Failure Parties

I have not been posting for a while. In truth, I was getting pretty disappointed with things – both in the economic development world and with this blog. It seemed to me that some people just like to bitch and complain without adding any substance to the discussion.

1,400 blogs written since October 2004. Over 50% original writing. Something like 900 pages of writing. 200+ graphs and charts. It seemed like a friggin’ waste of time.

So, I thought I would just stop blogging altogether. In the almost four weeks since my last post, only two people sent me an email asking me why no posts.

Then I read an interesting article (sorry you need a subscription) about the best companies to work for if you are a scientist. One of the attributes of the best company to work for if you are a scientist is they throw ‘failure parties’. And I thought this is a wonderful metaphor for New Brunswick as a whole.

If you don’t take risk you don’t get reward. Basic life principle. We need to celebrate failure (thanks, Malcolm Bricklin). If we don’t push it, we won’t get anywhere. Yes we may fail but we should go down kicking.

This hit home in a massive way when I read another snearing, nasty article in the T&T today about New Brunswick’s self-sufficiency fad. It seems everyone will go on the record slamming the idea. Al Hogan will do his best to torpedo this from the get go. I think the likely reason that Shawn Graham has dumped his idea (good idea) to bring in top talent from around North America to help was scrapped. The media was so indignant and nasty – the idea just faded away.

What do failure parties, this blog and self sufficiency have in common?

I’m not quite ready to throw in the towel yet. Even if there are only two readers of this bl0g (hi, Mom).

I think someone should give this self-sufficiency thing a chance instead of just assuming it will fail.

If it does fail and we really gave it a go, then fine. Throw a party. But if it fails because we didn’t even make an effort (government, media, bloggers, general public), should we even get a party?

Anyway, I am going to moderate the posts from now on. Drive by smears are not allowed. Use your own blog for that. If you want to attack people from the security of your virtual world, do it another way.

But if you have someone of substance to add – especially contrary opinions to mine – bring them on. That’s the purpose of this thing to begin with.

I did a little tour de blogs the day before I stopped posting. Easily 90% were filled with nasty, comments (mostly about those ‘traitors’ Joan and Wally). It seems that the blogosphere in New Brunswick is a great place to bitch.

I still have some hope that this ‘stupid’ blog can be about incubating ideas. About moving the ball forward.

In the coming weeks, we’ll talk about data centres to spur rural economies. Wind farms. Ocean power. We’ll talk about New Brunswick’s diaspora and how to bring some back. We’ll discuss Brian Dick’s appointment as Self-Sufficiency guru and what he should do. We’ll pull ideas out of the hat.

But we’ll keep the discussion straight up. I may criticize old Al Hogan once in a while only because I think bullies only understand the language of bullies. But overall, I want to keep the discussion civil.

Let’s save the failure party for another day.