Friday, August 15, 2008

My Interview

This is a copy of an interview that I did for the Pakistani Spectator, please feel free to check them out... Hope you guys learn something about me
Also, for the Italian reader who keeps checking out my blog...Are you my cousin?

Hello, my name is Robert M. Barga and I am the blogger and editor of I currently reside in the state of Ohio and am attending OSU for microbiology with a probable grad school experience in either Law (environmental) or Marine Biology. I also am working as an intern (paid) during the year. I am 20, in good health, and like long walks on the beach (not that we have one here). I coach an NOSB team that when in high school I competed on, have helped teach a seal certain behaviors, and am deputy director of a chair on OSUs USG. Really, I have way to much on my plate yet still find time to blog

Would you please tell us something about you and your site?
Really, I covered most of myself in the bio that I just provided. My site is a small blog that I started in May (after the EPIC failure of my previous one) that I update three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday). For the most part, it is political, and all the entries are rants of mine (I talk and rant a lot).

Do you feel that you continue to grow in your writing the longer you write? Why is that important to you?
I feel that all humans are able to learn until the day that we die. I have been considered by some to be a good writer; others found me to be a horrific one. Frankly, I think that I grow in both linguistically abilities and cognitive ones the more I write. I think it is important to grow – no matter in what way, provided it is for the better – because it means that you are still learning, and that you still have some humility left.

I’m wondering what some of your memorable experiences are with blogging?
As a new(ish) blogger I have only a few memories from blogging. One of my favorites is when I was first mentioned on an outside publication that I did not submit myself to. Lisa from GlassCityJungle mentioned me on her column in the Toledo Free Press and that really intrigued me. Other than that, any post of mine with more than 8 responses is memorable to me.

What do you do in order to keep up your communication with other bloggers?
I read several blogs and webcomics daily, sometimes multiple times a day. While it takes some work for me to start liking new sites, once I do, I am a devoted fanatical follower of them. I will often communicate on those sites and then link back to mine. If people comment on my site I will often respond as soon as I see it, provided there is an adequate response available.

What do you think is the most exciting or most innovative use of technology in politics right now?
This is an interesting question seeing as Obama has said (yesterday) that he will be texting his veep candidate to his supporters. I know that most people think that the internet (both in terms of grass roots campaigning and YouTube) are useful in politics but I think that, in the end, neither of them really are exciting, innovative, or even useful. The best use of technology in my mind is the updated touch screen voting booths. I think that as technology advances we will be able to have more secure, more voter friendly devices, and these should increase our voting turnout.

Do you think that these new technologies are effective in making people more responsive?
This is really a two part question. I feel that newer voting and political technology will increase youth participation as it is an essential figure in our lives; however, I also feel that using these technologies to a certain extent will actually lower the elderly voting rates. If we require people to learn new things to be able to exercise their basic rights then we are going in the wrong direction.

What do you think sets Your site apart from others?
Really, I am just a small fish in a sea full of them. There is very little that sets my site apart from any of the others on the web. That, however, might be what does set me apart. Most bloggers think that they are important, that they play a large part on the political scene. Frankly, I don’t think that I matter more than a single ant in a colony. Maybe I am unique because I realize that bloggers are narcissistic people and point it out.

If you could choose one characteristic you have that brought you success in life, what would it be?
When I was younger my mother made my sister and I get a paper route. While it was not that much fun, it installed into me a very strong sense of work ethic. My work ethic has gotten me jobs, promotions, and even extensions when I should have had no chance. By being willing to go the extra mile to guarantee success in business I have been able to grow.

What was the happiest and gloomiest moment of your life?
The happiest moment of my life was probably when I first stepped into the pool that housed LuSeal (the seal I helped ‘train’) at Woods Hole Science Aquarium. To be in a pool with such an exquisite creature, and to do something I have wanted to do my entire life, was a great moment.
I would prefer not to talk about the gloomiest moment(s) of my life.

If you could pick a travel destination, anywhere in the world, with no worries about how it’s paid for - what would your top 3 choices be?
For the record, I am slightly disappointed that you included the specification of ‘in the world’; the moon and Mars are calling for me.

South Africa – As a marine biologist (hopefully) I am interested in all of the marine organisms, pinnipeds being my favorite, and the sharks being my second. Seeing flying Great Whites would be the trip of a lifetime.

Rafting the Amazon – Think of that, running down the largest river, the marine specimens, and the indigenous tribes. Amazing (pun intended).

Challengers Depth – While the marine specimens on the descent would be amazing to observe, the actual being their would astound me, almost giving me a religious epiphany. The idea of being alone, in pitch black, with no noise (would turn off the electronics at the bottom), isolated from all humanity would show me my actual place in the world.

What is your favorite book and why?
Speaker for the Dead and the rest of the Ender (and Bean) series. I think that this book is important as it shows that even as different people we are able to work together to achieve one goal of peace. Be it between two species of intelligent life or between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

What’s the first thing you notice about a person (whether you know them or not)?
Their posture. I think that the posture of a person shows how they view themselves and their location in both the world and the social hierarchy. If a person can stand up and look what is coming at them down, then they are a person who I WANT to know.

Is there anyone from your past that once told you you couldn’t write?
Not really. I have always been good at writing and story telling (trust me, the stories I used to tell…). The only thing I was told is that I would need to get better at writing. I think that I have.

How bloggers can benefit from blogs financially?
Arguably this adsense thing that I have on my site is supposed to work. Frankly, I think that most bloggers start blogging for fun and, if they are good and popular, can eventually make it make money. I just want a little on the side, if I make some I am happy, if not, so it goes.

Is it true that who has a successful blog has an awful lot of time on their hands?
Define successful. I spend roughly 3 hours a week on my blog yet get over 300 unique viewers a week with 150 regular ones. Now, most don’t seem to comment, so I am not that sure if I am successful. I think it is more about what you have on your site than how much you have on it.

What role can bloggers of the world play to make this world more friendlier and less hostile?
I actually think that we have started to do the opposite of this. Most arguments now divulge into ad hocs and other logical/personal attacks, plus, the standard of reporting has changed to be far to opinionated (for both sides of the US political spectrum). Bloggers can ‘fix’ this problem and become friendly if we start to realize that the ‘other’ has just as many points as we do, and they are right almost as often. Once bloggers start to realize this the world should start to take note.

Who are your top five favourite bloggers?
Ben Keeler at the Keeler Report
The Mountain Sage
Lisa over at Glass City Jungle

While I read and comment on several other blogs, those are simply the ones that stick out to me.

Is there one observation or column or post that has gotten the most powerful reaction from people?
I think that most people are pretty calm in response to my postings. However, certain groups of people have responded en masse to some of my postings or the exchanges have gotten heated, such as those about MACS, those about Ron Paul, those about the Fair Tax Proposal and those about anarchy.

What is your perception about Pakistan and its people?
I think that Pakistan has the potential for greatness if they could overcome their spat with India. If both Pakistan and India agree to some sort of defensive pact then they could both, in theory, take over most of Asia and the Middle East. That is, if they had imperial minds.
I think that the spat with India is more of a political move than one of any real importance. You have different religions, so what?

Have you ever become stunned by the uniqueness of any blogger?
Not really. I find most bloggers to be cookie-sheet and the few who are unique are about 1% of all bloggers.

What is the most striking difference between a developed country and a developing country?
Their consumer thought process. Here in America, and in most other ‘developed’ nations, we buy without real care. We will even buy bottled water. In ‘developing’ nations there is so little to go around that everything is carefully guarded and rationed. Who am I to say which is better.

What is the future of blogging?
I really have no idea. I think that blogging is going to take over the newspapers (at least local ones) and then degrade our standard of journalism.

You have also got a blogging life, how has it directly affected both your personal and professional life?
I keep them separate for a reason.

What are your future plans?
Get a degree in Microbiology from OSU, attend an accredited law school or Marine Biology program, earning either a JdS or a PhD. Get marries, have kids, and then die.
Really, that is my plan, the rest is just filler.
Oh, and I might get into politics.

Any Message you want to give to the readers of The Pakistani Spectator?
Leave Musharraf in office (I know that I am hated now)


LisaRenee said...

Nicely done, now I know much more about you and thank you for picking me as one of your favorite bloggers.

That means alot.

Anonymous said...

Awwww, I wanted to be your favorite. Well, maybe I'm your favorite classmate???

Seriously, nice job. You never fail to amaze me with your thoughts, ideas, and logic.

Keep up the good work.

Mountain Sage said...

Very nice interview and thanks for the mention.

You are a busy man!

Mountain Sage

Hajile said...

You must not sleep to do all of the stuff that you do. :/

Barga said...

I dont sleep
your welcome guys

and, mary, my girl is my favorite classmate


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