Hear Ye, Hear Ye: The League of Ordinary Gentlemen Launched (Link Fixed)

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I have some excellent news.  As of today, The League of Ordinary Gentlemen drops.  With a vengeance sucka.  Hats off to Scott Payne for coming up with the idea and ED Kain for doing the yeoman’s work on setting up the site.  The Bowler logo is Freddie’s doing.

Link Here
Website (for Bookmarking) http://www.ordinary-gentlemen.com/

From our About Page:

The League of Ordinary Gentlemen is a group blog that hopes to bring a new style and sensibility to blogging. The contributing writers hail from various points along the political spectrum, but all hold a deep and abiding commitment to the exploration of ideas outside the foray of rhetorical and ideological cul de sacs. The entries are less posts than they are dialogues with an aim towards sustained discussion on topics and issues that lay at the foundations of our lives. This approach, we hope, will provide readers with a thoughtful and searching alternative analysis.

On my side, I’m very excited and intrigued by this possibility of seeking a new praxis/way of group blogging.  When I started out this blog it was originally subtitled Integral Philosophy, Politics, and Christianity.  My Christianity blogging has migrated over to Credo @ Culture11.  My politics blogging will as of today be heading over to The League.  And this site will remain for Integral philosophy.

Our theme song (since there are Seven of us):

Published in: on January 21, 2009 at 4:16 pm  Comments (2)  
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This is the S–t: Mark Gormley Edition

(Hat tip to Stuart Davis for turning me on to this one–I will be doing my best to evangelize to make this the next great internet sensation)….

As a commenter godslittle soldier says in the Youtube thread“Mark Gormley you are a rock god with my father’s fashion sense.” Well said sir.  That should go in for comment of the year.

To quote Jack Black in Kung Fu Panda:  “There is no charge for awesomeness.”

Published in: on January 14, 2009 at 2:09 pm  Comments (2)  
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zomg! Greatest Youtube of All Time

You know the Global Age of the 21st century has arrived when you see this video.  There are no words to describe how genius this is.  Warning:  Some raunchy lyrics.  If I ever met the person(s) who made this, I would buy him/her a beer.

Published in: on December 30, 2008 at 10:17 pm  Comments (1)  

Random Ruminations on Blogging

I apologize for the lighter posting over here recently.  I’ve been sitting on some stuff, but have not been sure how to articulate it.  I’m still not sure I have a totally clear sense of what I’m getting at, so some of this will be pretty free form.  I’m still groping my way towards verbalizing some incohate (but strong) feelings.

The basic version is:  I just don’t feel like I have anything to say.  I feel drained of a motivation to blog or to take much interest in anything going on in the blogosphere.  I thought maybe at first this was just the inevitable post-election comedown but it goes much deeper than that alone.  Maybe there is just a natural cycle of push/pull, but somehow this one feels different to me.  It’s not a bad feeling.  I actually feel quite relieved in many ways.  Lighter, freer.  Unburdened of the need to say something, respond to events, give my opinion on X, Y, or Z.

The blogsophere is very good it seems to me at responding in quick fashion to unexpected events, particularly black swans.  The worst case of this is excessive political rumor mongering, fauxtrage (whether left or right, see Rick Warren selection), but at its best information streams much faster than the traditional media outlets.  Think Russia-Georgia war, Mumbai bombings, and so forth.  As a consequence right now, many of the best blogs to be reading are econ blogs, since that is where the action is at.  If some foreign policy, global event takes place, then those blogs shift back in.  Perhaps we will see some good blogging coming out the attempted coup in Guinea, breaking as I write.

Another kind of a blog that would work well is something along the lines of a time-specific event-centered blog that runs for a few weeks/months and then naturally dies its proper death.  Perhaps my favorite work of C.S. Lewis is A Grief Observed where he (in diary format) recalls his reflections on his grief process after the death of his beloved.  You can find similar type writings in blogs of folks who are recounting an experience of living abroad.  In my experience you (the reader) typically need to have lived or visited that country (or a nearby one in the region) to really get the gist of what is going on.

But in the interim periods of those events or domestic-based bloggers, what are blogs really about?  Back to first principles kinda stuff. I’m asking myself that question as well as when I read others.  Good blogs, bad blogs, whatever.  I feel like something is missing.  I’m not sure what but I can’t shake the feeling.  At the point of supposedly the most connection, biggest spread of blogs, I feel like the format is already in decline in some fashion.  Feels to me like it’s increasingly just running on steam and becoming corroded from within.

I don’t think (at least I hope I never did) have any grandiose dreams that blogs would bring universal enlightenment or whatever.  But I’m really wondering if the creative novel moment (in process terms) of all this is now passed and everything from here on is just various forms of quasi-reaction.  There are a slew of really sharp folks blogging (far sharper than me), but it still all comes across to me as fixed positions for everyone which they simply repeat over and over again in sundry ways.  Depending on the proclivities of said individuals, agglomerations or teams come into being, and then they tend to interact with the other teams.  Not always so fruitfully.  Some of this undoubtedly is bound to occur, but I wonder if I a different way could be found.

It’s been four years now (with about a year break at one point) since I started this blog.  When I first started I mostly wrote content-dump long-form meditations.  Mostly around integral philosophy.  That phase eventually ended, I took some time off to re-think, and then returned and tried to enter more into the format itself instead of just using the format/medium for thoughts I already had.  I also read more deeply in strategy to put some flessh on the bones/structure of the integral overlay.  That period had its pluses and minuses–I feel like I learned pretty well what I had set out to achieve.  I’m at least functional in both of those directions.  That phase it seems now I feel is coming to an end, is dying it’s natural death.  I mean it’s not like I won’t ever do posts in that vein anymore–I still occassionally do posts like I did in phase 1.   The subject of one stage becomes the object of the subject of the next.  What’s not clear yet is what is the next subject? What are his interests and goals, his commitments, his motivation?

I need to really think of what I have to offer given my limitations as a human being.  I’m not an artist so that is not a way forward.  While I flirt with political philosophy and read in it, it’s not really a prime target area for me.  A. There are already people out there doing that work who do it much better than I ever could.  Just read them.  B. I find those discussions, as illuminating as they can be (and are in many cases), too often abstracted from history and context, floating in or on a kind of ether.  Philosophy philosophy, the kind I read in my off-school time is not well suited to blogging.  Or at least I haven’t found the way to merge medium with such thinking to date. What then?

I don’t feel the need to take time off like I did last time this occurred. For the next while I’m guessing that I will be experimenting with attempts at different writing forms.  The failures hopefully will teach me as much (if not more) than the successes.  Failure and success being in some measure in the eye of the beholder in what I’m talking about here no doubt. I should say I suppose this will be the case–who knows with this stuff, it’s totally unpredictable what course it will take on and what time line.  I certainly don’t.

Published in: on December 23, 2008 at 1:30 pm  Comments (3)  
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Other Postings

Sorry posting has been a little light this week.  It’s my final week of school and I was heavy into paper writing.  It slows down massively after this Wed. (thank the heavens).  So blogging should pick up.

In the meantime, I have written a few posts over at The Credo Blog at Culture11, for those interested.

This one on the question of “turn the other cheek”

This one on a renewed paganism in Christmas (and is that all a bad thing and is it really pagan after all?)

This one on the need for a constructive renewal of the meaning of the word consumption/consumer

Published in: on December 6, 2008 at 11:41 am  Leave a Comment  
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Credo Update

My inaugural (non-bio) post at Credo (here), the Culture11 Group Faith blog trying to apply John Robb’s concept of resilient community to church organization has generated some serious followup.  A Mormon response here, Orthodox here, and Roman Catholic here.

Joshua’s response (the Orthodox one) I found the most interesting.  He had some pushback on the concept and the possibility for it to become a exclusionary force in society/withdrawing from society.  I think that possibility is real, but I also think there are ways around it (I commented on his post to that end).

I haven’t exactly figured out how I’m going to work the distinction between these two blogs.  i.e. Are all of my “Christianity” posts just going over there?  Which would leave this blog almost entirely philosophical and political?  I don’t know.  I know I’m not going to cross-post anything I write there here (or vice versa for that matter).  I might just do periodic links here that string to say a number of recent posts there.  Maybe not.  Anyway, there is a link added on the sidebar to the Credo Blog.

Published in: on October 25, 2008 at 9:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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Credo Blogging

Credo, which is the faith blog at Culture11, has graciously given me the opportunity to be a new member of the squad.  My first post which is an introduction is up at the site–you can read it here.  It involves Jesuits, denominational changes, volcanoes, and medieval German mystics.

Published in: on October 21, 2008 at 9:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

How Not to Do a Site Re-Design

Courtesy Time Mag. whose new look (imo) is for the birds.  Go back to the old one I say. Total overload and makes me wanna hurl.  Looks like something from Web 1.0 information dump era circa 2002.

Give it a look and see if you agree here.

Published in: on September 18, 2008 at 10:01 am  Comments (1)  
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Weblog Awards

My buddy C4 nominated me for a Brilliant Blog Award (also got an honorable mention from Hokai).  Very kind.  You could so a lot worse in terms of blog reading then simply following their links to the other nominees.  Strong crew.

Published in: on August 24, 2008 at 1:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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