Welcome to Life in 361˚. This blog is an 'open journal' - a space where I keep notes on bits & pieces I come across day-to-day - including books and articles I've read that I feel are worth sharing, interesting pictures and photos (I'm a visual learner, you see), random musings - and anything else that happens to catch my eye or ear. It also acts as a kind of 'open experiment' in terms of developing my views and writing skills - and networking with other people of a like-mind.

If you've stumbled upon here randomly, then I suggest you check out my biography and other pages.

Please Note: This site, and the social networking profile pages connected with it, reflect my personal interests & views which do not necessarily represent those of organisations I am affiliated / associated with.

Why blog?

"We will create a civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace. May it be more humane and fair than the world your governments have made before." -- A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace. John Perry Barlow. Davos, Switzerland. February 8, 1996

Over the years I have been involved in various blogs and online communities - 'The Blogosphere' - keeping in touch with home, linking up with like-minded people, being challenged by people who think differently, learning about issues not in the mainstream media, and generally pursuing my various interests further than I probably could without it.

The blogs I have been previously involved with have usually adopted a theme - music, social and political commentary, philosophy and theology discussion, football, and so on. Naturally the same goes for the blogs I follow.

My pattern of blogging over the years has been very much stop-start, partly due to work committments, partly due to a tendency to 'chop and change' themes - and ultimately a tendency to want to remain private. Certainly there is some truth in a fellow blogger's (pretty caustic) criticism that, "A quick look at the 'blogosphere' shows that the nature of the medium means it is all too easy for a 'blog' to convey the impression that its compiler is, at best, self-indulgent and verbose, and at worst, a narcisstic bore."

"So why blog now?" you may ask.

Firstly, I have a natural impulse to write. It's an appetite I have had since an early age and one of the few standout talents that emerged at school. (Football, on the other hand, was not a standout talent, demonstrated by my goalkeeping efforts at junior school team trials where I somehow managed to kick the ball back over my head into my own net). I blog with the aim of maintaining my skills, and using it as an opportunity to experiment with different styles to develop further as a writer.

Secondly, I blog as a way of supporting democracy. This is hopefully not read as a pretentious motive, but rather based on the simple premise that by each voicing our 'little' opinions on political and social questions - no matter how wrong we may be, no matter how often our opinions are simply a repetition of someone else's - we ultimately participate in a grassroots dialogue about the issues of the day. We challenge one another, ourselves, and sometimes even the powers that be.

Also, as someone coming from an 'alternative' Christian perspective, I naturally enjoy connection with others of similar viewpoints - 'fellowship' - which is not always easy to come by otherwise. I take inspiration from the early Quakers who often documented their lives in open journals, not for fame and plaudits, but to simply reflect with others on their lives, to seek understanding, to arrive at meaning & a renewed sense of purpose. Again, to engage in true conversation. I do not claim to emulate Quaker greats like John Woolman or William Penn, but certainly do take inspiration from their method of journal keeping.

Finally, the blog acts as a record of change, notes from 'the journey' - something I can look back upon as the months and years pass by - a pointer to a 'scheme of things'.

And by taking the time to read and comment on this blog, I hope you will be part of that too... the wisdom of the crowd.