Tag Archives: Democracy in blog writing

A little rowdy, a little wonky, and coming changes: Sustainable Institutions after 1 year and a hiatus

Hello Sustainable Institutions Readers,

It has been awhile since we last (virtually) conversed, has it not, regular Sustainable Institutions readers? I am back from “blog hiatus”. Posts will be appearing more regularly on this blog.

It was about this time a year ago that I started the Sustainable Institutions blog. The blog has really wondered around since that time! We have done higher education issues, K-12 education issues, marketing / business issues, environmental issues, religious oriented material, and yoga and fitness blog posts. That is a lot of topics!

My original point in starting the blog was to encourage conversation about “sustaining” important institutions in society and making them work for the people within those institutions. It recognized that institutions are not necessarily perfect and as the world revolves, the things people may take for granted are not necessarily going to be in place. How can we sustain our institutions while making the required changes to “work” with a changing culture? Are there points of departure where an institution would not want to change (for example, to uphold some sort of long-established or even sacred tenet)? These were the questions I was interested in writing about when I started this blog.

Unfortunately, I have found as a blogger that perhaps a wide range of issues is perhaps not the right format for a blog. Because there are so many things that can be covered, the blog seems to lack particular commitment.

Moreover, because Sustainable Institutions has sought a “middle way” approach, it has sometimes displayed weakness in its argumentation. Certainly, there are points in which facts, rather than ideology, needs to drive action, but it is most responsible, in discussing societal issues, to derive a particular point of view since facts lead us to one particular conclusion or another. There are certainly times where reasonable compromise can be achieved.  At other times, moderation can lead to complicity in a social wrong (King, 1963, found at http://mlkkpp01.stanford.edu/index.php/resources/article/annotated_letter_from_birmingham/, downloaded September 14, 2014). Utilizing this logic, it is important to advance actual arguments instead of consigning ourselves to be on moral autopilot. Moreover, utilizing viewpoints, assigned in facts, can be a positive in the democratic process.

I have decided, therefore, to start utilizing this blog to write more about narrower topics and to exert stronger viewpoints (i.e. improve argumentation) where appropriate. I will be writing about Universal Design for Learning in U.S. based educational reform efforts. I will be explaining these things in more detail at a later date. While I will be covering a diverse set of viewpoints, I hope to enact more discussion within this framework.

I enjoyed writing about fitness / spirituality issues and may consider writing about those on another blog site at a later date. For now, I want to see if this particular blog format can be successful, so am concentrating on this blog site for now.

For my readers, thank you for your readership over the last year. For those who may be new, welcome to the blog. I do hope rather you are a long-time reader or just reading this blog for the first time that you will continue to be engaged in this blog. Maybe it will get a bit wonky; maybe it will get a bit rowdy; it is all a part of participating in democracy via the blogosphere.

Be at your best.

Andrew Bennett

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