We haven't heard from Perry de Havilland in a long time. He is one of the commentators at Samizdata, a somewhat libertarian blog site with contributors from both the UK and the US. Mr de Havilland reports from London.
I bring up his recent blog post because we have been discussing, here in Lowell, the question of the anonymous blogger. On the Richard Howe blog I today come down on the side of allowing anonymous bloggers and anonymous comments, but believing when the time comes to stand up and be counted, the virtuous will so stand up.
One of the advantages of anonymous blogging and commenting is that it allows some to cut through what Mr de Havilland calls the "meta-context." Mr de Havilland argues that that "meta-context" tends to be controlling in the background of discussions and keeps everyone on the same sheet of music. He then goes on to attempt a fisking of an article in The New York Times on ethics and the debate on health care reform.
Regarding the NYT article and its author, Mr Randy Cohen, I would say that he should not blame Mr Thomas Jefferson for the US Constitution, as Mr Jefferson was not there. I would further point out that there is someone to control the debate in the Senate and it is called out in the US Constitution. It is the Vice President.
But, back to anonymous bloggers. I see them as a way to cut through the "meta-context" and expose the real under-core of what is going on.
Regards — Cliff