We Are Here was created in December 2013 with a mission: to write stuff. If that sounds stupidly broad, well, look at the list of labels/tags... it is a stupidly broad blog. If I have had a thought since then (it's January 2017), I've probably at least tried to write a blog post about it provided I've remembered it by the time I've got to the computer. Thus if you want to read about drones, Marvel comics and reviews of university courses you've come to the right place. Assuming, of course, you make your way through the burgeoning number of economics labelled posts.
In truth, this blog used to be more than "my views" in the sense that I theoretically dealt with Big Topics or "general views". But as I, like many forumites, believe blogs exist for narcissists and ego-maniacs like myself it was probably inevitable that I'd end up spending so much time on me. When I wrote this, the me label applied to 28 posts and personal views 29 (many of which I imagine are the same). This is out of 106, to date, posts (51 of which are labelled with education).
There are some definite quirks to reading this blog. Firstly, many of the posts run to several thousand words and many actually get some sort of research effort (but this tends to result in development hell). Secondly, I wasn't kidding when I described myself as an ego-maniac, I doubt there are many posts here which don't wander off the strict point to talk about me a bit. Thirdly, I am label-happy... which basically means I label every topic in a post, regardless of how much it matters in the post. This is why there are labels for Eleanor Catton, headspace and wumbo. Fourthly, I am much more likely to write a post about wumbo in the near future than I am to write abou Eleanor Catton (for one thing, I have seen the episode where wumbo originates but have not read any of Catton's works).
Even reading the above you probably feel like you know me to some extent. If so, good. I was trying to come across as irreverent and insecure. Honest. If not, don't worry... as a repetitive ego-maniac I am here to tell you more than you'd ever want to know about me.
The Basic Facts:
- Name: Harry East
- Gender: Male
- Nationality: New Zealander
- Country of Residence: New Zealand (indeed, I've never lived anywhere else)
- Area of Residence: Auckland (suburbs)
- Ethnicity: NZ European, Half-Dutch (these are distinct ethnic identities)
- Sports: Cricket, Soccer, Tennis (I will pay attention to other sports intermittently)
- Supports: Black Caps, Arsenal/Borussia Dortmund/New Zealand/England/the Netherlands, Roger Federer/David Ferrer (respectively)
- Occupation: Student at the University of Auckland, BA/BCom (2014-present)
- Health Status: Unfit, quite overweight and myopic (I do not talk about these things)
- Travel Plans: None
- Food: Roasts, especially the potatoes (also Weetbix+Rice Bubbles+Milk = Awesome)
- Blogs I Read: transportblog.co.nz, Minding the Campus (kinda, it's also kind of a blog)
- "Fandoms": Avatar (Bolin best character), Person of Interest/NCIS/Luther/Spotless/Grimm-type shows, Sherlock Holmes, Marvel Comics, Marvel Netflix (best to worst: Daredevil 1, Luke Cage/Jessica Jones, Daredevil 2)/Agents of SHIELD (watch it, is awesome; the films are okay), The Walking Dead (very frustrating show, very over-rated... also they're making Carl Carl again...), Supernatural, Discworld, Harry Potter, Tintin ... I also dabble in Doctor Who
- Must Reads: Tintin and the Picaros, Obelix and Co., Mansions of the Gods, Watchmen, The Grapes of Wrath, The Wind in the Willows, Night Watch (Discworld), The History Boys' foreword, Brave New World ... but especially the first three
- Key Films: Layer Cake, The History Boys, Over the Hedge ... on a lesser level Daddy Day Care and Inception
Okay, I think that basically covers all the major kinds of blogs that I am aware of. Travel blogs, health blogs, food blogs, sports blogs, identity blogs, fandom blogs and urbanist blogs.
Some political/philosophical summaries:
- Pro-Constitutional Monarchy: I don't, strictly speaking, believe in Heads of State but the primary evil is electing them, I see this as the major bulwark against that evil (on the other hand, this is a primarily emotional preference I can rationalise)
- There are no deities: even if it is useful to use "the fates" to explain why one loses 50/50 calls in sports or if I am willing to let coincidences (omens) decide what websites to browse
- Socio-economic inequality remains the primary social problem even if rhetoric has only recently realised this after a period of "identity politics" (which is still very clouty)
- Economics, as a discipline, does not tend to agree with National's policies and their only major social contribution during and since the Key era not caused by bending to social pressure is their staunch refusal to bow to our recent mania for xenophobia
- Under Andrew Little's leadership, the difference between Trump and Labour is of degree, not kind (xenophobic weeds both of them)
- If it ain't broke, don't fix it is a fundamentally good idea; but a lot of stuff is broken and I'm pretty sure Bring Your Own Device is just, for instance, breaking them more
- New Zealand's issues are poorly described by "stealing" the political conversations from elsewhere in the world (this is one reason why National has managed to kill our biosecurity measures and managed a good economic scorecard from, admittedly pro-National media, despite productivity, the major challenged in 2008, having not changed at all; contrary to what people might tell you, the GFC was not really a major issue here, standard policy prescriptions worked and there was no reason why they wouldn't... unlike elsewhere in the world)
- Democracy is the best means of reaching and staying in a state valued by the values of early 21st Century New Zealand, provided a country is already politically stable (democracy is unlikely to achieve stability)
- Christmas and BC/AD dating are no longer Christian and are, rather, secular historical artefacts in contemporary NZ society
- Immigration is beneficial and ought to be encouraged but totally open borders are unlikely to be advisable
- Surveillance such as by CCTV or algorithms is more concerning when conducted by private firms than by government: I claim the right to be unhappy
- Transparent government elected frequently via proportional representation is the best meas of protecting basic human rights; written constitutions are an arbitrary and inefficient restriction on the flexibility of government
- Auckland has made great strides but the CRL is not sufficient in terms of public transport, it is time to consider that road budgets should now be rarely used to construct new roads
- Auckland's housing problems result from three factors: investment laws and the Anglospheric obsession with investing in land, the regulatory environment having artificially constrained density and a political environment where Labour blames Asians and National refuses to help people in general out at the cost of its electorate
Hopefully that clarifies what exactly it is that this blog is for you. If not, comment... free and open exchange of ideas is exactly why we should all use forums rather than Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere,