gone up.

I cannot exaggerate how confusing I found the inputting process to be.  It was impossible to tell what actually updating anything consisted of, or whether, after one had done what felt like an update, it actually was, or whether one had published, or merely done . . . I don’t know what.  Utter utter confusion.

In particular, I was confused by typography.  I am used to blog-input software which pays no attention to how big the text was when I typed it into my word processor, but just standardises it to its own preferred standard.  But this system takes careful note of how big it was when you wrote it, which you don’t want it to.  In an attempt to correct this, I switched mine from “visual” to “code” (or something like that) and laboriously went through it all and changed “font 3” to “font 2”, or whatever, inevitably missing some “font 3” references, and the playback or preview or whatever the fuck looked even more like a suicide note than it had before.  It was probably just as well that when I finally had it looking right (but quite possibly, really, actually, still in a state of psychotic typographical dementia) when I pressed “publish” the system just gummed up completely and all I got was an error message.  Don’t know what that page is mate.  Sorry.  So I gave up.  If my Consent posting doesn’t go up in the next few days, I’ll just put it somewhere else.

Judging by this posting which Tim Evans has just stuck up, I’m not the only one having trouble with this system.  Tim’s posting may in due course be tidied up, but as of now, it has distinctly suicide note tendencies, with the lettering of the text surely too big, and the spacing far too tight.  Plus there’s a full stop which has gone walkabout.  And my guess would be that Tim has no more idea of how to correct this than I have of how to actually post something in the first place.

None of his matters.  In a few weeks, all this nonsense will be forgotten.  The Libertarian Alliance is in for the long haul.  It seldom gets these sorts of things right at first.  (I am thinking now of the derangement of the first LA pamphlets I did.) And often it never gets them right at all.  But libertarianism itself is a hugely strong body of ideas - that the Libertarian Alliance does get right, again and again.  Libertarianism can triumph over any amount of incompetence in the mere process of these ideas being proclaimed.

Luckily, also, libertarianism is a statement about how the world should be ruled. (As little as possible.) It is not the statement that any particular bunch of libertarians should rule the world.