Tuesday, March 24, 2009

For everything there is a first time...

This is the first post on the first day of this blog.

As the sidebar says, we will concentrate on international development and policy issues. Ideas will be tossed around, critiqued, dumped or praised. We will be using some development terms, but will do our best to avoid the useless acronyms invented to drive us all crazy and abbreviate sentences.

The contributors to this blog have one thing in common - and that is the frustration of watching development assistance vanish into the multiple black holes in emerging economies. This is not always the fault of donors - one only needs to glance at the lucky recipient governments to understand what happens at the other end of the money trail.

Most of the time, the posts here will be on technical subjects. Most of the time. But we might go off on a tangent and discuss political decisions and policies that are backward and in our opinion - just plain stupid. We also don't always agree among ourselves, so you might see some fireworks from time to time.

Ultimately, we hope to provide a useful dialogue that actually promotes, well, results.

Finally, all of us work for a living. This blog ain't gonna pay the rent or, more importantly, keep good wine on the table. So, if at times it appears to be a bit thin, we are working. Just sayin'...

If you don't like what we propose or say, keep your criticism polite and rational. Tone is important. Snark is appreciated up to a point. Don't make it a habit and we won't - and we are very, very good at it.

Wish us luck.

1 comment:

Ed said...

Thanks for sharing the inaugural of your blog. Its off to a good start. I think that to live up to the name of the Agents of Virtue your group must become Blogger Monks rather than Coffee House Intellectuals. This is not due to any shortcomings in intellect or insight, it is due to the nature of your subject.

Mature public institutions are irredeemably corrupt and anyone who achieves a position of power within them will sooner or later become corrupt as well. This cannot be changed. You bloggers are feeding from these institutions and attempting to be radical at the same time. This cannot succeed.

In my view change may not even be desirable. The relatively powerless must develop guerrilla skills so they may flourish via asymmetrical warfare. Ruthlessly objectify the Beast. Manage the managers and manipulate the manipulators. Of course if everyone developed the skills the entire institutional infrastructure would collapse and all would parish in anarchy. A minority will acquire the skills and successfully feed from the beast while the majority will continue to be its fodder. This strategy is not necessarily virtuous; it is the application of a craft.

Please don't consider my contrarian reply snarkful, not that I fear your retaliatory skill. I am an adroit smartass myself. Snark-isms are among the most effective forms of rhetoric if mixed with irony.