I was just reading a blog post about Afghanistan policy and man, I just could not get interested in it. Then it occurred to me that this is really quite a change from, say, five years ago, when I definitely still self-identified as a wonk-in-training. Or a wannabe wonk, at least.
So I was ruminating on that and without really intending to, I tweeted this little sequence, which I will now assemble here Carmody-style:
- Once, long ago, I really REALLY wanted to be a policy wonk. No longer. Public policy once seemed very LARGE to me. Now it seems… small?
- Initially I was convinced that policy (esp economic policy) defined the playing field—the space-time continuum! What a thing to master!
- But in fact, there are bigger fields on which policy itself is played. Longer games. Supersets. This is @longnow-inflected thinking, obvs.
- And for me, it’s an open question whether digging into (ephemeral?) policy right now helps you understand (and play!) the longer game.
Nothing to add; I just wanted to reproduce it here. I know a lot of Snarkmarket readers (and at least two Snarkmarket bloggers) are a bit wonkish. I wonder: Do you find your interest and engagement in public policy waxing or waning lately? What’s your own trajectory been?
And I realize “public policy” is ridiculously broad. I’m thinking a bit more of macroeconomic and foreign policy than domestic policy—but my observation above applies across the board. My utter lack of interest in health care reform perfectly balances Matt’s deep knowledge.