Why blog?

Written By: - Date published: 12:04 pm, June 18th, 2011 - 58 comments
Categories: blogs, uncategorized - Tags: ,

Last week Lynn posted a list of authors and I was horrified to see that I have done 600 posts as r0b for The Standard. How time flies when you’re having fun!

It seemed like a good time to stop and review why I’m doing this. And it turns out that the reasons haven’t changed from when I started. Politics matters, the Left wing vision is better for people and better for the planet. So I want to argue for the Left.

Looking back at what I’ve written, I’m a lot blunter on the blog than I am in real life. Nature of the medium I guess. While I wouldn’t say that I was proud of every post, there’s nothing that I’m ashamed of, and I stand by all of it.

Other events last week have also had me thinking. In particular, the treatment of confidential data by the Nats. Passing it on to an unstable blogger who threatened to publish a list of Labour donors is something that I found deeply offensive. (I should note here for the record that wiser elements in National found it deeply offensive too, so props to them, I hope they win the battle for the heart of their party.) This whole business of trying to “out” people is nothing but an attempt to silence opposition by creating a climate of fear. Bugger that.

G’day. My name is Anthony R0bins and I’m an academic at the University of Otago. Yeah I know – how boring and predictable is that! I’ll be posting under my own name from now on. My opinions are my own, and are not endorsed by the University, the Labour party (of which I am a member), or anyone else. If you want to contact me on blog related matters my email address will be (r0b at thestandard dot org dot nz – it’s not set up yet but it will be). Email to my work address is not welcome and will be eaten by filters before I even see it.

I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be doing this. It’s fun, but it is also tiring (I write at night). I’ll take this opportunity to call, as usual, for other writers to join us here. Send us some Guest Posts, see how it goes. There’s a fight to be fought. Don’t leave it to someone else to fight it for you, find some way to get involved. Cheers.

58 comments on “Why blog?”

  1. ianmac 1

    Gidday Anthony. Pleased to meet you and impressed by your writings. Rob seems to be a friendly name too.
    We little people cannot write with erudition but we can read and agree or not agree with words such as yours. Our only contribution is to take note of your ideas and make modest comments accordingly so keep up the important work.

  2. Good on ya rOb. I have always enjoyed your posts and hope you keep them up.

    I agree about the climate of fear that elements of the right try to male progressives operate under. Labour’s misfortune/stuff up this week is an example. It was turned into a weapon of fear.

    Keep up the good work.

    • r0b 2.1

      Cheers Greg.  You were an example to me in coming out actually…

      • Was I?  Thanks.  I thought I would do the same.  Being self employed and having a real objection to bullies I thought I should be myself.

        Cameron will be displeased.  He will now not have the opportunity to speculate endlessly on who you are.

        I can understand the desire to to use pseudonyms though.  Since my identity was discovered responses to comments tend to get personal and address me, rather than what I am saying.  Some pillock used the names of staff members of my firm to make comments on this site.  That was particularly creepy.

        This week with Cameron’s assistance I have had to put up with idiot calls, texts and emails, threats of complaints to my professional organisation and a universal response by RWNJs to question my professional competence.  Even those who clearly did not know what they were talking about chose to make disparaging comments about my legal ability.

        This is why pseudonyms are relevant.  At least the idea gets debated rather than the commenter attacked.

        And if you want to see how puerile the debate can be then go to the sewer or to Slater’s site.  Discussion there seems to be a never ending series of RWNJ reinforcing comments.  If anyone disagrees they are ridiculed.

        Democracy deserves better.

        Interesting that Cameron’s efforts have barely registered on the MSM.  And having spent the day door knocking in Ranui and Parakai I can assure everyone that Kiwis are far more concerned at the increase in the cost of the basics, our failure to catch up with Australia and with the idiotic proposal to sell part of our power infrastructure to overseas interests.

  3. gingercrush 3

    I don’t understand your academic interests.

    Oh and does this make you smarter than Lprent?

    • r0b 3.1

      I don’t understand your academic interests.

      It would take a long time to explain them GC. Basically I make computer models of memory, and I’m interested in how people learn programming languages. So yeah, I’m a scientist, but my area of expertise is not at all relevant to politics – except in as much as it has taught me to evaluate data, and to recognise good and bad reasoning.

      Oh and does this make you smarter than Lprent?

      Don’t be daft!

      • felix 3.1.1

        Kinda sounds like you could build an lprent though…

        • r0b 3.1.1.1

          I just need one more grant!  Heh.  No I think we need a geneticist to look in to cloning.  With an army of Lprents, The Standard could take over the world!

          • terryg 3.1.1.1.1

            Hi Anthony, nice to meet you.

            your nefarious plan will only work if coded in FORTH. Besides, that way the source looks like a collection of MAD magazine swear words.

            regards, Terry Given

            • r0b 3.1.1.1.1.1

              And you Terry.

              Never did learn FORTH, though I did know a language (Pop11) that was supposed to be based on it.  Pop11 should have taken over the world, but it didn’t.

  4. weka 4

    Thanks for that and all your good work.

  5. Vinsin 5

    Awesome Rob, hope you can keep posting as I always enjoy reading your posts, and good on you for having the gumption to post under your own name.

  6. Kia ora Rob/Anthony,

    I understand where you are coming from and have recently put my name on my blog too. There are advantages in being anon but I’m thinking more benefits for standing up and being counted. But everyone makes their own choice and for my blog the traffic is modest 🙂

    Kia kaha e hoa

  7. PeteG 7

    I realise this isn’t going to come to the surface, but maybe it will get to R0b….

    Good on you Anthony. It can be a big decision to blog under your own name, with work especially to consider, but it does make things easier once you’ve done with the subterfuge.

    “I’m a lot blunter on the blog than I am in real life. ” – me too usually, but I’d willingly repeat anything I post face to face. I too will stand by anything I’ve blogged. I won’t necessarily still agree with it but I’ll stand by my reasoning for saying .

    • r0b 7.1

      I’ll let that through. Cheers Pete, and perhaps I’ll see you at some campaign event some time (since I work for your opposition!).

      • PeteG 7.1.1

        Cheers too – and yeah, it would be interesting and quite likely we’ll meet sometime. The funny thing is with blogs – we may have walked past each other on the street on our ways home to battle in the blog.

    • lprent 7.2

      There has been very little subterfuge. That has tended to come from the rubbish dumpers on the other side along with the stupid errors as whale played his usual mix of stupidity, bluster, and poor guesswork. R0b was attributed as being rob salmond by him at some stage

      The subterfuge always wound up needing me or Mike or Ben or Clinton to confirm and I don’t like stupid fuckwits guessing.

      Incidentally, have you ever noticed that I am probably one of the bluntest people around here, and my name has always been known…

      • jackal 7.2.1

        I’m the opposite… I’m far more blunt in real life and tone things down considerably for the Jackal. The attribution thing is interesting with people trying to associate my blogging with both the Green’s and Labour. I guess I should consider it a compliment, although the stabbing in the dark thing is rather tedious and foolish. It takes a secure individual to stand beside his political writings when there are so many RWNJs around the place. Good for you Mr Robins.

        • lprent 7.2.1.1

          Oh I am just as blunt in real life. Generally I have a project to do and so I’m pretty focused on getting it done. At the usual level I work at, what we are working on is of interest, and the people focus in on that. The Standard is such a project for me and has been since I was asked to take it on in 2007. It is a project that has social parts as well as the technical, but it is just a project.

          In real life, the techniques you use to make that happen just change. There I can use a wider range of expressions like body language, tone, white boards, etc to highlight what is important and what is not. Here I use much more extreme written language coupled with actions to highlight the same things – impediments to the project succeeding. 

          I’m usually quieter and less engaged in social occasions (at least when it isn’t my immediate family) simply because there is usually little of interest to me being talked about. I mean why in the hell would I be interested in the offspring of a dead princess getting married, or someones dispute with the council over a tree or whatever…

          You can see the same thing here – there are whole areas of the debates that I cannot be bothered with at all. It usually takes a direct question or some dork sounding off with assertions or very rarely a topic of interest before I can be bothered. It is the same IRL outside of the projects I’m into. 

          The nice thing about blogs is that they are self-selecting amongst the whole population of NZ and you can happily ignore what is of no interest.

  8. Purplescottie 8

    Hi Anthony/r0b.
    Love reading your posts and hope you continue posting for a long time to come.

  9. r0b 9

    Thanks weka, Vinsin, Purplescottie and all!  I’m greatly cheered by the warm reception.

    I’ll be in and out today, but have to head off now and do some cooking.

    Cheers All
    Anthony

  10. WOOF 10

    Halwo Anthony! 🙂

  11. swimmer 11

    G’Day Anthony – 🙂

  12. felix 12

    G’day Anthony! I take it you’re not the American bloke from the infomercials with the enormous hands then.

    • Bored 12.1

      That bugger always reminds me of Kenny Everetts “Brother Lee Love”.

    • r0b 12.2

      Ahh, Tony Robbins.  No, I’m not him thank goodness (though I do bear a striking physical resemblance don’t you think?).  I get email meant for him sometimes, I’m always so sorry to disappoint them.

  13. fermionic_interference 13

    The solid reasoning and analysis of your posts is a breath of fresh air in the NZ media these days.
    So many thanks to you and the other posters for this.
    Although maybe I feel that way because I agree with your position on most matters, but to be honest the fact that a source of information that the Standard is keeps the hope alive, that not every NZer is happy with the twisted unanalysed direct quotes that occur in the MSM.

    Thanks again rOb we appreciate your efforts out here in the faceless masses.

  14. Bored 14

    Well done rOb, very brave to be overt when things like employment can be compromised. Working in commerce it would probably disturb those with my nearest commercial relationships should it be discovered that their business associate is a red leaning anarchist / environmentalist. It will have to wait til I retire to “come out”. Good luck and well done.

    • r0b 14.1

      Actually I feel a bit of a fraud in that respect Bored.  There’s no employment risk for me.  Universities are not places where you get punished for having opinions.

  15. M 15

    Nice one Anthony – glad to see there are still some left leaning males out there who give a damn about others and fairness rather than the buggers whose mantra appears to be those that die with the most toys win. This is my opinion only and could be a sweeping generalisation but for my money left males (of which there appears to be a dearth) are much smarter than the fear and authority crazed RWNJs out there and are least willing to consider a different perspective.

    I work in a sea of RWNJs who throw the nanny state phrase around with gay abandon but coming to The Standard gave me the right riposte of daddy state. My wall at work has a number of blown up Standard pictures such as the spliced Muldoon/Key physog and they add a bit of merriment to my day when the going gets tough.

  16. Sookie 16

    The University of Otago, a hotbed of lefties it is, despite the dominance of the Tartan Mafia in the rarified air of the Clocktower 🙂 Good on you for coming out, R0b, I always like your thoughtful, rant-free posts.

  17. ak 17

    Well done Anthony, courageous move, please, please keep your night job even if you take it easy for a spell as you’d be a huge loss around here. Your posts and comments have always been shining examples of compassion, sound reasoning and thorough research, and your patience with moronity is a lesson to us all.
    Just a thought – for a change of direction, how about “prerehearsing” some campaign speeches?
    r0b for PM!

    • r0b 17.1

      Thanks ak.  I might have got involved if I’d caught the politics bug 30 years ago.

      Vaguely considered standing in Dunedin North when Pete Hodgson stood down.  But given the strength of the field that put their hands up, there was no need.  

      In particular, the successful candidate, the Rev Dr David Clark is going to be a brilliant MP, much better than I would have been.  And keep your eye on Glenda Alexander on the Labour list, and Tat Loo standing in Clutha Southland against absentee MP Bill English.  With all that, and Clare Curran to the South, Dunedin is very well served by its MPs, past, present and future.

  18. r0b 18

    Thanks Sookie, fermionic_interference WOOF / Swimmer and all!

    Off again. Even (previously) top secret uber-bloggers are still required to show up in the kitchen today…

    • lprent 18.1

      I have the joyful opportunity to be silent today. Picked Lyn up from the airport in a spaced out condition after Eire. She seems to think that sleeping on planes is impossible, and the Irish and various overseas doco directors that were there had little need for sleep.

      So rather than doing the usual weekend household chores. I have to be quiet and read rather than than clatter about with the washing etc. Lyn is dead to the world.

      So I will read and think of you with your chores 😈

  19. Jim Nald 19

    Thanks for your posts, Anthony.
    Keep your night job .. and your day job.
    Looking forward to shouting you a cuppa some day.

  20. stever 20

    Delighted to read that you’re Anthony! I always knew we CS-people were better than our cliché-ed image!

    • r0b 20.1

      G’day Steve, pleased to meet you.  Yeah we get a bad rep sometimes – I blame Bill Gates…

  21. r0b's sis 21

    Well done, Anthony – you seem to have been touching a real chord with people. I’ve found your recent ChCh stuff really stirring, for obvious reasons, but I always hear your voice in what you write. Good on you for stepping forward. Kia kaha.

  22. marsman 22

    A belated Good On Ya rOb. Thank you.

    ‘There’s a fight to be fought. Don’t leave it to someone else to fight it for you, find some way to get involved. Cheers.’ !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Grant Morgan 23

    Kia ora Anthony, I applaud your guts in “coming out” as r0b given the unholy smears that so often pass for right-wing comment. I have never before commented on anything up on The Standard. This time, however, I do want to say that your thoughtful, balanced, insightful articles do not go unnoticed even among people like myself who rarely have the time, or the wish, to comment. Your articles are deservedly influential. Please continue doing what you have been doing so well. Kia kaha, Grant Morgan, Auckland.

  24. Black with a Vengeance... 24

    Mad props Anthony. Once I fully resolve the conflicting philosphies of my parents I’ll probably drop the facade too, meantime it’s toxic avenging all the way 🙂

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