Pull down Marx’s Capital from the shelf, and he will tell you that value should be correlated to the labour put into it. Pick up Chesterton, and he’ll say that a thing must be loved before it is loveable. In beginning to write, we don’t appeal to either philosophy for justification.
In a desert, an oasis is more valuable than a palace; and surely the sun at dawn was always beautiful.
But we do appeal to books themselves. They are compendiums of knowledge; they are theories of information. They communicate beliefs, meditations, philosophies. They take on the wild and weird world around us, and offer a way to make sense of their particular thread.
We were curious about elections. We had a sprawling interest in economics, and in human decision-making. We wanted to do something more with it then just let it gather dust. And so this blog was born. In some ways, we’re a little more modern than Marx and Chesterton. We have access to a few more tools. We dabble in coding, and Excel; demographic analysis and election modelling.
Our election models are a good metaphor for all of our pursuits. We do them because we can. It takes a lot of data and a lot of work to make a model, but it opens up a world of possibilities and understanding. There’s a complex interplay between party policy, candidate and voters, and any change in their interrelationships affect the outcome.
Interrelated things are our fascination: no truth stands alone. Nothing is useful in isolation. The entire world is one (heavily) interrelated web of moving parts, a series of dominos falling and knocking back in hyper-speed.
We want to understand the shape of the world, and we want to understand the forces that move in it.
So, that means a lot of research. There are books to find, scholastic disagreements to stumble across, journals to read and poll techniques to criticise. There’s a lot of information in our digital world. We’ll be hitting yottabytes in comman parlance in the next few years; hellabyte (as in, a-hell-of-a-lot-of-bytes) is already being suggested as the next step up.
This is an overwhelming world to comprehend, yet while you cannot hold the ocean in your hands, and you cannot restrain a flood, you can try to make sense of a little part of it. You can trace stepping stones through a wild world, a map for a stormy sea. No truth stands alone – conversely, every truth we find can lead us to another. The difficulty is not in knowing facts, but in putting them together to create meaning.
(If we start to sound a bit kooky, you may have to consider that we ran into Cthulhu when plumbing the infinite seas)
I’m Rebekah, and Ethan and I will be managing the blog. We are Armarium Interreta. An armarium is a chest for books, a store and safehouse of knowledge. We pulled Interreta, the word ‘web’, from Esperanto; Esperanto itself being an attempt to bring Europe under one language and discourse.
So we’ll be offering election modelling, writing up crash courses on the occasional piece of world history as we’re learning about it, and exploring some economic shenanigans. We’ll analyse, argue among ourselves, and try to share the map we’re building for our small corner of the world.