“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Happy Birthday Harry’s Place.

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It is the fifth birthday of Harry’s Place blog, this Saturday and I wish them well.

Although Harry himself has taken a back seat the blog continues and still raises many interesting issues, whilst I don’t find myself in absolute agreement with many of them, it is good to read a different point of view and mull over the arguments.

Harry’s Place provides a fairly free and easy environment and unlike other blogs does not require registration, enforce a strict moderation policy or suffer from capricious administrators.

In many ways Harry’s Place fulfils a niche, as do most blogs, reflecting the interests and predisposition of their owners, so at any one time the topics may vary from the goings-on amongst the minuscule British Left, the invasion of Iraq, the aftermath, the Brown Government to the incoherent thoughts of some politicians or “community leaders”.

And in all of it there is open debate, an energetic exchange of opinions, some views are obnoxious, repetitive and even xenophobic, others are orientalist and patronising, still more are humanistic, universal and point to the fact that not one group or one person knows all the answers, all of the time.

The participants at Harry’s Place are diverse, stretching across many continents, many occupations and many preoccupations, but when it works well the debates are intelligent, compassionate, informative and humorous, and that’s all you can ask for.

Of course, Harry’s Place has its critics, and being the Internet the detractors are never short of invective, but it is noticeable that very few of them choose to make their points at HP and debate them openly. Instead they snipe from afar, which really isn’t the point when it comes to having a candid and interesting exchange of views.

If you want a sterile debate or the accolade of “nodding dogs” then HP is not for you. HP is a virtual pub where you might not like the customers or even the publican, but there is debate and the clientele is often amusing, thoughtful and provocative. So if you like to think, reason or discuss current affairs then HP might be the place for you.

Written by modernityblog

24/11/2007 at 14:56

Posted in Uncategorized

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