January 29, 2006

A Quaker and His Friend

Frank crafts a terrific riff off Dave Winer's Friend essay.  I kind of got lost in the computing stuff and wish Frank had talked more about the real deal of Friends from a Quaker point of view, you know, since Frank's a Quaker and they call one another Friend, at least I think so from what I've read, a kind of Quaker-by-Proxy that I am------and all of that aside, I'm with Frank on the nature of Net Relationships today.
This is not 1996 and we're not just emailing anymore. Many of us are writing our souls bare here. And we skype voice to voice, or pick up the phone and we talk for real, and we log hours of talk time, know where one another lives, go to hotels to ride up and down elevators with blog children, occasionally bail each other out of jail---err, trouble I mean--and celebrate birthdays, weddings, funerals, and all kinds of stuff that are what you do for and with friends.
Disclaimer: I'm Frank's Friend.
Disclaimer: Dave would not call me a Friend.
Disclaimer: I don't have enough fans to tell any of them they have to stay a fan and can't be my friend.
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Lis Riba said...

I'm surprised nobody's tied this in with the way LiveJournal uses "Friend" to mean (a) an account I read on my aggregated page and (b) somebody I'm giving access to my locked posts.

I've long thought there was a research study in that. On the one hand, it makes LJ social circles seem much more tight-knit than other webrings (particularly since much of LJ's history, the only way to get an account was through somebody who already had one), but also leads to a lot of unnecessary drama and angst. "OMG U unfriended me -- why?"

Anyway, just a tangent that occurred to me...

Frank said...

I didn't want to get real heavy... but my last line, "Dave is such a human being, who wouldn't want to be his friend?" hopefully expresses a lot of what it means to this Friend to be a friend. Friendship that's reciprocal is rewarding, and friendship that's one way is pathetic, but a foundation for friendship is the love that's in your heart, which reminds me of my drill instructor's query... "Do you like me?" to which there is no correct answer because if you say yes, then he says "Well liking leads to loving and loving leads to fucking and ain't nobody gonna fuck me." But here's the point: the death penalty should be abolished because what we do to the least of these Haysooz sez we do to him, and - think about it - aren't we all diminished when the government kills somebody, whether it's a Pakistan kid who just happened to be in the way of a hellfire missile when they thought Osama was dropping by, or some miserable convict who went off her meds and killed her own kids? And to the extent that we are callous about these things don't we diminish ourselves and our capacity to love?

So yay brethren and cisterns, I gotta say that I'd rather be available to Dave for friendship than not, even though he is a challenging person to love, and my drill instructor was wrong although I understand the homophobic context of his fear.

Don't you think?