Why this site?
These pages have grown slowly over the years, from a
simple set of political links
to some analysis explaining what I think.
Is it a bad idea to put my political/religious ideas online for the world to see?
Maybe. Maybe not.
You only live once.
I am tired of listening to ignorant people talk on my radio and television.
I am tired of having to stay silent.
I want to speak.
I don't want to die without explaining why I think these people are wrong.
Previous generations of my family weren't exactly prudent.
My family has a long history of putting their political and religious ideas
in the public domain.
My great-great-grandfather was a
Home Rule MP
and Free State Senator.
My great-grandfather was a
Home Rule MP
and Free State TD.
My grandfather took part in an armed insurrection against the state in
RIC Special Branch
long file on him.
My other grandfather took part in the allied
capture of Iraq
and was then a colonial administrator in Iraq, probably in
My granduncle was the first
Prime Minister of Ireland in 1922.
His son became
Prime Minister of Ireland in 1973.
My father put his political and religious ideas
in the public domain,
as do my brothers.
Many other relatives have spoken and published on political and religious topics.
If they weren't and aren't silent, why should I be?
And my workplace is covered with offensive political posters,
including ones glorifying violence and terror.
If they can speak, why can't I?
If you're the kind of person who is going to be upset by other people's
political and religious ideas, then go away.
Please do not read any further.
Just take it as read that Humphrys has political and religious ideas
you don't agree with, and go away.
Because so does everybody, if you really get to know them.
Members of the First Dail
Including my great-grandfather
(on my father's side).
And my granduncle
(on my mother's side).
Why are people so emotional about Religion and Politics?
These are my
"Religion and Politics"
- the topics you should not discuss
in polite society.
Why? Because they are the areas of human thought governed
by meme competition.
As a result, these are the areas of human thought
where humans are the most irrational,
emotional and violent.
If you're not interested in my opinions on these matters,
feel free to leave.
I'm not really a campaigner on any of these matters
- I haven't got the time
- but I do like the freedom of being able to at least publish my thoughts.
This site is topic-sorted, not date-sorted
This site is topic-sorted (like Wikipedia), not date-sorted (the blog format).
The blog format has two big advantages:
- It is date-sorted. So you can drop in regularly and see exactly
what is new since your last visit.
You can also distribute new posts
and blog search engines.
- External links always work, because what you are reading
are always recently-created external links.
The major disadvantage of blogs
is it is hard to find similar material
grouped together by topic.
Once it has scrolled off the front page, it tends to be gone and forgotten,
like last year's newspaper articles.
Compare trying to understand, say, the Israeli conflict by going through
articles for 20 years
in the archives of a newspaper,
versus reading a book with all the important material in one place.
I prefer to build up a "book"
rather than a "newspaper".
So, like Wikipedia, this is more a topic-sorted library than
a date-sorted blog.
This site is however similar to a blog in the sense that:
However, it's different to a blog in that:
- A lot (but not all) of it is about current events.
- It's by an individual.
- It's full of annotated links.
- I add links regularly as I read new stuff.
- I add the new links all over the site in different topic areas.
is as close as this site comes to the
date-sorted blog format.
It lists the sections I have done major work on recently.
- Most of these sections will contain old links too.
- It omits sections I have done minor work on recently.
This is a personal, non-profit site
for political commentary and criticism.
This site is hosted in the USA and is protected by the First Amendment.
"General comment on arguing (with anyone about anything)
- you almost never get the pleasure of seeing that you won the argument in real time. People just don't like to publicly change their minds. They change their minds in private."
- Sam Harris
why the Internet is great for politics and religion
and all those topics that are unpleasant and uncomfortable
to discuss in person.
"I think we have to accept that people do grow and do change their minds. If I ever felt that people were fixed in their positions I'd give up activism, and I'd certainly give up blogging."
on the surprising news in 2009
that a Muslim Council of Britain member
defended gay rights.
It may be a false dawn,
but on the other hand Islam may change slowly for the better this century.
People do change their minds.