The idea behind the Agreeable times is to provide a gathering place for people to share absolutely anything they know and think might help, stimulate, edify or delight others. In any language. From anywhere. About anything. People have many easy ways of doing this nowadays, but they are fast-paced and transient. This site wants to be mostly out-of-time, like an uncrowded library or a cozy café with a bookshelf where you might encounter anything from today's news to a long-forgotten book about a subject you never knew existed or a magazine from a foreign land.
I was inspired to create this site by the thought of how interesting my family and friends are and how inviting the place would be that brought such a diverse group of minds together. I hope everyone who reads this will feel inspired to join in and make it all the more diverse, inviting and brilliant. Whatever you know something about, I want to publish it. (What's the thing that you of all people should write about? The sum of each person's experience is a different number, and each one of those numbers is part of the answer to the question of what it means to be alive.)
tell the story of a picture. Or a song. Or a tree. Or a kind of tool. Or where you come from. Or a language. Or a book. Something that you will never forget, Something you have imagined. Or anything else. You get it – anything goes. One very simple way to participate, and which I hope people will do a lot of, is simply to submit links to articles or web pages (from a foreign newspaper you read, for example) that you think is interesting, ideally with a description of what you found interesting or valuable about it. Another one is passages from great books – I would love to have those pouring in.
One other thing: Opinions are also very welcome. One of my everyday preoccupations is politics, so I write about that in the Mad World blog. I hope the flavor of my views won't dissuade anyone from participating in the slower-paced endeavor that is the rest of the site. I've been a student of world and US politics for a long time and strongly advocate what I think is right, but I'm happy to be friends with anyone and I invite one and all to share their views and convictions. I will publish anything that is argued in good faith and draws on accurate information regardless of whether or not I agree with it. I, or someone else, may respond.
I hope that over time, there will be at least as much stuff in other languages, or at least from other countries, as in English. Anyone submitting things in other languages, or English for that matter, will have to help me out with what the important terms are so we can let the internet know we're here and give serendipity a hand.
I know a little bit about how to make and run a website so that people will find it, but I'm no expert, so anyone who can help or provide pointers is warmly invited to let me know.
Grand Marais, Minnesota
Last day of March, 2019
This site is non-commercial. This is not just because I am unaware of anyone who wants to pay me for it. (I swear I'm not winking at anyone – that's an unrelated twitch.) If it ever turns out that there is a way to scratch a livelihood out of this or generate some dough for the other people involved or causes supported here, it will be because someone wants to pay for it as a valuable good or because they want to channel some money to someone who needs it. I don't want to make a buck by having some other entity slap a decal on me or annoy a reader with entreaties to buy something, with me getting paid for the dubious honor of diverting someone's eyeballs away from what I hoped they would look at. Beyond that, too much of what all of us see is chosen or shaped by someone else's drive for money. I want this website to be a collection of things that could not assembled as the result of financial motives. I want to read and write and see and hear things that no businessperson would pay for (at least before they find an audience) – not because I disdain businesspeople but because what makes sense for them doesn't lead to the creation of most of what I think is interesting or edifying or ennobling. Most of what I do find interesting or edifying or ennobling is the result of hard work flowing from passion or the grind of being human in the face of things beyond one's control.
The two basic principles of this site are good faith and good will. There' are no ideological coloring lines or any specific rules of conduct, just this: Since everything on here is presented in good faith, the work and the person behind it should be approached in the same spirit.
Compliance and attribution
The Agreeable Times operates in compliance with all privacy, data protection and copyright standards and laws (including recent European reforms) that I am aware of. If you find any compliance issues, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll clear them up. Most of what appears here is either voluntarily submitted by the creator or in the public domain; in all cases, every attempt is made to attribute things properly. If you find anything questionable in this regard, let me know and I'll clear it up. Thanks to Galdino Otten for permission to use his great font Modern Serif on the masthead and headings.
The Agreeable Times wants to be a place where people who need help can connect with people who can help. The Helping page is the place where people can offer and ask for assistance or draw attention to people in need and sources of help (organizations, resources). The Agreeable Times and the people around it are a helpful lot who have gained experience in annoying fields such as dealing with bureaucracies and finding solutions to knotty problems. If you need help with something or you have a useful skill and a willingness to help others, send an email to email@example.com and I'll get back to you promptly.
Form of entity
The Agreeable Times is a public-benefit corporation formed to promote mutual understanding and combat public stupidity.