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The Ghost of EphBlog Future

abl writes:

I’m going to add my voice to all of the calls to please keep JCD out of this. There is room for interesting and important discussion on these points. Invoking (summoning?) JCD into the discussion is not a productive first step towards reaching any greater understanding of these issues. Nor, especially, is demanding that some of our most thoughtful contributors apologize to JCD over points that they have made in the past that are only indirectly implicated by this discussion–and definitely do not require apologies. JCD leaving this blog was one of the best things to happen to it in recent times; please do not drag him back in.

Is there no spirit of Christian forgiveness among the EphBlog community? Must we be defined by our sins forevermore?

My purpose is not to defend everything that JCD has ever done or said. I disagree with much of it. Some of his statement/actions in the past have been, as the kids say today, “problematic.”

But I believe in redemption, in forgiveness, in the possibility of rebirth for every Eph, no matter the sins of their past. Do you?

And I like to think that that faith has been justified, at least in the case of JCD. Since joining EphBlog as an author a month ago, he has authored 5 posts, each with a direct connection to Williams. Each is a perfect example of what we need more of at EphBlog. I don’t agree with every word, but that is all to the good! And, if you think JCD focuses too much on Williams mentions in the conservative media, then step up and write some posts about Williams mentions from the other side of the media aisle.

David, you need to work on tempering what seems to be an innate desire for controversy.

A majority of the (smart! hard-working!) people in Hopkins Hall would define “controversy” as any negative news story about Williams. Is that your definition? Do you not think that I should write about, say, athletic admissions, Bernard Moore, sexual assault or any of the dozen topics that Williams, as an institution, would rather were never discussed? I hope not!

I suspect, however, that you like — or at least don’t object to — my posts on those topics. That sort of “controversy” is fine for you. Indeed, this is one of, perhaps even the main, reason that you read and contribute to EphBlog. Cool!

Instead, what you mean is that my “innate desire for controversy” is fine if I write about controversies you are interested in but less fine if I write about other sorts of controversies. Or am I being unfair?

You have a good nose for Williams-related issues and, combined with your focus on and commitment to the College, you can make a real contribution to the college community. Ephblog often comes close to being a really wonderful resource for both Williams alums and those interested in the college more generally (like PTC).

“Comes close?” Compared to what? Your Platonic ideal of the perfect college blog? Does any such creature exist in this fallen world?

EphBlog is the best college blog in the world. (If you disagree, suggest one that is better.)

But you continually shoot yourself in the foot by taking things just one step too far or by making points inflammatory that really shouldn’t be.

One Eph’s “inflammatory” is another Eph’s “punchy writing.”

This is a good example of this. You’ve done a nice job finding Professor Maroja’s blog and tying it into a broader discussion that is happening at Williams–one that has national relevance. And you’ve done a good job in recognizing that there are nuances to these issues that those on all sides of this gloss over–including Professor Maroja specifically.

Thanks! Compliments from discerning readers are always appreciated.

But you really stumble with your entirely unnecessary bit re JCD.

Perhaps. Mistakes will be made. Feedback is always welcome.

Ephblog could be a forum for intelligent like-minded individuals with an important shared connection to consider many important issues.

“Could be?” Again, compared to what? There is no more intelligent forum (devoted to a single institution of higher education) in the world. (Contrary pointers welcome.) Even something as excellent as Dartblog in its heyday never allowed comments.

Ephblog is at its worst when it devolves into trolling and troll-baiting.

Again, I have been yelled at (not an exaggeration!) by a trustee (in public!) about my posts on athletic admissions. He viewed any discussion of admissions advantages for athletes as “trolling,” although, back in 2007, I am sure he would have used different terminology.

I’d like to think that we, as a community of Williams alums, are better than that–but I’m not sure we always are. As the de facto (official?) leader of Ephblog, you can and should and do play a big role in setting the tone for these discussions. You do so many things so well in this regard, it’s infuriating when you just can’t resist adding some poke or snark at the end. So often the result is to derail what otherwise might be a thoughtful discussion of an important issue.

Point taken! I will aim to do better in the future. Happy New Year!

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7 Comments To "The Ghost of EphBlog Future"

#1 Comment By Fendertweed On December 31, 2018 @ 11:00 am

We’re not all Christian though forgiveness is good.

A cardinal rule is “don’t be a dick.”

JCD didn’t seem to get that.

#2 Comment By Dick Swart On December 31, 2018 @ 1:19 pm

A cardinal rule is “don’t be a dick.”

Alas!

#3 Comment By ZSD On December 31, 2018 @ 1:27 pm

“I’m going to add my voice to all of the calls to please keep JCD out of this. There is room for interesting and important discussion on these points. Invoking (summoning?) JCD into the discussion is not a productive first step towards reaching any greater understanding of these issues.”

? Please see Ephblog “Irreconcilably Conflicts”: abl v anon

#4 Comment By PTC On December 31, 2018 @ 3:51 pm

Happy New Year everyone!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WROdwlk9_h8

Heard this on the local radio coming back from Stop and Shop.

Prime rib tonight, with a student, my wife and a couple of friends.

Trooping out with some of the chow to spread the love to some local bartenders who are working this evening as well.

What does everyone else have going down?

“Yeah, yeah, Candida….We could make it together
The further from here girl the better
Where the air is fresh and clean…”

#5 Comment By fendertweed On January 1, 2019 @ 9:14 am

@Dick Swart ….

Of course, you are miles apart from the “small d” iterations I referred to …. I (we?) think you’re way above that level yourself, as I think you know.

I had a baseball teammate once who introduced himself to new teammates by saying “Hi, I’m Rich. I’m not a Dick.”

Happy New Year….

#6 Comment By Alum-Anon On January 1, 2019 @ 4:19 pm

Fendertweed says:

We’re not all Christian though forgiveness is good.
A cardinal rule is “don’t be a dick.”
JCD didn’t seem to get that.

Have you looked in the mirror lately? People who live in glass houses…

#7 Comment By 89’er On January 2, 2019 @ 12:24 pm

Let he who has not been a dick among you be the first to affix the first dick appellation.

Look in the mirror indeed.