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February 13, 2010


The instructions for everyone are pretty much the same: don't be a dick, and beyond that, love people. Feed them. Clothe them. Suffer for goodness. Pursue justice. Got it, nodes?

But what if that's not my ministry?


The one context I like networks as a model for human interaction is in the not-deeply-personal arena of sharing information, ideas and credentials. There, connectedness and link strength are immediately useful and obviously relevant. In other circumstances...not so much.

What Friesen seems to be missing in his choice of metaphor is that evangelism isn't about sharing ideas (in the networking sense) so much as selling ideas. A router doesn't decide which packets it's going to pass along; it doesn't have any idea what's in them. That's for the application layer to interpret. Thinking of people as blind data forwarding services defined by what they accept is good for (say) allocating limited health education resources in a large population, but dishonest if you also claim to care about choice and independent experience, as evangelists do.

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