Who would write such things?
This blog is perpetrated by Celso F. Rocha de Barros, who, despite all the nonsense he throws at his readers, managed, somehow, to get a DPhil in Sociology at Oxford. He then went to work at the Brazilian Central Bank, where he is not trusted with any important decisions, rest assured. Of course, the Central Bank is not responsible for anything that is said here (I won’t touch any topic that is too close to my work, for ethical reasons: it would bore you to death). Some of the author’s colleagues, on the other hand, especially those dudes who have lunch with him everyday, are not so innocent, since they could have nipped many of his most egregious mistakes in the bud. Instead, they chose to focus on the food and to roll their eyes at regular intervals while the author is talking.
This blog is a spinoff of the Brazilian Blog Na Prática a Teoria é Outra(which translates from Portuguese as something like, “In Practice, there’s a whole different theory”, a slightly absurd expression, probably invented by an obscure Brazilian politician, that points to the need to develop ideas from a somewhat pragmatic standpoint.
While NPTO (as it is known by the valorous and microscopic minority of Brazilians who read it) has been a real pleasure to write, it has become a little too obsessed with Brazilian politics to my taste. I am enough of a pervert for Brazilian politics to be my favourite topic, but I missed having more theoretical discussions, hence BTBM. Writing in English was a natural choice, to expand the number of people I can discuss with, especially since most NPTO readers can read English (and shouldn’t miss the opportunity to practice).
This blog’s name comes from one of my favourite authors, Jon Elster, who said (in the eighties) that the slogan for the left should be “Back to the British Museum”, a reference to Karl Marx’s self-exile in the reading room of that much honoured institution while he was writing the no-so-honoured-these-days Das Kapital. It was necessary to come up with some new ideas.
My friend Igor Taam (who happens to be a libertarian rockabilly fan who does not agree with anything I say) designed the blog’s Avatar (which also doubles as NPTO’s).