Apparently, it has become de rigueur within Baha’i youth culture today to set up webzines. First we brought to your attention SPIRITUAL DEGREES (which we are happy to add is gearing up for its next issue), and now we stumble onto ONE – a rather upbeat and funky ‘zine which mainly takes a decidedly artistic view of things (you know, poetry, pictures, stories, stuff like that). They even have a blog of their own! This trend is heartening but Baha’i Rants looks forward to the day when real issues of significance to the community are discussed rather than the current fluff articles and banal dibblings of poetry.
As you may know, Baha’i Rants has made some grumbling noises about the lack of action from the Baha’i world community in the field of social and economic development – or the now non-politically correct word charity. But never let it be said that we do not give credit where credit is due:
Border of Darfur, Sudan and Chad
Here is a neat little website created by the Baha’is in the Netherlands, I mean Holland; Dutch . . . yes, Dutch Baha’is (I think that’s what they prefer being called). Its a different take on the usual introductory material, so extra points for creativity. But it might be a little hard to navigate until you realize that those little squares that change color are actually links or menu choices. Once you figure that out, you’re flying. Next time you want to introduce someone to the Faith, be a bit imaginative and give out this link instead of the usual bahai.org URL.
Yahoo!Groups is home to quite a number of interesting Baha’i communities. Some, like the venerable, Talisman, have been going on for some time and others, like Baha’i Monitor, have just started. This new group however, is not for discussions. It’s purpose is to ‘monitor’ and archive news which may be of interest to Baha’is worldwide; and to that end it follows a no nonsense editorial policy (found in the Files section). I think it is commendable project because presently, all formal news channels are under the auspices of the Administration and as such, there is no real ‘freedom of the press’. As well, it makes sense to have a centralized place for all Baha’i news drifting out there in cyberspace.
By nature, Baha’i Rants is rather skeptical (some would even say cynical or jaundiced, or worse) but a visit here left quite an impression. Scientifically speaking, humanity doesn’t know much, really, about this thing called reality. We paw and snap in the dark, like emaciated hyenas, trying to grab something, anything tangible. Maybe this is what Baha’u’llah (and all the other Messengers of God) meant when they insisted upon the unity and interconnectedness of all – that God is one, humanity is one and all the religions are one. Could it be that we truly are ‘one soul’ as Larry Rowe likes to say?
To learn more, you might want to start with their own website (click above) or the relevant Wiki page. Some of the experiments and concepts also remind me of the excellent book by Malcolm Gladwell, called Blink. Being a skeptic, I’d like to see a team of statisticians not involved in the project analyse their accumulated data – especially looking for the null hypothesis. Also, one has to remember that correlation doesn’t mean causation – otherwise one would say that eating a lot of ice cream causes hot weather. Until then, I’ll just daydream that it is indeed true – what a world that would be. You, of course, can decide for yourself (independant investigation of truth and all that ball of wax).