Monday, September 3, 2007

Geeks and Wonks and Politics, Oh My!

Brother J passed on this article, claiming it somehow relates to me. I can't imagine why he would think such a thing:

[Policy geeks] are no less fascinated by detail but are drawn to ideals. Observation alone bores them. They are drawn to the prospect of change. They don't want to be players as such; they question the very rules of the game and want to change them. They are happy to make a difference in the ideological infrastructure, whether big or small. They tend to work alone and totally disregard caste distinctions...this means that the geeks are drawn to ideas, even radical ideas. They can easily imagine what doesn't exist, which makes them dreamers and entrepreneurs. And so they are attracted to and study history and philosophy and economics...They thrive on making information public, on smashing old structures, breaking cartels, and busting monopolies of power.

I'm more than a little flattered, or maybe it's just me being egotistical. Who knows. Nevertheless, I wholly endorse the article, and, I must admit (with some help), see a little of myself in the wonk part, especially this line:

Political wonks are fascinated by process.

I am less proud to admit I see myself in this passage:

They thrive on meetings, small victories, administrative details, and gossip about these matters. Knowing who is who and what is what is the very pith of life.


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