On the fourth birthday of this blog, I raise a glass to the prickly chap who inspired it, and makes occasional contributions. I raise another glass to all those who have read it at some point, and a further glass (it’s ok, they’re only small ones), to everyone who has taken the trouble to comment.
Last year at this time I attempted to reflect on why I blog. I didn’t arrive at any firm conclusion, except that I like doing it. I can’t add much to what I said then. I sometimes wonder why I spent hours writing and re-writing a post intended to crystallise my thoughts on some more or less profound topic, when it might be read by fewer than a hundred people and not receive a single comment.
It’s my graffiti wall, I suppose. I can scrawl whatever I like here, I can choose my crayons freely and let the ideas flow, and I can choose whether or not to argue about what it means or if it was worth it.
So having little to add to last year’s musings, I raise yet another glass to some people who have played a role in shaping, in some way, my little sandbox:
I thank NickM, of Counting Cats, for teaching me not to be afraid of the recursive asterisk.*
I thank Vincent, the Wayfarer, for regularly pointing out my lapses into negativity and intellectual laziness. The lesson still isn’t entirely learnt, but I now construct posts with a greater awareness of who might be reading them. And a clearer idea of why I write them in the first place.
I thank Dr. Rao, who thinks I’m a Professor of Indology and still sends me updates on research into the Indus script which I am, to both his and my disappointment, not competent to evaluate.
I thank CNN, for linking to me about three years ago as a supposed expert on Bolivian politics and sending my readership numbers through the roof for a couple of days (all I’d done was read a selection of the Bolivian press and turn it into a report for the Anglo-Saxon public, something you would have imagined they would be doing themselves).
I thank an anonymous user of reddit for linking to my recent post on Heikegani and also sending the stats through the roof. (Note to self: find out what reddit is and how it works).
I thank Charles Crawford for accidentally getting me into the Independent in rather confused circumstances
I thank Mark Wadsworth for teaching me the little I know about money, and for patience in the face of stupid questions.
I thank Tim Worstall for taking the trouble to answer my economically innocent questions in an intellectually meaningful way.
I thank the world, for being interesting enough to think and write about
*I would also thank him for teaching me to write fun and interesting posts**, but he has been unequal to the- extremely difficult- task.
**Not that he knew he was trying to do it, of course.