Frequently Questioned Answers

The Gideons are an organization that places religious books into many establishments

The great blizzard of 1899

The great blizzard of 1899

around the world. If you’ve ever looked for a phone book in a hotel room, perhaps you’ve encountered their work.

Distributing free books takes money, coordination, time, and commitment. The Gideons are very devoted to their answers, and that’s commendable. Their organization began in 1899 and is still going strong today.

They have lasted over 100 years on basically faith alone.

But the world rapidly changed during the 20th century. So, where should we look for answers for the next 100 years?


We Grow When We Forget the Answers


Many websites feature a tab called “Frequently Asked Questions”, or FAQ.

The quality of these answers can vary, depending on the respondent’s ability to accurately predict your question. In other words, these lists are easy ways for websites to corral people into a bunker of others who are like-mindedly confused.

Yeah. Your answer is not going to be on this list. Don’t even bother looking. It’s actually a good thing not to find your answers there. FAQs are for the most banal and predictable questions imaginable. And you never want to be banal and predictable.

But imagine the meta-application of blanketing the world with FAQs. Being able to predict gideonstwothe questions means many inquiries are cliched and mundane. Many of us are drawing from the same indistinct data sets. Our inputs are obvious.

I’m asking you to build a new tab, at least in your mind; to embrace Frequently Questioned Answers (FQA).

Answers are rigid and fixed. They deserve to be questioned. It’s hard to grow when you possess the answers. Questions open us to infinite possibilities.

How many answers do you have?

An origin story? The meaning of life?


Gideons 2.0


I’m proposing a new group for the 21st century. The Gideons 2.0 (Two-Point-Oh).

It’s not a group for the predictable Frequently-Asked-Questions set. It’s a group for those who frequently question the answers.

Who feel comfortable embracing the mysteries.

gideonsthreeWho think it’s more important to create something new than to live in the old.

Who think life is not rigid but full of surprises and mysteries.

Who think prejudice and superstition are ideals best left in other centuries.

Who think that tomorrow is going to be just amazing.

If any of that list appeals to you, chances are, you are probably a Gideon 2.0.


Requirements for Membership


You must evangelize. We usually do this quietly, by example. We’re not loud or brash.

Ask questions. Raising your eyebrows while asking questions is completely acceptable.

Point out logical flaws. Gently.

And always, frequently question the answers.

Maybe you’re already doing these things. Maybe you want to start.

Either way, you’re likely one of us.


About Blog Boss

Jim MacKenzie and Sarah Giavedoni are the creators of the blogs Stuff Monsters Like, the Incredible Vanishing Paperweight, and more. When they are not blogging, they are devoted to managing the Asheville Blogger Society, watching movies, running a completely unrelated nonprofit, and making money at their paid employment.
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3 Responses to Frequently Questioned Answers

  1. Craig C says:

    I like the idea of FQA!

  2. wnctravel says:

    I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but that kinda sounds like what the Gideons already do. I just discovered this great post along with your others, so keep up the good work.

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