Brian Micklethwait's Blog

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

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Monday November 24 2008

imageNew addition to the blogroll.

Quote, Nov 16th:

To all those readers of this blog who have requested shorter, snappier, less technical and abstruse postings, the following.  I write this blog for me, not for my readers.  Writing things down is the only way for me to communicate effectively with myself about complex issues.  By doing this writing in the form of a blog, I gain the option of taking on board the comments and criticism of those who read my scribblings and feel compelled to respond to it.  I gain this benefit at the cost of having to plough through a lot of stuff that makes little or no sense, in order to uncover the few pearls hidden among the swine.  There are minor vanity/ego rents to having people read what I write, and my consulting income may receive an indeterminate boost from these activities. But all that is secondary to my need to write.  I don’t know something unless I have written it down.

I started this blog quite independently, at http://maverecon.blogspot.com/.  I was invited by the Financial Times to move my blog to their site.  Because of the likelihood of greater vanity/ego rents and the possibility of more frequent intelligent feedback through wider readership, I accepted this invitation.  When the FT lose interest, I will go private again.  I don’t get paid for this blog.

So no, my blogs will not get shorter, snappier, less demanding, less abstruse, complicated and confusing.  My blog postings are and will be excessively lengthy, long-winded, demanding, abstruse, complicated and confusing where the problems are complicated and confusing.  I make no concessions to my readers.  Why should I?  The readers I lose or miss as a result of writing the way I do are the readers I don’t want in the first place.  They can always go to the National Enquirer, Bild or the News of the World.

PS Some people say I’m arrogant. No idea where they get that notion.

It’s similar with me, but whereas this guy is wrestling with profundity and complexity, I like to wrestle with what strike me, but very possibly nobody else, as significant trivialities.  Under the radar wisps of cultural semi-significance.  Intriguing aesthetic conventions, colliding with one another.  But unlike a real “cultural reporter”, of the paid sort, I fixate on a few such things, and nag away at them.  Billion Monkeys, roof clutter, cranes, skyscrapers in the background of other things, the cheapness of classical CDs, Evening Standard hand-done billboards, sport and how we follow it and how it fits into our real lives, kittens, etc. etc.  And if you don’t like what I put, just remember who I mostly write this for.  It’s not entirely me.  I do hope others are entertained.  But me is the beginning and end of it.

The economics of Willem Buiter are intriguing.  He doesn’t get paid, yet he does contribute to the “mainstream media”.  He’s a sort of licensed writer of letters to the editor, which they have promised to print beforehand, sight unseen.  Until, one day, any decade now, either he or they will call time.  Actually, as he hints here, he is paid, in the form of slightly bigger consultancy fees.  And my guess would be that “slightly”, for him, is a lot.  Meanwhile, down here in kitten-blogging land, my psychic income is more than slightly increased.

I will be interested to see how Buiter’s preoccupations, the big financial picture, impinge upon mine, in the next few years.  Will gadgets start to look dreadfully 2007?  Will shiny modern architecture come to a shuddering halt, and will deputy dog soon be making lists of half-finished towers, still brutally concrete, without any shiny cladding?  Will the shift of interest among Billion Monkeys away from little Billion Monkey cameras to pseudo Real Photographer cameras be reversed, and will the new story be: what can you now get for £30?  Will proposed new roof clutter, now blessedly invisible to the aesthetic police, become the only thing they have left to fuss about, and will they, accordingly, fuss, and will roof clutter be put into ugly little boxes?

What’s that?  You’re confused?  You don’t know what this posting is supposed to be about?  I don’t mind.  I understand it.