Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thinking Blogger

Last year I had the privilege of working with Dale Roe on the 2,996 Project that honored the victims of 9/11. I wrote some software that helped manage the sign-up process for the several thousand bloggers who volunteered to make a post in tribute to one of the victims. We got to know each other a little bit from that work, but haven't had much contact since last September.

Out of the blue yesterday, Dale wrote me an email. It seems that he's chosen me (and two others) for a "Thinking Blogger" award. In the parlance of the blog memes, he “tagged” me. Other than accusing me of being a “staunch Republican”, he had only nice things to say. The gist of his comments is that while he often doesn't agree with my point of view, my posts challenge him, and make him think. What more could I ask?

The local Republicans (think Duncan Hunter) would probably have some sort of heart palpitations if I joined – there aren't very many Republicans in favor of open legal immigration, or decriminalizing drugs and prostitution. Some Republicans (e.g. Bush, McCain, Thompson) have a perspective on the war on terror that I largely share, and many share my fiscal conservatism. About the only political party I could imagine joining would be the “Tom Party”, which has just one member...

But I do appreciate the fact that Dale reads my blog, and even more that my posts challenge him to think about his positions (whatever they are!). And of course it's cool to get an award.

Under the rules of this award (see below), I now have to choose five other bloggers to get a “Thinking Blogger” award. Here are my choices:
  1. Dilbert Blog: Scott Adams (the cartoonist behind Dilbert) has a way of looking at the world that is very different that most people. His observations and insights are often quite funny, but they are always thought-provoking and often challenge assumptions you normally think of as unassailable.

  2. Schneier on Security: Bruce Schneier is one of the most sober and level-headed thinkers about security. He's an authority on cryptography algorithms and systems, but immersion in this led him to an even more interesting set of problems: security in the real world. While his focus is more-or-less on computer security, he also delves into other kinds of security (terrorism, burglary, etc.) – with his same trademark clear thinking and focus on the results rather than the process.

  3. The Bleat: James Lileks weaves together a sort of diary of his life and pungent observations on the events of the day. He has a special talent for distilling the essence of a very complex issue or event into a one or two sentence comment that will cause you to rock back and say “whoa!” – and quite possibly laugh out loud at the same time.

  4. CoyoteBlog: Warren Meyer is a libertarian business owner who is completely unintimidated by big, complex issues – and is particularly good at analysis and challenging assumptions. Most recently he's tackled the global warming hypothesis, writing (and posting) a small book.

  5. Enjoy Every Sandwich: You can count on “Skippy” to make you think in different ways about familiar issues. You can also depend on him to be rude, offensive, and outrageous – if you're offended by completely uninhibited sexual imagery (and imagination!), don't read Skippy – but your prudery will keep you from an often interesting perspective.
Here are the rules for this award:
1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote .

1 comment:

  1. Well, well, well, it is certainly way past time that brilliant mind has been noticed by a non-relation!