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Pondering the South African Memesphere – Looking for the Good in Everything

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Please Comment On This Post!

February 5th, 2008 · Posted by Hugo · 10 Comments

Great, another night of cannot-sleep. I’ve decided to publish a number of the posts I have drafts for, without applying too much perfectionism. Here’s the first. For the record, for Religion posts, I’m leaning all the more in the direction of “disable comments”, or filtering comments heavily, allowing only those that I deem valuable. I’m just too friggen tired of trying to get people to understand what I’m trying to do, too tired of trying to get people to help instead of sabotage. I’m just going to do it, suppressing counter-productive criticism and debate. It’s a fscking waste of time. (fsck is the file-system check tool in Linux. Prior to journalling filesystems, it made post-power-failure system booting waste lots and lots of time. Think “scandisk”, maybe?)

I’m still battling with what I want to do with the comments, both right now, and in the future when the vapourware “mengelmoes” is available to do all sorts of nifty things. One thing I realise is that things need to change. (Maybe I’m the thing that needs to change.) I need to find better balance in order to escape the self-destructing loop I so often end up in. I quite clearly lack some balance.

For the near future, I see these possibilities:

  • Declare a hiatus for the next few weeks. This will help me get my work done. Frivolous comment-debates won’t influence me, as there will be none. There is much I want to blog about though, so I will probably build up a nice queue of posts that can be scheduled for the future – maybe this could help with the four-week holiday I’m taking from Easter.
  • Disable comments for the time being. This way I can continue blogging without having to deal with frivolous comment-debates. Comments/discussions can still take place to some degree on Facebook (yuck) if people want to discuss or give feedback. The advantage is that the people that are able to comment is limited, or can be limited, to the people that I have linked to.
  • Only allow constructive on-topic comments that make a valuable contribution. Seems icky, eh? Other comments can be placed in purgatory (the moderation queue) to be dealt with once mengelmoes exists.
  • Personally ignore destructive comments. Here’s the first “fix my own ways” option: simply ignore the stuff I’m unable to personally deal with in the next few weeks.
  • Get out more. With more social interaction to “recharge”, I should be able to better handle the bleak warzone that my blog’s comments all too often becomes.
  • Any other ideas?

I’d like to hear from as many of the “silent” readers of this blog as possible. I especially want to hear what typically discourages you from commenting, and what “environment” you’d like in order to more actively participate. E.g: A short-term idea: possibly the language, should I encourage Afrikaans more? A long-term pipe dream: would dividing commenters into by-invitation communities allow/enable you to have discussions with friends? Other comments will also be available in a “public area”, possibly creatively named something like “The Tavern”, a place where all the brawling can take place.

Please chip in! Even if you’ve never commented before. Even if you only comment “I only read, and am unlikely to comment no matter what the commenting environment looks like.”

Excessively verbose off-topic comments will be dealt with creatively.

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10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 gerhard // Feb 5, 2008 at 10:57 am

    .

    I especially want to hear what typically discourages you from commenting, and what “environment” you’d like in order to more actively participate.

    well, only wanting to hear opinions and angles that you agree and dismissing the rest as sabotage generally will discourage people.

    i think maybe you should add a ‘code of conduct’ limiting how things are said as apposed to what things are said and where.. possibly you could add a section on what you are trying to achieve and why. maybe maintain a glossary of the christianese you use. maybe a form for people to contribute links and a way of discussing the submitted stuff. would also be fun to discuss something to its completion and doing comment posts before moving onto a new topic?

    are you sure it isn’t mengelemoes? j/k

  • 2 Hugo // Feb 5, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    well, only wanting to hear opinions and angles that you agree and dismissing the rest as sabotage generally will discourage people.

    It would, true. I’d like to hear other people say that though… at this point I’m under the impression I’ve really just been discouraging you, not anyone else.

    In the future, I will try to explain what my gripes are with your comments, if and when I have gripes. It’s hard to put that in words sometimes, but I think I’ve made some progress in that regard this morning.

    Thanks for your suggestions, I will take them into consideration. Some thoughts on them:

    • The limiting thing: I’m having an internal battle about that. I don’t want a code of conduct, I don’t want limits. I want things to be built on relationships, but I’m finding that hard to accomplish. We’ll see.
    • What I want to achieve: shalom.
    • Glossary of Christianese: I will try to develop something in that direction, but it won’t happen in the next two weeks, unfortunately.
    • Contributions, etc: a big part of mengelmoes plans.
    • Discussing things to “completion”: I don’t find the same things “fun” that you do, and I’m not interested in doing things “just for fun”. I’m on a mission. Sometimes I even make new posts because I don’t like the direction of the discussion. A cop-out? Maybe. I’ll try to explain myself better in the future. This blog is less a discussion blog, more a blog with a mission. Most/many of the posts are already in my head. I’d much rather get them out there than get stuck in a discussion. Eventually you’ll see where I’m going.

    The “About” (You New?) page needs attention, yes. It used to have plenty of info, but I removed/archived it. I didn’t like the “cute little summary in a couple of concise words, words with way too many connotations”, considering it too modernistic. ;) Again, I want a relational approach, but it’s hard.

  • 3 Rinus // Feb 6, 2008 at 11:04 am

    I don’t really have any suggestions at this moment. Currently I’m quite busy and don’t have a lot of free time on my hands. As such I tend not to get time to read all the commentary to each post, but I do try to keep up with the posts at least.

    I find your thoughts very interesting and would like to see where you are going with them. I’m not so sure on what exactly I agree with and what not, but I do have a feeling I might get more insight the further this goes. For the moment I’m mostly quietly reading everything and archiving (mentally).

    I would like to keep up with the comments though, if I had more time (even those I would regard a waste of time; I’m just like that) .

  • 4 Fanie Willers // Feb 6, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    well firstly I am Fanie I’m a third year theology student and i must say i fing your Jesus is Lord post interesting. You are correct in most aspects people who call them selves Christains these days are more over nominal Christians. They are the narrow minded ones they are the ones who are so prim and proper in church and say this or that off the Bible but they are in themselves not even as perfects as they are acting to be. They think that you must do this accomplish that to be a Christian in that sense they are wrong i would love to hear your views

  • 5 Hugo // Feb 6, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    Hi Fanie! Thanks for stopping by! I hope you can visit again, I would love to have more theology students around, especially when I get onto more interesting matters.

    At the moment I’m a little overloaded, so it will take some time. Authors I have read recently include the likes of Brian McLaren and Marcus Borg, people I’ve listened to in person, include Theo Geyser, Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, Ron Martoia – will be ordering his book ( “Static”) shortly. My views are defined much more by what I do not know, than what I do know.

    The key ideas that influence me? The Kingdom gospel, Jesus’ challenge to the purity code and the penal system, placing much more emphasis on the exodus stories, stories of liberation from oppression. Combined with this, my personal experience of breaking free from oppression not by turning my back, but instead digging deeper into the context of his ministry, I came to the realisation that I had personal experience of the kind of “religion” that Jesus was up against. In this context, I feel I understand so much more of his teachings, and much more significantly, his methods.

    In terms of a lifestyle, a case of rethinking (repentance), paradigm shifts (rebirth), and a way of living compassionately and helping the kingdom come on earth (as it is in heaven), I’ve discovered new eyes to see with, and new ears to hear with… a paradigm shift that breathes new life into the context and teachings of Jesus.

    The greatest piece of tragic irony right now, is that, from my perspective, it all too often seems that those that are the most “Christian”, are exactly those that need to hear Jesus again, need to go dig a little deeper.

    Jesus never said “Thou shalt call thyself Christian!”, which is why I couldn’t care less about what it is “supposed” to be.

    Ah, wait, Ron Martoia sermon is available… post coming right up.

  • 6 Hugo // Feb 6, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    OK, post has been made.

    So here’s the thing: there is much about Christianity in its present form that I simply don’t get. Stuff that just don’t seem important to me. As a result, I’m not that big a fan of many of the creeds employed in creed-based churches. Often I cannot join such churches in good faith. I have another friend who attends the Moederkerk in Stellenbosch (Dutch Reformed) who has the same problem. He is active, he takes part, he helps where he can, but he cannot become a full member, because he is very serious about his honesty. (So much so that he has some problems with signing some forms at “The Doctor’s”, when they make promises that he is not sure he will be able to keep.)

    So yea, I don’t know what the “whole Gospel” is, but I have discovered a piece of the Gospel that makes so much sense, and is so inspirational, that that does not matter. And this is a piece of the Gospel that seems, unfortunately, to not be preached enough. At least not in the places I’ve visited. So now I’m all psyched up to check out the various flavours of Christianity, looking for pieces of The Kingdom. These pieces can be found everywhere, even in the seemingly most “god-forsaken” corners of the world. It’s the kind of thing I can learn about from atheists, humanists, Taoists, Muslims, you name it. That divine spark is in all of us…

    Radical inclusiveness and a hope for a Kingdom that is out of this world.

  • 7 Hugo // Feb 6, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    Hehe, verbosity… all psyched up.

    Vir die rekord, Afrikaans is ook baie welkom. Ek voel net meer vlot in Engels.

    ‘n Heildronk. Op Nou! Vandag! Ons praat dalk oor Mañana, oor môre, maar die saadjies van môre word vandag al gelê…

  • 8 Hugo // Feb 8, 2008 at 11:15 am

    Gerhard,

    maybe maintain a glossary of the christianese you use.

    I have just planned (in my mind) a couple of posts that will define words as I will use them on this blog. While you won’t like all my definitions, they are based on and motivated by a lot of experience and “research”. We do not all use the same definitions, so I will, in those posts, explain other definitions as well, and try to adequately explain why I’m using the definitions I’m using.

    Stuff like:

    • What is a god?
    • What is religion?
    • What does “secular” mean?
    • What is worship?

    Obstacles to get out of the way first: my thesis defence, and my current contract job (which isn’t particularly well defined/specified, makes it hard to know how far to take it…).

  • 9 Hugo // Feb 8, 2008 at 11:16 am

    Oh, and:

    • What is “supernatural”?
  • 10 Hugo // Feb 8, 2008 at 11:19 am

    • What is “sacred”?

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