Let me start with a little background. My name is Richard Baker, I was named after the legendary BBC newsreader, a favourite with my mother and just about the whole nation at the time. I was not grateful. For a modern equivalent imagine calling your child Huw Edwards.
I have had a life of professionally dubious merit, I have sanded chair legs, built campervan roofs, dug pits, sold uncooperative computers to uncomprehending consumers, been the secret secretary of the Australian Secretary of Health’s secretary, made theatre props, glued fake leaves onto real trees, lived on a dole arts grant, moved boxes from here to there, acted on stage, TV and film leaving no trace, become a self proclaimed International Furniture Guru, an unread novelist and secured the heart of Libby, the most beautiful woman in the world, and the best work I have ever done.
I am not a scientist or an economist or anything ist, though I have on occasion been pissed. I write what I think, so don’t expect my truth to align with yours, that is not what I do, some of what I write is pure fiction. I am not an expert at anything and grateful for it, experts tend to know an awful lot about an awful little and are more often than not partisan. They are wheeled on to answer very specific questions about very specific things with great expectation of great expertise. There is an expert for absolutely everything but being an expert does not mean that you’re always right because being right is a matter of faith and wholly dependent on your audience.
People want to be told what they already believe to be true, new information that contradicts a held belief will almost always be rejected as a foreign tissue of lies. Knowledge loses its power when everyone thinks they know everything. Experts walk a very thin line between respectful consideration and baying mob. It can all go very wrong very quickly, one moment everyone seems to want to hear what you think the next you are undone by an idiot with a twitter account and a higher profile. Being an expert can be a rather thankless task.
The truth has become porous, malleable, debatable but then it alway was, it’s just that now it’s more obvious. A fact and the truth are not the same thing, facts are absolutely certain, truths are subject to opinion. Many great truths prove incorrect over time, others are so revered that we bend the whole world out of shape just to accommodate them. It is why recognising facts in the moment is so difficult and why it is so easy to refute them.
I am certain of little and happy to admit it. The truth is if I don’t know something I just make shit up, as long as it sounds true it has a reasonable chance of becoming so in the long run. When information is free the truth is cheap and often stupid, so what better time to be a know it all? Compared to the received wisdom I will appear Oracle like. Make no mistake, I am aiming for a higher standard of bullshit and will only write about things that I have a better than average chance of almost being right about. I think I know stuff and I would like to share. Let the twaddle commence.