I’m very pleased to have been invited to blog here. Thanks, Adam! I look forward to having stimulating and civil conversations with a number of people of varying views. One of the things I enjoy most about writing online is the exposure to new ideas and new people – ideas and people that I might not meet in my ordinary life.
A few words about myself. (Me me me me me me!) My name is Robert Hayes. I’m 38 years old, married, raising a three-year-old toddler monkey in Colorado Springs. After dropping out of Oberlin College (a course of action I highly recommend), I moved to Washington State and pretended to go to the Evergreen State College, but mainly I was just fooling around. I moved up to Seattle to work for Microsoft, where I was a software design engineer and a software test engineer. I eventually wound up in Colorado, where I continued to work in the commercial software biz, putting in stints at Optika (now Stellent) and Quark. When the dot-com crash came, I was not able to find continued work in the field – ten years of saying “ha, the technical boom will never end so I don’t need to develop good work habits!” came back to bite me, there. So I moved with my family to Colorado Springs and enrolled at the University of Colorado, where I (finally) earned a degree in Business Administration.
I now own a small writing and editing services company called DocRocket, which specializes in quality web content development. I have found that having a payroll to meet adds a certain immediacy and focus to my working life, which has been professionally helpful. I don’t intend on returning to the computer software field; the reasons why are a set of long essays of very little general interest. As part of my work with DocRocket, I have written books on management for entrepreneurial small businesses, futures trading, and franchise management. (It turns out that business degrees have a certain degree of use, after all.)
My politics have arced from center-right during my Oklahoma boyhood, to fairly hard left during my early college days, veering over to the very hard right for a while, and now settling back in around the center-right mark. These labels are of course inadequate, and depending on the issue, you might see my politics vary widely. I am a strong supporter of the war on terror, I believe America is the last best hope of mankind, and I think that people who want to die for their God ought to be given the opportunity. Spiritually, I am a Catholic of honest conviction and poor performance. Ethically, I try to be honest and of good character – mainly because it is not in my nature to be so. Like all of us, I am a fallen man – and thus, “do what comes naturally” and “let it all hang out” are not philosophies which lead to good outcomes for me.
My interests are very eclectic. I am a follower of the partisan slugfest that is American politics. I enjoy history, particularly the history of the classical Mediterranean civilizations and their predecessors. I am a big fan of cryptoarcheology and cryptohistory, and I’ll read any non-mystical book on Atlantis I can get my hands on. (I’m not a “Atlantis had spaceships and grav rays!” fan, I’m a “Atlantis may have been an advanced ancient civilization with navigational and mathematical knowledge that were lost and not rediscovered until the Middle Ages” fan.) I enjoy computer games of the strategic/cerebral variety and board and role playing games of the old school. Most of my free time, however, is spent with my family, or doing blogging.
In addition to blogging here, I have my own site, The Argument Clinic, which is mainly links, pictures of puppies, idle personal thoughts, and amusing things I find online – mixed in with tendentiously unreadable essays about abortion and tax policy, because if there’s one thing that people want to see, it’s novel-length maunderings about abortion. I also run the Blogger News Network, a news-oriented blog site with a number of contributors. I comment regularly at Alas!, Ann Althouse, Protein Wisdom,
Feministe, and a few other sites.
In my writing, as in my daily life, I strive to be respectful to other people. This is not an easy or natural direction for me to travel; my basic nature is more along the lines of “I am the king, worship me, and bring me a sandwich.” So if in the course of a discussion, you find that I am not living up to this ideal – and you will – please ding me for it, and I will try to do better. However, I also believe there are limits to civility; people who aggressively don’t want to converse (but instead, to yell, or to evangelize, or to dictate the terms of a conversation) are of very little interest to me, because they don’t advance the dialog, and I won’t continue turning the other cheek indefinitely. (I secretly think there’s a codicil to that Gospel, where Jesus is asked what to do if the adversary hits the newly-turned cheek, and He responded “oh, in that case, kick the **** out of them.”)
I am really looking forward to being a part of this exciting new blog, and I hope that you find what I have to say of interest or of use.