|16 Feb 2002 @ 21:16, by Andy Lehman|
The Humble Opinion of an NCN Newbie
Though I’ve only been on NCN for a few weeks, I’m amazed by many of the people on it. It’s probably one of the largest gatherings of people who “get it” that I’ve ever seen. I’ve met some people here, directly or just through their writings, that I respect more than anyone I’ve ever met in my life. I see loads of people who are ready and willing to do something to make the world a truly better place. That gives me a great deal of hope. So why, with remarkable people like this on our side, are we not all living in a dream world yet? (I know there are probably many answers to this question; I’m just going to focus on one)
I’ve just spent some time reading various news logs (especially those of mmmark). Assuming I read them right, I agree very much that what is necessary for us to move forward is a new kind of dialogue. One that is more to the point, one that does not move in circles, and one where we leave our egos at the door, as mmmark said. By the same token, I certainly have no problem with argument, as long as it is productive. Finding common ground is the goal of argument, in my opinion (and experience). I would never argue with someone just to prove a point or to convert them to my views. I always argue so I can get past the differences in our views and find what we do have in common. The strange thing is that, with all the diversity in opinions and experiences out there, we always do seem to be able to find common ground. So, we should not be afraid to say what we think, as long as we do it diplomatically and with consideration. All of that is critical to the kind of dialogue we need.
I am really amazed at the intellectual presence on this website; I think that it more than exceeds the “critical mass” necessary for true and meaningful action. What form would that action take? That’s always the hardest part. One tentative opinion I have on that is that somebody needs to go just a little crazy. I really have no idea how, which is why we need dialogue. Something in me just tells me that what has to happen is that somebody has to do something crazy, but not crazy enough to bring down the wrath of society. It would be something highly visible; some truly original and significant act of breaking the shackles of today’s society and then holding one’s hands into the air and proclaiming to the entire world “I’m free!” Am I making any sense whatsoever? I’m never one hundred percent sure. I believe that this act would have to be very carefully considered and calculated. We have to really “wow” people (not least of all ourselves). I’ll have to think more about that.
My friendship, and above all my respect to all of you.