First off, a proper introduction.

First off, a proper introduction.

February 2012

In the face of a myriad of blogs, living and deceased,  I now am in front of you, dear reader, bearing a portent of yet another serving of online fodder. If circumstances were more fortunate, you would have probably read these words on pulp [a medium I find to be one of those things that can easily, but oddly, be described as ‘cheap’ and ‘expensive to produce’] but given our current limits you now are treated to this meretricious and flickering [albeit imperceptibly] electronic display of lights that translate to sentences in your head.

I am Marco Harder and I decided to start this blog after realizing that at some point, one would have to start thinking independently and that inevitably, conclusions that I eventually come to will have to be tested in the battle of ideas. I would like to think that I am a trained rhetorician, but I find very little opportunity to speak about the subjects that I care deeply about and while my friends possess considerably above-average intellectual mettle, some of them are not as bent towards disputation as I am. Not so much because they actively shun such tendencies but rather because I simply am more or less always in the mood for a good spar between conflicting opinions.

Because of this, it dawned on me that I might as well go about this business in the manner I am used to, which is doing things myself.  I decided to allot some online space and some of my time to get my ideas out there simply because I don’t see enough opportunities available for me to present my views on things. It may be argued that there is a dint of vanity in this effort as regards the motivation to put up such a blog, as one can easily see that creating one is a subterfuge to attract attention and thus afford me shot or two in a more public, more mainstream channel. However, I shall let you be the judge whether that is indeed the case, although I personally wouldn’t mind if I eventually find myself ventriloquizing my thoughts to a bigger audience.

Speaking of position, I feel that I should make it clear that the other main reason for this thankless job of self-publication is is that the idea of exposing my own positions to contrary opinions genuinely thrills me. In Letters to a Young Contrarian, Christopher Hitchens gave the most mordant and sobering description of the outcome of debates I have ever encountered: in disputes and arguments, he says, either party very rarely gets persuaded away from his original assertion. Rather, the likeliest conclusion of these dialectical affairs is that both combatants walk away from the debate thinking how they could further refine their arguments for their respective positions. Thus, it is under the umbrage of this principle that I mount my other – and personally, more compelling – purpose for this blog, which is to present and argue my case on topics that interest me at a given moment and have it subjected to critical appraisal. Obviously, I now perpetually run the risk of having my assertions and opinions repudiated but I think that the realm of knowledge and ideas should never be exempt from the rigor and stress tests under which we put regular objects to determine their resilience and in some ways, their value.

I do hope that you find this little online engagement to be entertaining. While I have limited time due to the other persuasions to which I devote as much passion as I do to ideas,  I will try to regularly churn out pieces that are at least worth your time, and at hopefully your opinion at best.

Marco Harder