den beste defense...

...is a good offense, so I'm going to blog once and for all why I like Steven's writing and thus hopefully stave off any more snarky comments or email that inevitably result whenever I'm inspired to blog by something he wrote. This is my definitive last word on the subject, so [DWL]!

Steven writes for much the same reason I do - it's about process, not popularity. In fact, I take it further than he does - unlike him, I don't even keep a hit counter on UNMEDIA because I'd be too interested in my traffic stats, and that would influence my writing. And the process of writing is not just mechanics, it's an integral piece of how I excercise my right of self-expression. That right, collectively excercised by all Americans, is what makes our culture so vibrant and innovative, and what keeps our liberty alive[1].

The idea is that honest and open and unrestricted debate gives ideas a chance to thrive and compete and most importantly, evolve. If you argue with yourself in an echo chamber, then it'snot surprising you find agreement - but agreement is not the end goal. I deliberately read Steven's writing because he makes his best argument for what he believes, and looks for that debate. It's doubtful I'll ever convince him he's wrong on an issue, but thats as much a matter of personality as anything else. But what it does achieve is a rigor that appeals to my peer-review oriented approach to problem solving. Steven's arguments are the gold standard to disagree against. He takes the time and makes the effort to put the complete argument together, and thus keeps the debate focused by giving me a clear target with which to disagree, and a clear rationale of why[2]. There isn't a single blogger out there who does this as well.

In the end, it's a matter of selfishness - reading Steven makes me a better writer, and gives my ideas and my writing more power. And we share that goal - of putting our points of view out there into the public domain so that they can go forth and compete.

[1] One of the areas in which i difer from Steven is the relative importance of keeping our culture open vs the war on terror. The worst that Al-Qaeda could do was martyr 3000 American heroes who died in the name of an open society. And clear out some inconsequential real estate. The damage that we inflict upon ourselves out of fear is far worse. As the New Hampshire state motto says, Live free or die. Patrick Henry wrote, Give me liberty or give me death. And Thomas Jefferson said that the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of patriots (and tyrants). I am sure Steven agrees with all of this, but he still supports the Bush Administration, which clearly does not. The New Republican Party is a danger to the American way of life, whereas Al Qaeda is a danger to American lives. And fascism is a cancer that only grows in liberty.
[2] Of course it isnt always disagreement.

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