Monday 24 November 2008

Why I don't blog. And why I should blog more.

The reason I am not blogging like hell these days is that I am working. Not that I am not working the rest of the time, but these days, it's kind of 110% busy.

And the reason are international experts, or to be more precise, the events we (my colleagues and me) have to organise together with these experts. In fact, it is not so much the experts but rather the fact that we have to bring these experts together with state institutions that makes this rather complicated and time-consuming - and I am not talking of state institutions of Germany or Great Britain (although I am not always sure whether this would actually pose less problems).

I would like to tell you more, but for diplomatic reasons I have to refrain from more preciseness. But I can tell you that working for an international organisation offers quite interesting insights into the life of different state officials from different countries.

The problem: The more you work with them, the more you have doubts about the capacities of some of them. Or to put it more self-critically: The more you work with them, the less you are sure that you are capable, because you don't see the results you would like to see.

I think that more transparency would help, and I think that an open debate about many of the issues I have seen during my recent posts would be of help. But for diplomatic reasons it is difficult to do it directly.

So I should blog more about this, because it is of relevance for the public, for the transparency of how national and international organisations work, and it would be of use for the democratic control of what we do.

But how to do it, if you risk to be fined or fired, or if a simple critique can lead to diplomatic problems?


Anonymous said...

For me, this is quite clear. You cannot blog about things which would harm the organisation you work for, or reveal reserved information. Blogging it not different from speaking in public. Don't blog anything that you would not say from a podium.

nj said...

Julien, there often are political considerations behind differences between experts, in my estimation. Just because they're experts doesn't mean that they are neutral.

Another aspect is that if you are really immersed in a topic you tend to see the world through its prism. If you see a problem, you not only think that the solution is to be found in your pet topic, you perceive the problem in terms of your field of expertise. This leads to systematic optimistic bias with regard to the ease of the solution.

For instance, I have a tendency to see sustainability as a solution to almost anything and see most problems as sustainability problems. And I'm not even an expert yet!

The key of these events is to get people taking small adventurous steps outside of these frameworks, and get them to think creatively and talk to one another. This is very difficult. I was once at a meeting of scientists, for instance, who agreed on nothing in the end except the need for more funding for scientific research...

Anonymous said...

@ egov20

You are totally right, that is why I am not blogging about it. But in fact, that is the big problem: When is the "harm" to an organisation you work for more problematic than the harms certain behaviour of national and international state officials are doing to the general public.

It's quite hard to find the lines, but in private (which is a smaller public) I would speak about many things much more directly than I can speak here, because in the web my words are saved forever.

Yet, this would allow more open debates about how to improve things.

@ nanne

The political orientation of experts is not my problem - I don't expect them to be apolitical or even unbiased.

I am also not overly optimistic, I don't expect the impossible. But alsmost every day I see things that could be changed just because some more or less "important" people would change their behaviour working more for the public good than for their private little wars and egoisms.

But maybe this is already too optimistic...