Fixing my technological fix

Friends, there has been some good discussion about yesterday’s post regarding the comments on this blog.  No sooner, of course, did the Patheos tech people implement the changes but, before I could even explain them, someone started flagging everything, resulting in a “flagocalypse.”  So to prevent any one person from doing that, or from flagging comments just because they disagree with them, I have asked the Patheos tech people to require THREE flags before the comment disappears, leaving behind only the “Comment Awaiting Moderation” line.  True, a sinister cabal could still banish innocent comments, but an individual will not be able to.  Also, this will enlist the virtual community that we have built up here in protecting itself and enforcing its rules of decorum. [Read more...]

A technological fix for my New Year’s blog resolution?

So, how are you doing with your New Year’s resolution to monitor the comments on your blog and establish a higher tone of discourse?   That was the gist of what one of this blog’s readers put to me, making the point that the personal insults, hi-jacking of threads, and offensive comments have come back in force.   I told him that I was keeping my New Year’s resolution about the same way that most people have been keeping theirs by this time of the year (not even getting out of January)–namely, not keeping it at all.  I can offer excuses–another death in the family requiring unexpected travel, the press of other projects coming due, expected travel for professional commitments, classes starting, etc.–but I have not given up.   In addition, there have been other problems with Disqus, the discussion software this blog is stuck with, with comments disappearing and re-appearing, flagged comments sometimes going into moderation and sometimes not, and probably others.  So thanks to you readers who alerted me to these problems, and I apologize for the annoyances.  Anyway, I talked with the Patheos tech people, and let me explain what we have come up with. [Read more...]

New Year’s resolutions for this blog

I haven’t had time to monitor comments very closely, but I resolve to do so.  I also resolve to bring back this blog’s reputation for friendly, thoughtful, and welcoming discussions.  I resolve to delete comments that are off topic.  I resolve to delete personal attacks, mean-spirited cuts, and vicious asides.   If you find a comment offensive, flag it, whereupon my general policy will be to automatically delete it.   I don’t want to ban anybody if I can avoid it, nor will I censor substantive ideas.  You can disagree, but you are going to have to be kind, non-offensive, and on topic if you want your comments to go through.

I’ll probably fail at these resolutions as I do with others (especially when I’m really busy), but I’m going to give it a try with your help and co-operation.

The best predictions for 2013

It’s New Year’s Eve, time for our annual review of the predictions made by the readers of this blog back on the last New Year’s Day.  Check them yourself here.  Though they were mostly wrong, there were some good guesses and some that were right on target.  No one will get stoned for making a mistake, though this is legal now in Colorado and Washington state.

My analysis and the announcement of the big winners after the jump. [Read more...]

Looking backwards, looking forwards

The week building up to New Year’s is a good time to look back at the year that has passed.  We’ll be doing that on this blog over the next week, among other things, with your help.  Then we’ll look forward to the new year ahead.  And that will bring us to a celebrated and notorious feature of this blog:  the year’s predictions.  On New Year’s Eve, we will check the predictions that you readers made last year and see who takes the virtual prize of glory for the most astute prognostication that came true.  Then on New Year’s Day, we will make predictions for 2014, which will be checked on the last day of that year (if we last that long).  So be thinking about what’s going to happen!

The winning thread

I’m back home after two weeks, having taken my vacation and then going to the Consortium for Classical Lutheran Education conference, trying to get back to normal.  Thanks to everyone who posted comments on those general categories while I was incommunicado.  There were some good discussions.  As I promised, I will announce a winner for the person who started a thread with the most comments.  According to my informal, non-counting analysis (correct me if you want to count), the virtual imaginary prize goes to Theological discussions (278 comments) and the thread started by PETE on Baptism. [Read more...]

I’m back

Thanks for holding down the blog for me while I was gone.  It looks like you did a good job of keeping things going.  What do y0u need me for?  Since I was bereft of computer, cell phone, newspaper, and television, I have no idea what has gone on the past week.  I look forward to reading your posts and comments to get up to date.  I’ll do that when I have time, and I’ll also proclaim the winning discussions.  How good it was to get away, but the last few days I started to feel the need to be productive.  And my time away (maybe I’ll tell you more about it) has given me more ideas to blog about, so stay tuned.

What to do while I’m away

This week I will be on vacation far away from internet connections and cell phone towers.  I know, though, how important your daily Cranach fix is, and I do not want to throw off your routines.  So I am going to put together a structure that will draw on you readers to keep this blog going while I am away.  We will do so by taking advantage of the much-maligned Disqus commenting system.

I will post categories of topics that we usually discuss here.  If you have something that you would like this vast and talented community of readers to take up, post it as a comment, along with any necessary links.  To talk about it, hit “reply,” so that the discussion will be nested below the subject.  If you have a different subject you want to discuss, post that as a comment, and other people will “reply” to form a nested thread.

If this works the way I hope it does, not only will the blog be kept up to date, we will cover even more subjects than we usually do!  (We will heap virtual honors on the commenter who provokes the discussion with the most replies.)  Thank you in advance for filling in for me.

 

 

 

Current events

News will happen while I’m away this week.  Hopefully, I won’t even know about it.  But something is bound to happen that begs for discussion.  If and when something happens, tell about it briefly in a comment, along with a link to the full story.  The rest of you, talk about it by hitting “reply” to that comment.  By the end of the week, we should have a compendium of the week’s news, along with the necessary commentary.  That will catch me up when I return to civilization, assuming it can last long enough to be here when I get back.

Theological discussions

This is your chance to post your questions and convictions on matters theological, with informed readers from many different traditions answering you, arguing with you, or maybe helping you think things through.