> I admit my share of guilt for having participated in the institutions and ways of life which helped bring fascism and war. Nonetheless, guilty as I am, I now see as did the Prodigal Son that it is never too late to refuse longer to remain in a non-creative situation. It is always timely and virtuous to change—to take in all humility a new path.
Outreach, Family, Pacifism, and Blog Culture
At year’s end it’s always interesting to look back and see which articles got the most visits. Here are the top-five QuakerRanter.org blog posts of 2013.
This grew out of a interesting little tweet about search engine optimization that got me thinking about how Friends Meetings can retain the curious one-time visitors.
2. Tom Heiland
My father-in-law died in January. These are few pictures I put together while Julie was still at the family home with the close relatives. Thanks to our friends for sharing a bit of our life by reading this one. He’s missed.
A look at Friends testimonies and the difficulties of being a fair-trade pacifist in our hyper-connected world today. I think George Fox and the early Friends were faced with similar challenges and that our guide can be the same as theirs.
A number of new services are trying to update the culture of blogging. This post looked at comments; a subsequent one considered how we might reorganize our blogs into more of a structured Wiki.
This year saw a lot of hang wringing by mainstream journalists on the anniversary of the Iraq War. I didn’t have much patience and looked at how dissenting voices were regularly locked out of debate ten years ago–and are still locked out with the talk that “all of us” were wrong then.
I should give the caveat that these are the top-five most-read articles that were written this year. Many of the classics still outperform these. The most read continues to be my post on unpopular baby names (just today I overheard an expectant mother approvingly going through a list of over-trendy names; I wondered if I should send her the link). My post on how to order men’s plain clothing from Gohn’s Brothers continues to be popular, as does a report about a trip to a legendary water hole deep in the South Jersey pines.
Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has a page devoted to issues of faith and next year’s presidential elections.
2012 Presidential Candidates Religious Backgrounds | Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
Interested in how religion could affect the 2012 election? Learn about the 2012 presidential candidate’s religious backgrounds in Pew Forum online biographies.
Google+: View post on Google+
My life is now such that I don’t have the time to do long-form, thoughtful blogging. When I have time to think about big ideas expressed in well-chosen words, it’s as editor at Friends Journal. I have a rather long commute but it’s broken up with transfers, I often have to stand and I usually don’t have a laptop on me. What I do have is a smart phone, which I use to keep up with Quaker blogs, listen to podcasts and take pictures.
Despite this, I can usually write a few paragraphs at a time. Kept at steadily those could amass into blog posts. But the finishing-up effort is hard. I have a 2/3rds completed post lavishing high praise for’s new album sitting on my phone but haven’t had the chance to finish, polish and publish. So what if I serialized these? Write a few paragraphs at a time, invite commentary, perhaps even alter things in a bit of crowd-sourcing?
Any feedback I’d get would help keep up my enthusiasm for the topic. This informal post-as-chat was actually the dominant early model for blogs, one that fell away as they became more visible. It’d be nice to get back to that. The medium seems obvious to me: Google+, which allows for extended informal posts. So I’ll try that. These will be beta thoughts-on-electron. If they seem to gell together, I might then polish and publish to QuakerRanter.org, but no promises. This is mostly a way to get some raw ideas out there.
Google+: View post on Google+