Forward Into The Past

I might be photographing my Sheaffer pens today if I weren’t trying to imagine a short sermon for Monday. As I am in fact trying to dream up a Monday sermon, I will note in passing that some dear friends of ours from Olden Times on the internet (more than ten years ago, little ones!) joined Margaret and me for a Google Hangout yesterday afternoon, and Jeneane Sessum, Halley Suitt, Elaine Frankonis, Gary Turner, Frank Paynter, Kevin Marks, Dean Landsman, and even the mysterious Chris Locke laughed ourselves silly for more than an hour. Too bad the internet makes us antisocial, or we might have had a reply good time.

Doc wasn’t on board for that romp, but a few days ago he blogged about his practice of photo-sharing. “Hardly a week goes by that a shot of mine doesn’t find its way from Flickr or Wikimedia Commons into a newspaper, a magazine or a blog post somewhere,” says Doc, and he’s not vain nor greedy (all Creative Commons licensed, free to use with attribution). The joy of putting images and ideas into play for others to use, the delight in hanging out with friends with whom we’ve been in touch for more than a decade now, these are integral parts of the internet that we’ve built: good friends, good craic, and lots of sharing. That’s what I’m writing about when I commend the Web and its future (not “massive profits for Facebook”). Those are worth preserving; I hope that our governments can, for a moment, see past the pounds and dollars and preserve the common goods that attend an open Web — not abstract principles and lofty ideals, but real people doing worthwhile things.

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