This is not a meme…

August 27, 2010

…it’s an invitation to other bloggers to participate in a somewhat structured activity. Yeah. That’s what it is.

Here’s the thing: I was in the Gunblogger Conspiracy IRC room the other night, and I happened to mention as how I don’t do much in the way of blogging (no, really!) because everything I can think of to say seems redundant. As I recall, I said something to the effect of “You just take the intersection of Eric Raymond, Chris Byrne and Kevin Baker‘s opinions, and you pretty much get mine.” Saying this, ironically, caused me to think up something to blog about, for once. Said something was, unfortunately, a LiveJournal-esque “meme”, but you can’t have everything.

Here goes:

  1. Name the bloggers whose thinking is most harmonious with, or dare I say it, influential on, your own.
  2. List some of the subjects on which you disagree with them.

Naturally, I shall start things off:

Respects in which I disagree with Eric Raymond:

  • I’m not a Wiccan. I buy everything Eric says about Wicca being fundamentally more sane in its claims than any faith-based religion, and ultimately little more than a rewarding, and let’s not beat about the bush, often rather fun way to explore certain modes of awareness and experience, but I’ve never had the kind of experience he describes as a “theophany”, and I don’t particularly want to.
  • I’m not an anarchist. Once again, I buy all the theory. I accept the first principles that lead Eric to anarchism as a philosophical position, but I’m too cowardlypragmatic to follow him all the way down the rabbit hole.

Respects in which I disagree with Chris Byrne

  • I’m not a Catholic. Chris has clearly had what Eric would call a “theophany”, in a Catholic context, with the result that he embraces the faith. I have never had such an experience, and I don’t know what I’d end up believing if I did.
  • I can’t quite get behind this idea of Chris’ that the franchise is something that has to be earned. On the one hand, I respect the idea that people are more likely to value something and use it responsibly if they have to work for it, but I’m troubled by the fact that you can’t opt out: if you’re unwilling to earn the power to influence the government by voting, even so the government can still come along and mess with you, and you’ve forfeited a means of redress.

Respects in which I disagree with Kevin Baker

  • I can’t bring myself to be quite as relentlessly pragmatic as Kevin is. I agree with him that just getting the American people and their elected overlords to care about and abide by the Constitution they claim to uphold is what we should be working on before we start figuring out how to form an even more perfect union, but as an imaginative creature I can’t quite stop myself from dreaming about what Utopia might look like.
  • Interestingly, that’s all I’ve got. This is probably because Kevin confines himself to certain topics more than Chris or Eric.

I like to think this meme is a fairly intelligent example of the genre. I hope it provokes some discussion.

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