I found this on Fr Smuts’ blog – Does Blogging Help or Hinder Online Debate?
Time was when the scholar, the preacher and the politician sat down and wrote a book, or at least a pamphlet or article, and sent it out into the world as an invitation to engage in debate. Today there are many other ways of reaching people and interacting with them. It is a long time since Wired predicted the death of blogging, but it still seems to me to have a lot of life left in it. For some, the blog has become a substitute, if not for the book, then certainly for the pamphlet — they write write long and detailed posts, sustaining an argument over many pages. Usually, they attract similarly weighty comments from their readers. Others aim at a more popular treatment, and very often their comment columns are all but taken over by people who seem to think debate consists in trading insults. More than one person has been put off blogging by the sheer nastiness of personal attacks and abuse, which has impoverished the blogosphere and online debate generally. So, perhaps the jury is out on whether blogging helps or hinders online debate. It provides an opportunity for debate, but we don’t always make the most of it. Partly, I suspect, that comes from the different expectations we bring to it…
Read more at iBenedictines – the blog containing the full text and a few comments.
I am through with discussing abusive commenting whether those responsible are named after methods of fishing from a boat or little creatures of Norwegian mythology! But this little article is most apposite.
I had a telephone call with someone I know and respect, and have to face my own lack of pastoral or organisational aptitudes – despite having received the priesthood. The person acknowledged the role of teaching through blogs when there are no resources to assemble Christian communities.It is a question of vocation, both in terms of aptitudes and talents and also in terms of the call from the Church.
After this conversation, I continued to have frequent breaks from my translating work to read web site about single-handed offshore sailing. I am a long way from this possibility, both in terms of seamanship and acquiring the right kind of boat, as well as being in the right domestic and professional circumstances. But, I might be able to envisage it in a couple of years, in my mid 50’s. I have even read about the possibility of e-mail via Iridium, but uploading and downloading is slower than the old “gas-driven” Internet of the 1990’s. However, most ports have wi-fi for regular Internet services. The mind boggles. I would need all that to work as a translator as well as blog.
It always helps to have a goal to work towards… In the meantime, I will be posting along the lines of the theme I set out when discussing Modernism. Having “lost my church” I now have so little real contact, and I lose my sense of communion with other Christians. There is nothing here where I live (rural France) that attracts me except the monasteries. There are some wonderful holy houses in France with a more or less traditional liturgy. If I am an excommunicate from the RC Church, nothing prevents me from attending services on occasions without receiving any Sacraments.
The monastic life is open to celibates who consecrate themselves totally to following a rule under the authority of the Abbot. My married life precludes that possibility, and besides, I once had opportunities to enter an abbey, of which I did not avail. I am not called to it. But the ideal remains of prayer and work, a daily routine of Mass, Office and daily life. That is possible both on land and at sea.
I like the idea of the short and simple post, which, if it attracts any comments, would be more likely to attract comments of quality and depth than long meandering articles. I will give it thought.