On Twitter earlier today, Jay T asked “Didn’t u or someone once write about how Q’s behave on blogs & other soc. media? Can’t find it on Qranter or via Google. Thx!” Jay subsequently found a great piece from Robin Mohr circa 2008 but I kept remembering an description of blogging I had written in the earliest days of the blogosphere. It didn’t show up on my blog or via a Google search and then I hit up the wonderful Internet Archive.org Wayback Machine. The original two paragraph description of QuakerQuaker is not easily accessible outside of Archive.org but it’s nice to uncover it again and give it a little sunlight:
Quakerism is an experiential religion: we believe we should “let our lives speak” and we stay away from creeds and doctrinal statements. The best way to learn what Quakers believe is through listening in on our conversations.
In the last few years, dozens of Quakers have begun sharing stories, frustrations, hopes and dreams for our religious society through blogs. The conversations have been amazing. There’s a palpable sense of renewal and excitement. QuakerQuaker is a daily index to that conversation.
I still like it as a distinctly Quaker philosophy of outreach.
Latest attempt at South Jersey Gas Pipeline shows Christie doesn’t care about Pinelands. From the director of the NJ Sierra Club:
They’re going around the public process and the Pinelands rules. Instead of going through the law they’re trying to make the laws fit the pipeline. There is a cozy relationship between the governor’s office and South Jersey Gas and it makes you wonder how much is going on behind the scenes – perhaps a scandal on the scale of Bridgegate? This is worse. Instead of closing a bridge they’re trying to turn the Pinelands over to pipelines and power plants.
Edith Wharton Reviews the Starbucks Located at Her Childhood Home. Well done:
One cannot expect the new owners of one’s home to maintain indefinitely the sound principles of design and the wholesomeness of purpose with which one has invested it. Nor can one account for what Symonds has called, rather charitably I should think, “the vicissitudes of taste.” Bearing this firmly in mind, it would be dishonest to suggest that I was not disheartened to learn my former home at Fourteen West Twenty-Third Street is now a Starbucks coffee shop.
Here’s what reporters & media pundits need to get into their heads: The web doesn’t suck. Your websites suck.. An excellent piece from Baldur Bjarnason, which cuts through a lot of crap. My working theory is that most news companies are too organizationally dysfunctional to cut their websites down to essential text and photos. It’s a problem of focus and leadership. Because Facebook values speed and doesn’t have the legacy institutional hangups, it can make waves by simply publishing a reasonable standard for news websites. It has more clout (and inspires more fear) than all the smart reporters and social media people in the news orgs that surely know all this already.
Columnists, managers, pundits, and journalists seem to have no interest in understanding the technical foundation of their livelihoods. Instead they are content with assuming that Facebook can somehow magically render HTML over HTTP faster than anybody else and there is nothing anybody can do to make their crap scroll-jacking websites faster. They buy into the myth that the web is incapable of delivering on its core capabilities: delivering hypertext and images quickly to a diverse and connected readership.
We continue to have this problem because your web developers are treating the web like an app platform when your very business hinges on it being a quick, lightweight media platform with a worldwide reach.
Joint statement on Burundi by Quaker orgs. A statement on the situation in the central African country signed by nine Quaker organizations, posted on the AFSC site:
We know that a path out of the crisis in Burundi is still possible and stand in support of all those who work for a peaceful and just path forward. We hope that you will join us in holding Burundi in the Light and take a moment to prayerfully consider some of the ideas that Burundian friends have told us are important.
On trolling and the meaning of free speech online. The Washington Post has a piece on internet troll Charles Johnson’s banning from Twitter. It also includes an ever-useful commentary on what the First Amendment has to do with online speech:
See, there’s a popular misconception that moderation on social networks and other Web sites is governed by the First Amendment. (For more on this mistaken point of view, plz see the comments section of virtually any Washington Post story.) That is not, however, technically correct. The First Amendment defines the relationship between you, as a citizen, and the government. It does not define your relationship between, say, you and a private corporation, or you and the university you attend, or you and your neighborhood association.
Welcome and gender at an FUM Stoking the Fire conference. Ashley Wilcox visits a Quaker conference in Ohio and reports back initial reflections