My reader may not have noticed, but I have made some changes to the blog roll under the politics heading. I don't pretend to have an exhaustive list of sites, limiting myself to those which are a 'good read' and have something interesting to say. Of course things change so I've done a bit of updating.
I've deleted the Adam Smith Institute blog. It turns out the link was broken anyway, but by and large it has deteriorated into vanity publishing for a group of pompous windbags and despite its pretense at allowing comments it is, as many others have pointed out, notorious for only allowing its supportersa voice.
I've also deleted Samizdata. That was much harder. When I first discovered blogging, Samizdata was a breath of fresh air. I was never happy with their comparison with the underground publishers of teh Soviet Union - after all you can't get much more open than the Web - but generally the posts were thought provoking and the discussion stimulating. Good examples for example were its promotion of private sector approaches to space exploration.
Lately however things have changed. Much of the discussion is downright disturbing. Recent examples include:
- gloating over the fact that a suspect in the London bombing was arrested in Egypt and therefore likely to suffer torture
- a strong streak of racism
- a disturbing willingness to accept the power of the state to detain without trial
- a rising level of personal abuse directed towards dissenters
I'm not going to link explicitly to this - if you want a feel just read the discussion on anything to do with the recent terrorism in London.
I'm not sure why this change has happened. I've commented on it already a couple of times, but it has reached such nauseating levels that I don't think I can link anymore. What is disturbing is that the main posts never seem to descend to these levels but the posters nevertheless seem happy to allow it to happen.