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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 688)...

    . I'd like to ask you a question about the many websites being created to promote or discuss your work. Off the top of my head, I can think of FriendsofIshmael.org, shareishmael.org, changeingmind.com, ReadIshmael.com, Ishcon.org, outreachbooks.org, newtribalventures.com, and of course Ishmael.com. These are only the ones I know of, I'm sure there are more. I know there is no one right way, but I must say that the increase in websites and the lack of a central website to serve changed minds creates many obvious problems. You have said "the quantity of isolated but overlapping resources is growing rapidly, and the ineffectiveness that comes from that fragmentation is growing with it." Ishcon.org seems to be the site you endorse as a central meeting place. So, I guess my questions are: What direction do you think readers should take on the Internet in trying to come take action/get news/ learn more/ etc., AND, do you endorse Ishcon.org as the central meeting place for readers wanting to take action, get news, etc.? I'm currently involved in the Outreachbooks.org Monthly ISHMAEL Community Action (MICA) which sends out books and letters to Influential people asking them to read the book. by the way, what do you think of this idea?

    ...and the response:

    You quote me as saying, "the quantity of isolated but overlapping resources is growing rapidly, and the ineffectiveness that comes from that fragmentation is growing with it." It doesn't sound like me, and I can't really figure out why I would have said it. Maybe the context of the statement would help. (I personally don't see that it applies to the proliferation of Ishmael-related sites.)

    You say that "the increase in websites and the lack of a central website to serve changed minds creates many obvious problems." I don't see myself as having a patent on changed minds, and I don't have the resources (time and energy) to "serve changed minds" to such an extent that having other sites would seem superfluous.

    Since I'm the author, my site will always be the regarded as the closest thing there is to an "official" ISHMAEL site, but it would never occur to me to say that my work is not to be discussed or promoted anywhere else.

    And I don't really want to get into the "endorsement" business or to set myself up as a judge of initiatives that people undertake (like the MICA project you're involved in). I have to do the things that make sense to me, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're going to make sense to other people. The reverse is true as well: Other people have to do the things that make sense to them, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're going to make sense to me.

    Publishing a book is like sending a grown up son or daughter out into the world. Its fate can't be controlled or directed. If he'd been around, Karl Marx might well have been appalled by the Marxist societies that claimed his work as their foundation. (He did in fact once say, "All I know is I’m not a Marxist.")


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