An apology, a quote and an allusion

I’ve finally bitten the bullet and set up my own blog.

But before I go on about it I have an apology to make about my persistent cyber vice. Those long-winded comments I’ve been posting on other peoples blogs for more than a decade are a thing of the past. From now on I resolve to make short-winded posts on my blog.

Should have happened years ago, but they always said I was a late developer. My apologies to all those long-suffering bloggers who put up with my vice, especially Pr Quiggin and Steve Sailer.

A word about the blog’s title and header image. The title refers to Michael Oakeshott’s famous lecture on Political Education (1951) where he constructs a nautical metaphor for navigating the ship of state:

“In political activity, then, men sail a boundless and bottomless sea; there is neither harbour for shelter nor floor for anchorage, neitherstarting-place nor appointed destination. The enterprise is to keep afloat on an even keel; the sea is both friend and enemy; and the seamanship consists in using the resources of a traditional manner of behaviour in order to make a friend of every hostile occasion.”

I have no idea how to sail a ship, let alone ship of state. But I have always admired Oakeshott’s political philosophy, which is a warning to those who would naively use philosophy as a guide to politics. A precautionary tale to the stowaway who presumes to offer unsolicited advice to the helmsman.

The image is Wanderer above the Sea of Fog (1818), by Caspar David Friedrich, which one critic suggested offered an ambiguous message: “at once mastery over a landscape and the insignificance of the individual within it.” That pretty much sums up the frustrated will-to-power of most bloggers.

Despite these caveats about my ignorance and impotence [sic!] I am vain enough to think I have something worthwhile to contribute. If for no more reason than to claim bragging rights when I am right and cop a flogging when I am wrong.

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