Memory Lane on QandO’s Fourth
Posted by: Bryan Pick
on Wednesday, August 29, 2007
I'll gladly be the third to say something commemorating this day.
Back in February, I joined in on the Observations podcast with Bruce and Dale to introduce myself and talk about, among other things, the piece I'd written about climate change. I must admit that, even after having been invited to the blog and getting positive comments about the article, I was nervous. Part of that was the way I had looked at QandO for the previous two-plus years.
I know exactly what Billy's talking about when he says, "And I found a site that I felt... at home, I guess." That's the same thing I told Dale and Bruce in that podcast: "it was like coming home." But unlike Billy, I didn't have a long history of considering myself a libertarian, much less a particular kind of libertarian. So why did it feel like home? I can think of a few plausible reasons, although it's hard to recapture exactly what I was thinking back then.
Though I had thrown myself avidly into reading and debate, and gobbled up information from policy papers and op-eds and commenters of every political persuasion, I found at QandO that some of the formative ideas and observations bouncing around in my mind were crystallized and expanded upon by the bloggers here, as well as by a number of the commentariat. When they outlined neolibertarianism, I could see that I fit comfortably under that tent.
Finding that reasoned voice in three different people who could openly and respectfully disagree with one another even while remaining committed to many of the same things... that was probably the hook. Jon, Dale and Bruce commenting on one another's posts, engaging commenters with aplomb, and yet always remaining independent thinkers, was (and is) electric; there's no substitute for the intellectual energy that comes from debate and enthusiastic interaction.
I don't remember the very first time I read Questions and Observations, as it was then called, but over time, I was pulled in more and more. I think I started commenting in late 2004 and gradually frequented the comment section more after that. When the guys launched The New Libertarian in mid-2005, I quickly found myself volunteering to proofread and contribute. When I went to study in DC in early 2006, I was happy to be invited to meet up with Jon, which I did that summer. Early this year, of course, I was surprised to be invited to blog at QandO, and in the spring, I had the pleasure of meeting up again with Jon and also meeting Bruce at the Milblogger Conference. Along the way, I met Wulf from AtlasBlogged and Michael Wade of A Second Hand Conjecture, both veteran QandO commenters.
So, to my pleasure, my participation here at QandO has gradually grown, although unfortunately, I haven't been contributing nearly as much as I've wanted to so far this year. I know some part of me was nervous on that podcast, and has been hesitant to post any old thought of mine here, for a reason: it's quite a thing to have been invited to contribute in the same place as people who have been so consistently entertaining and provocative, who I've been reading for so long, who have given so much to me already. They set a high bar. On this fourth "blogoversary," though, I look fondly back on QandO as I've experienced it and look forward to continuing to participate even more at this unique blog.