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

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Monday June 14 2010

One of the things I recently talked about with Patrick Crozier, apart from Murray Rothbard, was the whole thing about how to blog those Big Important Thing pieces that we bloggers all yearn to do from time to time, in among babbling about kittens or their equivalents for each of us.  Where to begin?  How to begin?

The answer is: to just begin.  Do a posting about it, at least saying one thing, such as what it is you would like to be able to prove, but leaving anything in the way of an actual proof for later.  A big piece describing the nineteen most important things about X, but confining yourself to saying what X is.  Or, in my case recently, a big piece about all the reasons why I support the state of Israel.  I just started by saying that I do.  I can start on why later.  And if I ever want to pull it all together into a Big Piece, well, what’s to stop me?  Repetition?  So what?

Never wanting to repeat yourself is a form of arrogance.  It says: everyone takes in and remembers everything that I ever said, first time, and remembers it for ever.  Having already said this on Feb 3rd 2007, I don’t need to tell you again that I think this or that, do I?  Well, in most cases: yes.  Mostly, the reader now didn’t even read that.  If he did, he doesn’t remember.  If he vaguely does remember, he won’t mind being reminded.  If he remembers it perfectly, he won’t mind being reminded, because he will know perfectly well that he is the only one who does remember it, apart from you.  If you actually do remember it yourself.

Which means: that every big Final Statement, perfectly written, can happily be preceded by small fragments of it, imperfectly written.  You could have written it better?  So write it better, again.  Then pull all the best bits together.  There’s nothing that says you can’t do this.

To put this another way, and as I often say (what with repetition not being a problem), decisions come in two varieties: baby decisions, and loaf of bread decisions.  A bit of a baby is useless.  Worse than useless in fact.  Downright harmful.  But a slice of bread is a slice of bread.  It is not as much as the entire loaf, but it is still something to eat.  It is still bread.

And contrary to what is often unthinkingly assumed, bits of Big Statements are not bits of baby, they are slices of bread.  They don’t say everything but they do say something.

Besides which, if you pre-announce the Big Thing that you are trying to put together, others may add crucially good bits that you would have missed to the early bits that you write.  Which means that posting an early bit will probably turn out better than if you don’t post anything until it is entirely done.  Thinking aloud.  Blogs, the universities of the twenty first century, discuss.

I think I have said quite a bit of this before (see especially the end of that piece) in a somewhat different context.  Obviously, not a problem.