Sunlit Water

September 11, 2011

Ten Years

Filed under: Personal,Politics — by teofilo @ 12:45 am

I don’t have anything particularly important to say about the tenth anniversary of 9/11, but I felt I should probably mark the occasion.  I knew I had written up an account of my experience of the event, and I thought it was in a post here but it turned out to be in a comment at Unfogged.  In looking for it here, though, I came across the post I did on the fifth anniversary.  It’s interesting to see how my perspective has changed in five years.  The post is mainly about foreign policy and why it’s best not just to trust politicians’ judgment on it, which I think holds up, but the more interesting thing to me is how I talk about being more interested personally in foreign than in domestic policy.  That has definitely changed, and these days I’m much more knowledgeable about and engaged with domestic issues, which actually involve much more than just “moving large sums of money around” (as I said then).  Indeed, I’ve gone into a policy-related career field that is almost exclusively domestic in nature, at least the way I’m likely to do it.  The way I got there is actually pretty consistent with what I was saying in the earlier post, though, in that I realized at some point that really gaining the sort of knowledge about foreign policy issues that would let me go in that direction professionally was a very tall order, and that I didn’t really feel up to it.  For one thing, there’s no particular region of the world or substantive policy field that I was ever able to narrow in on, which is what you really have to do to gain that sort of expertise.  I’m much more of a generalist than a specialist by inclination, and to the extent that any profession would require some amount of specialization, I decided to stick with a geographical area, at least, that I already had detailed knowledge of: the US.  I’m happy with this decision, and haven’t looked back.  I still find foreign policy interesting, but I have little interest in making it my life anymore.

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