Thursday, 3 January 2008

Learning to Learn.

It's just over three months since I started at this new, to me, technology of 'blogging'.
This is an extract from my very first 'Blog'!

So, it seemed like a good idea at the time. Start my own Blog. Yeah right! Computer literacy is not one of the skills that I can claim as my own. I can sex a chicken, pluck a goose, present a TV show,cook a good meal, helm a ship,raise a kid,identify English wildflowers and artificially inseminate a cow but suddenly none of those knacks are worth a tinkers cuss.

So bear with me as I learn to navigate my way in new territory and in a new language, I am not the quickest learner so this may take some time............TBH(The Better Half) assures me I will master this Universe, we will see!

Well such a lot has happened since that naive statement of intent that I hardly know where to begin!

I was pretty skeptical when TBH began to encourage me to develop this little website. I really couldn't think what I was going to write about and who on earth would be interested, apart from family and close friends, in reading it. I have been pleasantly surprised to find that there is so much information and thought still buzzing in this old brain of mine that material has never been an issue! I am amazed at the strong emotions that are stirred not only within 'my breast' but within a lot of other people's too...

What has become clear is that it is so important to ask questions, to continually refine and grow the knowledge that we possess. What is also abundantly clear is how few people really get in there with their questioning. Whether this stems from apathy, fear, conformity or cultural influences I haven't worked out yet.

I am more than ever convinced that a frank exchange of differing views, a wide diversity of opinion is healthy and very often a situation where everyone is expected to be 'singing off the same hymn sheet' is not.

There is no censorship on the web. People who post stuff on forums and sites must be prepared for others to draw attention to anomalies and misinformation within their statements. It is something that I have had to deal with and in some cases it just made me spitting mad but in others some extremely valuable knowledge has been shared. Taking the rough with the smooth is after all what dialogue is about! We must be prepared to change, learn, grow and adapt.

The thing about the web is it takes us along at such a fast and furious pace....

So far in these three short months I have faced varying degrees of animosity, personal abuse, and even apparently(!) a rather thinly disguised death threat! Oh boy!

Part of the problem is the short term nature of a blog or forum. Readers simply do not take the time to go back through the posts to find what has been said before. That can make it difficult to present a coherent and ordered assertion. Maybe its good for the aging amongst us what with short term memory loss!

Looking back to the blogs that pertain to Brent Borthwick and his " 67 foot mission trawler Jireh" you may recall that I drew attention to his creepy begging letters dressed up as a religious plea. Well here is an excerpt from his November 2007 newsletter :

We have had some terrible opposition here in Guatemala, not from the local churches, but from other "American's"that some seem to absolutely have a hatred for anything about God and Christianity, including anyone who is a Christian. It is very sad, and we have been attacked by this verbally violently; actually to the point that it is so obviously an attack from the Devil.

The “street” price for getting someone killed is as low as $200.00 US here!

The local rag 'riodulcechisme' has an amusing thread asking how many of them feel that Brent is raising cash for their extermination! Those charming kids of Brent and Sharon's are going to be baking a lot of cookies I fear!

Humour aside, how very sad that a so-called 'man of god' feels that these sort of gratuitous remarks can possibly increase his credibility. But then again this is the man who has bravely gone where no white man has been seen before....NOT!

The commentators on the chisme site feel that he was being quoted the 'religious gringo price' but I am not sure I want him to realise that. Life is cheap here in Guatemala...

Turning to another preacher. (What is it with sailing and these quasi- religious guru types?.) The tale of "Captain" Heather and her Dad continues... I have just visited her fund raising page on the net, obviously Daddy-O's Christian begging works for sailing as well. But why do people fall for it and not ask questions?

There he is going on about Heather's willingness to wait on tables and fund her own cruising yet in our interaction on the cruising world forum he dismissed suggestions of cheaper and even free stay in Panama on the grounds of a rather long dinghy ride or slightly less pristine surroundings. 'Captain" Heather herself pooh-pooh's the idea of managing her own transit through the canal on the grounds of it "sounding too much like hard work".

So far from your dollar a day buying rice and beans for this noble quest Heather will be soaking up the double jacuzzi with disco music bathroom experience at Shelter Bay!

There are a lot of fine and decent people out there doing heroic and good things, so why hand over hard won cash to the posturer's who have yet to achieve anything (except to work very hard to part you from money!) With facilities to accept Paypal on their sites there are some basic similarities between Brent and Heather.......

Here's the real thing. Hardly anyone knew about this chap until he had almost finished his adventure, what a story!

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