The rewards of blogging

A must read book,
 if you have not done so yet
Exhausted, on a slow unseasonal rainy Sunday, after a chokefull week of news from Libya and the OAS seat in Caracas, I got a revitalizing moment with one of those rare rewards in blogging.  A reader wrote a comment on a post written in December 2006!  Not that I never get comments for posts older than a couple of weeks (which is normal) but those I get usually come from some latecomer chavista sandalista who is suddenly discovering damaging blogs to its cause.  Besides cursing me there is nothing to write home about.

But today it was different.

The comment in question by Juan Pablo Sans basically congratulated me for my foresight then on the future of Venezuela.  He mentioned an error which I will gladly discuss below.

First I  do not want to use that to claim any visionary special power.  For example, either me or Miguel, to name one colleague, have known long ago the destiny of Venezuelan economy and if there is today a surprise about the situation it is why it did not happen earlier.  Political predictions are more dicey but those in that post have turned out, except for the desertion of PODEMOS and PPT as Juan Pablo correctly underlines.  But then again, as an excuse, I could not anticipate the 2007 referendum.  No one in fact could, even if I was then already prescient about the closing of RCTV.

The regime should have read my post on December 7 and not move on the RCTV closing and the referendum loss that followed.  After all it had all what it needed to enact the laws it needed as it happened after the referendum loss. That became the authoritarian imposition of what could have been a smoother "transition" to communism.  In my defense to Juan Pablo I can also say that part of PODEMOS remained with Chavez and that it took until the end of 2010 for the PPT to break with Chavez.

Yet, I have to admit that it thrilled me that Juan Pablo reminded me of my past posts coming true.  It reminded me also the thrills in my years as a scientist when I was designing bacterial mutations with predicted biological behaviors, and those behaviors becoming at least in part verified.  I suppose that we could say that there is such a thing as Political Science even if it is a highly inaccurate one.  But like any science, if you understand the data, if you follow through, if you remember your historical precedent then you can do some visionary tricks.

Anyway, thank you Juan Pablo for reminding me that all of these years of blogging might be for some good after all, that the record is there and that I may have a lot of "I told you so" in the future, even though the whole exercise has a bitter taste of Cassandra like uselessness.
The fate of all Cassandras, to be dragged from the temple of knowledge by the bad guys
 because the good guys never listened!

PS: to Juan Pablo and other readers.  I remember that the post then got a lot of comments then but they were all lost in the debacle of Haloscan, the system I used then.  Now Juan Pablo is the lone one.  Ironic in a way.