Being Beta

Exercises in the higher banter with One of 26. Elsewhere called 'poet of adland'. By a whipple-squeezer. Find out why being beta is the new alpha: betarish at googlemail dot com

Friday, May 26, 2006

Some notes towards (another) manifesto

In part prompted by G asking me, "What do you really believe?" when we had a final dinner at The Abbeville a few weeks ago; but also in ruminating on the Big Blogger contest this week - what would I actually say if asked to write? Or, more accurately, what fundamental principles would underpin what I would write. A draft looks like this:

  1. I believe that the market is the best way to match scarce resources to infinite wants; but that man can be made to use those resources more efficiently.
  2. I believe that markets work best within a framework of rules.
  3. I believe in meritocracy; but that an adequate safety net needs to be provided for those left behind. I also believe that for it to be a true meritocracy then everyone has to have the chance to become head of state.
  4. I believe that liberty trumps equality; and that precedent and tradition are not as good a guarantee of our rights as a written constitution.
  5. I believe that businesses are as important agents of social progress as charities and NGOs.
  6. I believe that the triumphs of the commons more than outweigh its tragedies, and that we should value our public realm more.
  7. I believe that not everything of value is counted in numbers.
  8. I believe that technological change is mostly positive, and in the main improves lives.
  9. I believe that words matter; and that you need to say what you mean, and mean what you say.
  10. I believe in glasses half-full, and that things in the UK are not as bad as all that.
  11. I believe in progress not perfection: hence the state of permanent beta.
  12. I believe in the uplifting glamour of old Hollywood films and the revelatory insight of cheap pop music.
  13. I believe that happiness is obtained obliquely.

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