I want, before I begin posting items of real substance, to introduce myself and my perspective on things. Mostly the latter, really.
Blogging has pretty effectively exploded over the last year. For better or worse, damn near everyone these days seems to have something to say. Opinions and assholes, and all of that. A lot of it is unmitigated crap, sure, but by and large I think the advent of the blogosphere (much as I loathe that term) is A Good Thing. It gives us the opportunity to have real debates about things that matter–something other than just late-night rambling conversations with close friends who, for the most part, already know what we think. In that vein, I wanted to start publishing my thoughts in a more visible venue. I don’t harbor delusions of being able to singlehandedly influence public policy, but I think every piece of reasoned argument that people are exposed to adds something to our understanding of the world. I think we could all stand to spend a bit more time writing and reading and talking and pondering. I have faith in the powers of human reason to make the world better and more fulfilling, and I believe it’s a worthwhile and increasingly necessary pursuit to exercise those powers of reason and to think through the myriad of issues relevant to modern life.
As far as what things interest me enough for me to post about them, I can only offer you a laundry list and a disclaimer that the list is constantly growing. I make no guarantees about the consistency of my interest in a given topic or issue, though I suspect a broad interest in politics and philosophy will be more or less constant for however long I’m blogging. At present, I am especially interested in liberalism, atheism, political philosophy, epistemology, morality, philosophy of science, public policy, cultural criticism, and education. Who knows what else that list will encompass a month or a year from now.
The plan, insofar as I’ve formulated a plan, is to write until I’m tired of writing. It’s a distinct possibility that I won’t ever actually tire of writing, and that there will be a steady stream of excessively wordy, argumentative posts from me for a long time to come. There are, as you will soon discover if you read this with any regularity, a lot of things on my mind.
I should also say that I’m tremendously excited to be blogging with the people I’m about to be blogging with. They’re bright, interesting people, all of whom I’ve known for years now, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing what they have to say. It is my hope that once we start posting, we’ll generate some valuable discussion, both among the four of us and between us and whoever reads this blog. I wholeheartedly encourage anyone reading The Intelligent Party to comment, whether in agreement or disagreement; I’m looking forward to forcing myself to think through various issues, but the real value comes from debate and discussion. I will consider this a successful venture if we’re able to engender such debate. As much as I enjoy rambling, it’s not really the goal.
Now that that’s out of the way, we can really get started. Here goes nothing.