Blogging habits evolve, and there is self-questioning among some members of the Awkward Squad about where we go from here? Some of the AS are content the way things are, some would like to consolidate, others to expand.
I am of the latter opinion, because I see blogging as a wonderful way of enlarging our contacts worldwide and sharing news and views with lots more interested and interesting people. Through following up other peoples’ blogroles and preferences, I’ve discovered some very congenial sites and people, some of whom I’ve added to my own list of ‘friendly places’ and visit regularly.
It seems to me that networking in this fashion, both as individuals and interlinking rings, is the most fruitful way of broadening our internet horizons. While the Awkward Squadders will, I’m sure, happily pursue our established wayward way, some of us who want more ongoing, themed, discussion with longer threads and wider networking could form another ring. Toby has suggested “Renaissance” as a name “reflect[ing] our desire to be universal men/women with a refusal to turn a blind eye to any topic no matter how obscure and also indicating a glimmer of hope that perhaps society could experience a rebirth carved out by the new voices in the internet age.”
Sounds good to me, and I would be willing to set up a “Renaissance” ring if others want me to. The idea would be that each of the participants hosts and writes about a particular theme or themes on his of her own site, and also invites others to provide posts on those topics. Thus, if Toby’s “Reason’s Sword” was the theme-place concentrating on philosophy and ethics, I and others, as well as Toby, could [with his approval] put up posts there so that everyone knew where to go for those threads. Of course, that wouldn’t preclude the site’s host from posting on other topics as well when they wished to.
As founder-members I would suggest the following sites and themes:
1LONERANGER: the environment; the arts
ANTICANT’S ARENA: historical perspectives; social psychology; democratic deficit
JOSE’S SITE: global economic and political trends; 21st century scenarios
TOBY’S SITE: philosophy; ethics; education
TYGER: British politics
These are just very early thoughts, with gaps to be filled in both membership and topics, so let’s have a full discussion here before proceeding further. The idea of even only a handful of us starting to take more positive steps towards a renewal of reasonable, enlightened, and optimistic discourse in this gloomy decade of conflict, bigotry and pessimism is a heartening one. Thanks for the inspiration, Toby!