Saturday, June 28, 2014

First Post

First Post

"What is the purpose of this blog?" and some housekeeping.

In the beginning . . .  I want to describe what this blog is for, what I hope it will become.  I want to describe my motivations for creating this blog, and why I feel it will be a project that I will continue to invest in.

I sincerely believe that the subject matter of this blog is something I care about.  Public policy affects all of us, but more importantly, the principles and science behind good public policy apply to individuals, organizations, and groups, even if the application is different in each environment.

The blog is titled "Fix Public Policy".  Unfortunately, this is somewhat of a misnomer, or at the very least a deceptive title.  While I would love to see public policy get fixed as a result of this blog, that is not my expectation.  Who am I to change the world?  I won't rule it out, but it's not an expectation.

No instead, "fixing public policy" is really a mental exercise about fixing myself and hopefully others who interact with this blog.  The only real hope we have for fixing the world is fixing the people in it.  For me, I need to use public policy as an channel for this self improvement effort, because I know that I can't help myself.  If I don't take the effort to understand public policy and its relationship to myself, then I am doomed to spend the rest of my life abrasively bumping up against it.

But let's not get discouraged just yet.  It's a very interesting subject matter, and very useful as well.  This is going to be worth our time.

Okay in this first post I also need to do a little housekeeping.  I have comments turned off.  I may change that because this blogging platform really takes care of a lot of the work in setting up and managing comments.   For now, if you have input or things to say the blogs email address is

I won't respond to your emails, but I will read what you say, and may quote you or mention you on my blog.  If you want me to share your name or other information, you should tell me explicitly in your message that you would like me to do so.  Otherwise, I will omit all personal information when I discuss your feedback.

Okay, I feel it would be a disappointment if the first post I didn't say anything about the subject of the blog.  I don't know a ton about public policy, but I do have strong opinions.  I'm going to go easy on my opinions though.  I'll mention them, but not proselyte.  Personally, I consider myself a libertarian.  If you are a liberal you should leave now.  No, actually stay, please.  I don't care about your political opinions.  I do care about the way you think.  For me, being libertarian is a statement of my personal values.  I am an individualist and like small government.  That's all.  I hear there is a libertarian party.  I'd rather avoid that.  They seem to be losing anyways.  I don't care.  What I do care about is the way we think, the way we solve problems, and finally, how we would synergize working either together or against each other.

Public policy does not have to be a political question.  People of differing political views often have a lot of overlap in their values.  In a perfect world, representatives would recognize diverse values, create goals according to common values, and have a clear picture of the parameters of their job.  Once you agree on goals, parameters, and values, public policy becomes strictly a technical question.  How do we acheive our goals, within the parameters of our office, without compromising our values?

That's what this blog is about: technical issues behind public policy.  I want to get a vivid, up close picture of the creation and application of public policy.  I would love to investigate specific local or individual issues, see what role public policy plays in the real world.  I also want to look at big picture questions.  I want to learn the science and principles of how individuals and groups interact.  I'm not afraid of delving into the philosophy of government, to try to get a deeper understanding why government exists and what it means to us.  If that sounds interesting, then come back for more and keep reading.

And in case you missed it, send questions and comments to