Thursday, October 16, 2014

Innovations in Role Playing

Besides experimenting with graph databases, Quakers in the 21st Century have options George Fox never did, such as to fully record Business Meetings on high bandwidth storage media for the Meeting Archives (picture a server farm, a rack space, if the meeting is big and old).

Traditionally, a recording clerk synthesizes a meeting's decisions into Minutes, and this practice should not be suspended.  Written minutes have a life of their own within a graph database.  However, if a remote Quaker wishes to (a) view and participate in real time and/or (b) record a response at a later time, an "after thought", why disallow this on principle?  Which of the Quaker SPICES testimonies says to only meet behind closed doors and never make any recordings?

The obvious answer is Business Meeting (a form of Meeting for Worship devoted to management and governance) contains confidential material sometimes and the "need to know" ethic predominates in Societies not given to idle gossip.  For this reason, real time access may indeed need to be limited to only invited / trusted remote parties.  Likewise, before a Business Meeting goes to the Meeting Archive, an editing step might be applied.  A skillful editor, like a skillful clerk, is not trying to change the sense of the meeting through censorship.  Editing is a way of sculpting and bringing out features, highlighting.  The Job Descriptions manual may need a new Role, though perhaps "recording clerk" already covers it.

Speaking of roles:  remember the Advices from past clerks of Peace and Social Concerns: to not let Nominating rule the roost when it comes to activist participation.  Practice first, get nominated (or not) later.  How are people supposed to know you and your concerns well enough to nominate you if all you do is play wallflower and hope you get noticed?  That's no way to run a railroad.  Wade in and get noticed.  Flamboyance may be preferable to sulking.  Think about it.