2016: some reflection

It has been almost a year since I started this blog. Now that the year is ending it seems like a good time to reflect on what I have written so far, and if all this writing has contributed to its purpose: sharing my thoughts on issues that matter and encouraging others to do so as well.

When going through some of my earlier posts, I notice most of them have quite an intellectual or even technical flavour. Of course, this was partly intended, for the topics of economics, philosophy, politics and entrepreneurship do not easily lend themselves for bedtime reading. One of my aims has been to share certain issues related to these fields in a more accessible way. This has proved to be more difficult than I thought. Take the post about politicians relying on economic forecasts (September 28), for example. Although the issue was timely, the subject matter itself – whether economic forecasts can be taken for truth – was perhaps too much to handle in about 600 words. I think I wrongfully assumed most readers would be familiar with what it is that economic forecasts try to do, or why ‘fact-free politics’ is generally considered a bad thing. Assumptions are the mother of all fuck ups, I guess…

Still, most of my posts were well received and even generated some discussion – either on the website itself or by chatting with friends and colleagues. The other thing I noticed is that people tend to like the stories which have a more personal touch to them. In What economics means to me I tried to explain how I came to be involved in this subject, and why its meaning has changed over time. Keynes and Hayek are still intellectual heavyweights but they are presented as part of my interests. Making general, abstract things more personal works well because people can better relate to me, as a person, sharing content they might not be familiar with. Even if they do not give a damn about economic pluralism, European politics or the roots of populism, at least they know I do.

So, this is what I have learned from one year of blogging: fewer assumptions, more personal stuff. I hope to see you all next year for more thought and encouragement.

Happy new year!


Author: Felix den Ottolander

Owner of China Hand (www.chinablog.com)

2 thoughts on “2016: some reflection”

  1. Ha die Felix,

    Wederom dank voor de reflectie.
    Heb vanavond weer wat te lezen in bed!

    Betrap me zelf er op dat ik niet zo van de inhoud reagerende ben, maar weet dat ik met plezier je teksten lees.

    Ben gisteren nog bij Van Gennep geweest, maar het boek is nog niet binnen gekomen.

    Lieve groet aan Marlot en alle goeds voor jullie in 2017.



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