Listening in on our Quaker conversations

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

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.

Here’s what reporters & media pundits need to get into their heads: The web doesn’t suck. Your websites suck.

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.

H/t Simon

Joint statement on Burundi by Quaker orgs

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

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.