We have to rise to the challenge. If our new approach to faith and religion means anything, it has to affect our thinking so that we can challenge faithless conduct. We have to rise to a different understanding of what God intended for humans after expulsion from the Garden, because God’s intent is the only way back into Eden. And it’s quite natural that passing through that Flaming Sword makes you a hassle for folks with no intention of seeking Eden. They keep trying to gin up their own fake Eden.
That applies to our virtual lives, too. How we access the Net and what we do online has to leave the same footprints back to Eden that our lives in meat space do. I’m the last person to dictate what that means in concrete details, but I’ll be the first to make suggestions and provoke your thinking and prayers for guidance. I want your mind to be open to how the heart works in every area of our human existence, and the virtual world is not going away. Instead, the Internet is going to become a larger part of human existence at large. We have to apply the same heart-led approach to computer technology and the Net.
That requires we be aware of what is already there. I’ve tried my best to warn you that there is an inherent conflict between the nature of networking itself versus the gatekeeper behavior of the most common entrances to the network. A good clear understanding of the problem in moral terms will help you make decisions that fit your calling and mission. The gatekeepers want to keep you from seeing their impotence, and have done their best to bury alternatives. You will have to use the Net because that’s where life is going, but you don’t have to settle for whatever the gatekeepers sell you. And it’s not really the structures and provisions they offer that are so wrong, but the insidious controls on your thinking that are woven into their provision. That’s what you have to discern.
For a certain number of us who share this faith and approach to religion, our mission requires pushing back against the gatekeepers. Our resistance is not so much confrontation as draining away their power. That’s the meaning of Open Source as a fundamental approach to computers and networking: It restores the essential necessity of choice. It puts the power back in your hands, however much power your calling requires you to exercise. You decide, but if you don’t understand the Open Source approach to things, then you don’t understand the religion I teach here, because I’ve been seeking from day one to restore your freedom of choice in religion itself by deconstructing the whole thing down to its elements. This blog is Open Source religion; it’s DIY for the soul.
The Law of Noah is the path back to Eden; we know most of humanity won’t take that path. We know that Noah requires a tribal social and political structure and that our Western society won’t go there. So while we promote that, we have to discern what is more likely to happen. I don’t care for libertarian politics and economics, but the fundamental libertarian social ethics of live-and-let-live is what I practice. Here in America you can generally count on the conservative, libertarian and “tea party” folks to make room for us to do what we do. They are generally not hypocritical about freedom of thought and expression, which offers us a chance to get our message out. It’s not that they are allies, but we face less persecution with them. Right now, their influence is dominant in the political landscape, so we need to be aware of how we can exploit this for our mission.
We are in a time of transition, maybe even revolution, and certainly a form of civil war. On the one hand, we can see how the old previous power of the Cult of Oester in leftist social politics is dying. The globalist bent of the massive media companies (just six corporations control the entire output of mainstream entertainment media) is already shaken and vulnerable. What may not be obvious is who their allies are: Facebook, Google, Twitter, and a whole range of similar services so popular with everyone who uses the Internet as a major element in their social engagement. All of those services have expressed various forms of opposition, enacting restrictions on anyone who doesn’t support the globalist agenda. It got really bad during the presidential election and they are still struggling to recover from the shock of their failure.
As a part of their attempts to regain dominance over the social conversation, you can bet they will crush our message in the process. If your mission from God requires using those services, then by all means, maintain your virtual presence there. However, if those things are not essential to your particular calling, then consider the alternatives. In an article titled Slouching Towards Irrelevance – The Rise of Alt-Tech, Allan Davis explains a libertarian complaint about the oppressive atmosphere of those services and lists several alternatives: Gab instead of Twitter, MeWe instead of Facebook, Infogalactic instead of Wikipedia, etc. He refers to this as “alt-tech.” And the same problem affects the software we use on the Net, so he mentions Brave browser as an example serving people more openly. You already know that I promote Linux as a better way to run a computer. But the linked article is worth reading if you want to understand the problem.
Don’t take this as a campaign for network holiness that makes these alternatives obligatory. We don’t exchange one orthodoxy for another. I don’t have much use for a Twitter-like service and I’m not sure I have time for a Facebook alternative, since I didn’t really have time for Facebook itself. Still, if we are going to do anything that helps society move to a place where they are more likely to hear our message, promoting those alternatives will weaken further the dying power of oppression. That alt-tech world is not our home, but a move in the right direction, on the path back to Eden.