Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Discussion of Progressive Buddhism blog

We can use this post as a discussion area for the blog.

We can discuss:

Should we have any 'Quality Control'?
What is on-topic?
Tips on how to write a good blog entry
Design of blog template

Any other suggestions?

I'll expand on this later.

Kind regards,



  1. Hia Justin -

    Regarding Quality Control, I'd leave that until later perhaps when there are lots of people blogging here and it maybe gets hectic. I think a bit of the Journal of Buddhist Ethics idea of having editors with different specialties. At some point we could have similar assignments as a means of filtering a bit.

    It will be hard I think to set limits on what's on-topic, but I think your four points in the initial post are spot-on. Things like personal rants or ancient exegesis obviously won't fit in here, but a clever combination of the two could be very appropriate.

    Tips on good blogging and design I'll leave up in the air for now.

    Best, Justin Whitaker

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  3. I agree with my friend Justin W here. Quality Control seems something to do after the fact. Otherwise we just enter the terrain of trying to figure out what "would" be, in advance, a "worthy" contribution (I imagine we are not using quality to refer to proper mechanics of journalist, academic, or other type of writing, or argumentation).

    On the other hand, we do need a set of core agreements about what constitutes a viable post given the audience(s) we want to reach, and the perceived value of the effort as a whole. In other words, there are some simple standards that maybe we ought to consider as desirable. Let me list a few that come up for me:

    1. Accurate (& ethical) interpretation (and identification) of evidence, data, supporting materials & sources.
    2. Accurate identification of salient arguments, including assumptions & main reasons & claims being proposed/critiqued.
    3. No hasty dismissal of other claims. Thoughtful consideration of alternative points of view. Not ignore counter-arguments, or obvious pitfalls, and weak areas in our own arguments.
    4. Non-Fallacious reasoning and/or conclusions.
    5. No scurrilous attacks.

    These seem basic enough, but I offer them merely for conversation and discussion.

    In terms of attitude... wow,that one's a tough one. I don't disagree with your points in the previous post, but the last one about one Buddhadharma seems a good point to argue given the premises of the blog. : )

    Thanks, and best regards,


  4. I agree with the other posters, but I will leave the design up to more capable people than I!

    As I come from the Nichiren Shu tradition, I guess my perspective will originate from there, but will not be limited to any traditional interpretations. One thing I would like work with is more about interaction and use of Buddhists texts- what they mean in terms of western culture and modernity.

    But, I agree rants and personal entries are not really what I am looking for here. I'd like to see a collaboration of views and voices which are not generally seen in the wider Buddhist media.

  5. Thanks for the useful feedback guys.

    My current view is that, without being over-narrow or prescriptive, we should aim for short middle-brow articles If you can write an article with citations then that's bonus marks. I think that that Buddhist Geeks is a good target level. But I don't want to be over-prescriptive. Share your thoughts.

    Nacho, your principles of a good contribution are very helpful I think, although I suspect we'd be over-ambitious to expect all contibutions to be able to fulfill this, especially when it comes to things like citing references. I, for one, probably wouldn't have time. But, yes these are desirable goals.

    I think it's important that we can express ourselves freely. There are certain Buddhist forums which have a somewhat draconian attitude about orthodoxy of view, which can be stifling.

    By the way I don't plan any special role for myself. I'll just be an occasional contributor. I'd like all major decision making to be democratic.