15 October 2010

Internet the new TV

In the mix of an article looking at Malcolm Gladwell's examination of social networks and real social change... I saw this.
“If the Internet didn’t exist, Barack Obama would not be president of the United States,” says Ben Rattray, the founder of Change.org. “The fact that the most powerful person in the world wouldn’t be in that position without the Internet and organizing online says something.”
It reminded me of reading about how TV changed everything for elections.  How the early leaders of both the USA and Canada would likely not have been elected in an era of TV  (or radio possibly for that matter).   The importance of how the visual changed debate.   Marshall McLuhan said that the televised debate changed everything and likely the internet changed the landscape again.  

One question I have is:  did the internet really organize people?  The answer is yes if you voted for (or were in favour of) Obama.   Or did the internet change the game again?  Where TV made elections about how good you looked in a suit and how much you fidgeted and looked dishonest etc,  did the Internet make the person with the most tech savey-ness, the best iPod play list or cool factor win?

I'm no Marshall McLuhan so I'm not going to state it as fact.   But I do think the "change" came it lots of places.

Working group sizes

Picked this up from Bill Kinnon  originally on Cult of Mac
The Mac team they were all in one building and they eventually got to one hundred people. Steve had a rule that there could never be more than one hundred people on the Mac team. So if you wanted to add someone you had to take someone out. And the thinking was a typical Steve Jobs observation: "I can’t remember more than a hundred first names so I only want to be around people that I know personally. So if it gets bigger than a hundred people, it will force us to go to a different organization structure where I can’t work that way. The way I like to work is where I touch everything.” Through the whole time I knew him at Apple that’s exactly how he ran his division.
It's an interesting statement about how many people we can work (live, cooperate) with.  While I don't like to contribute to lifting up Mr. Jobs and Apple as bigger than necessary, this is an interesting quote from someone who's success is obvious.  I do think that the 100 person threshold is important and so many people hang on what Jobs says (or at least sells) - so take it at the value you assign.

11 October 2010

Technology and Education

Q. Do you think it is our job as educationists to increase the capacity of the student to come to grips with this new experience of a new technology?

A. They are totally at grips with it and what we want to give them is some detachment.

--Marshall McLuhan, Education in an Electronic Age,
in The Best of Times/The Worst of Times:
Contemporary Issues in Canadian Education, 1970
 
(As posted by

10 October 2010

Wake up and smell the iCoffee

Ending the article - Is Facebook Killing Our Souls?  Shane Hipps writes this...
Now it will be tempting to conclude after all this ranting that I am simply a Luddite, a technophobe bent on the dismantling of all digital technologies. This is not the case. Admittedly, I was hardly even-handed in my observations. However, to herald the virtues of our technology is mostly redundant, it would be like trying to argue the importance of breathing. It’s already here, and the value it adds is self-evident. This is why the technologies are so prevalent: we automatically know their benefits, otherwise we wouldn’t use them. My concern is that our culture seems only capable of seeing the benefit and utterly blind to the liabilities, the inevitable losses certain technologies bring. I have no interest in trying to end or stop such technological innovations; to do so is like trying to resist the wind or the tides. Instead, I want us to understand them with depth. Not with na├»ve embrace, or fearful rejection.
If we learn to wake up and understand, perhaps we will be able to use them rather than be used by them.
 Neil Postman wrote about the one eyed prophet that could only see one side of the invention.   This summary is how I feel every time I point out how the latest greatest anything might not be such a device of salvation to whatever.

But it still needs to be said.

6 October 2010

Why the revolution will not be tweeted.

Continuing a theme here.

Malcolm Gladwell is skeptically that social media is going to change the world.  The types of inspiration and motivation that social media generate are essentially shallow in results.
Facebook activism succeeds not by motivating people to make a real sacrifice but by motivating them to do the things that people do when they are not motivated enough to make a real sacrifice.
If you want to change the world, you better make some real friends, not Facebook friends.  It's the real friends that you will have some influence over in the long run

(HT to Ben Arment)

2 October 2010

So many things to read.

Malcolm Gladwell is becoming one of my favorite authors.   If you haven't read Tipping Point... or his other work, you need to check it out.

Just saw that Adam at The Second Electric has posted a few interview quotes from Gladwell in a Q&A piece at The New Yorker.

I really do think he has some awesome thoughts on things.
On the Internet’s transience:

The essential fact of the internet is that nothing is permanent. AOL was once the king of online—remember? I doubt that anything that is done electronically will facilitate social activism all that much—at least not unless you’ve put a real world structure in place first.

I do love his skeptical nature about technology (good luck finding him writing anything much online)  He just doesn't buy into the hype, yet has an excellent awareness of what is going on.   He's not some cranky old Luddite - he's young and aware that maybe we're being feed a big hard sell on technology.  (my words not even close to his)
On technology’s impotence:

This is what drives me crazy about the digerati. They refuse to accept the fact that there is a class of social problems for which there is no technological solution. Look. Technology is going to solve the energy problem. I’m convinced of it. Technology is going to give me a computer in ten years time that will fly me to the moon. Technology is going to build a car that goes 100 miles to the gallon. But technology does not and cannot change the underlying dynamics of “human” problems: it doesn’t make it easier to love or motivate or dream or convince.
I wish I could spell it out like that.... Isn't that the opposite of ever Apple commercial you've ever seen? (Actually most technology selling commercials)   I think somewhere in there is the baked in truth of what is going wrong with a lot of the big show church stuff...   You can't motivate change with technology... even when you try really hard.
On using Twitter to motivate social activism:

The issue isn’t informing people. It’s organizing people. Twitter is great at the first. But not so great at the second—and Dr. King and his counterparts needed organizations, not communications tools. Remember in the 1960’s you could reliably reach upwards of 95 percent of the black community in urban areas in the South through the church. And there you had their undivided attention for an hour! Who needs Twitter when you have sermons and regular prayer meetings?
I think the thing I notice most in that statement is the difference of information and organization.   I need to think more of ways that different media do this (or don't) 

19 September 2010

What the bible says

I've been doing some thinking lately about how different groups (of Christians) can be so close on what they believe and yet be so far apart and argue so much.   There are lots of answers to that question, but part of it comes from how we read the bible and think about inerrancy

Roger Olson starts off a post with similar (but much more eloquent) thoughts.  It focuses on where the bible sits in most people thoughts about how we view God:
I believe in the Bible as God’s Word BECAUSE I believe I encounter Jesus there and am taught by him there.  For me it is the Book of Jesus.  That means it is extremely important, necessary, valuable, indispensable, but not alongside of or even in the same category (being-wise) as Jesus himself.  It is the unique written witness to Jesus and THEREFORE the book of the church.
I suspect this upsets some evangelicals because, even perhaps unconsciously, they believe in Jesus only because and insofar as the Bible contains him.  In other words, functionally, the Bible is above Jesus.
It a good post and a great feed that I have just resently started reading, even thought I have a couple theology textbooks with him as author.

8 April 2010

Who's tracking you?

 Kevin Kelly has this article on The Technium: As Much Privacy As You Can Afford

What we call privacy -- the non-disclosure or transmission of information -- is ultimately a matter of economics. To remain hidden in a connected world will cost money. You can always disconnect, but while connected you will be transparent. Under this regime transparency is cheap and ubiquitous, while opacity expensive.
Apparently there is a service that will provide the current location of any cell phone for $95. You give Best411 the phone number you seek and $95 and then they will tell you where that cell phone is located is between 9am and 5pm CST.
How is this possible? Obviously the cell phone company knows because it has to track your cell in order to deliver calls. But how does Best411 know? They claim:
We are a state-licensed private investigative agency and, as such, have access to many data bases that the general public is not permitted to access.
That doesn't really explain the deal, or the legality, or the process. My immediate question is: Why does it cost so much? Why $95? Technologically this is a trivial query. It's real cost is about zero. I wonder who or what is setting the price?
Second question: If I were willing to pay $100 could I prevent Best411 from tracking me? How much would it cost to have my location "unlisted"?
I am really asking the larger question of how expensive will it become to be unlocateble in the location-aware mobile future?
 Makes you think who controls you data etc. and who has access to it when they want it.

7 April 2010

Malcolm Gladwell on social media

Over Christmas I read Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point.  (I read it quickly while I was at my in-laws out west and didn't really make any notes, so I actually might get it out of the library again this weekend)  It is about how ideas spread and how people are influenced.

This past week as I was reading dead tree version of the Globe and Mail, I came across this Q&A article in which he answers some questions about the latest social media.  There were a few quotes I thought were interesting
"People aren't spreading ideas on Twitter, they're spreading observations."
I also like his thoughts on all the people that are ready to crown Twitter and Facebook social media champs.
"[The Internet] likes nothing more than to build someone up only to topple them.  Who has an AOL account these days? Not that long ago, AOL was the single most powerful player on the Internet.  Who has a MySpace account these days?  MySpace sold fro billions of dollars not that long ago.  I'm very reluctant to crown Facebook king of the future"
He also has some great thoughts on how social media can not build the same strength to organizations the way face to face contact can.... which I think I'll save for another post

3 April 2010

Remembering Dan Fisher

I got news today that one of the best teachers I ever had has passed away.  We knew him as Dan Fisher, he was Daniel Fish in the non broadcasting world.  (try saying Dan Fish with the news, and the 'with' can come out funny, that why he changed it for radio)  The Waterloo Record has his memorial write up.  As much as death happens, you're never quite ready for it.  I sort of regret not talking to him more the last time I saw him at a get together of a bunch of my class mates a few years ago.   He will be missed by a lot of people

I had Dan Fisher as an instructor at Conestoga College.  He was the teacher of the radio lab, training of all the on air elements of a radio station.  He was a good teacher, both an encourager, but also not one to soften his evaluation.  In a way I'm glad I didn't have to work for him in radio, because I still remember some of my classmates who got so upset about the review he gave of their on-air abilities.  Some would say he had favourites, I think he had an ear for talent or at least potential, and knowing what the broadcast world was going to be like, pushed us and didn't coddle.  I think he thought that if someone was going to quit because they were harshly evaluated it was better to see them quit in their first year of school, before the tried to get jobs in the industry.  I wonder what it would have been like to have him as a PD or GM.... when money and rating were on the line.

If I was ever any good at announcing, I think I own some of it to him.   He encouraged me and helped me to be good at what I do (did).  He was a fun guy and actually cared about his students.   I'm sure there will be a lot of Conestoga BRT students that will miss him like I do.   He was a good man.

Being Easter weekend, I have to pause in thinking about how good he was, and wonder did he know Jesus?  He was involved in church, but I don't know what his deep faith thoughts were.   It make me sad to not know.   I hope that Dan Fish loved Jesus and someday I will see him again.   To hear his laugh and see his smile would make me happy.   I pray that I do again.

31 March 2010

Faking their fans

Wrestling is so fake that they can even fake crazy fans and make it seem believable.

I don't know why but this made me laugh.



I know it's fake.... but oh if it was real that kid was going to get pounded
(if your new here, you will likely never ever see another WWF clip again.)

30 March 2010

Crazy parents

The world is just too scared.   People are scared of shadows and have convinced themselves that the world isn't safe for anyone.

Today I ready this article by Lenore Skenazy over at ParentDish.com the basic story is this
The mother was at the library with her 5-year-old, the library where they go every week, in Rochester, New York....  They had only a few minutes before they had to leave to pick up Daughter #2 (age 3), giving the mom just enough time to run upstairs from the children's room to the adult room to check out her book..... [the mother retelling here story] "So I asked my daughter, 'Do you want to come with me or wait here for a few minutes?' 'Wait.' So I told the librarian, 'I'll be right back.' And the librarian said, 'Well ... okay. But I must warn you: the same dangers that are out on the street are here in the library.'"

I read the story and thought, wow people can be really reactionary.   I was mostly thinking about the crazy response from the librarian... "the same danger that are out on the street are here in the library"    Really?  So the same things that happen in the street happen daily in the library?!?
Now first I don't think the street is as dangerous as the nervous hoards would like you to think.  I'm not crazy I know stuff goes down.... In big cities like New York there are even shootings on the street, but not daily, not often or else you would never see people on the streets of New York.
But when was the last time there was a shooting in a library?   
How about a mugging?
Knife fight?
And this is not the dark alley version of a library, this is one that the family visits weekly.


So anyway.... I stopped my thought with the idea of the crazy librarian.....  


But then I started reading the comments......  so many of them all crazy parents aggreeing whole heartedly with the librarian.   "Never leave a 5 year old alone....not even for 5 seconds"    bla bla bla..... "What kind of a bad parent is she.


I couldn't believe my eyes.   She was going to run upstairs and check out a book.    The reaction was like she was leaving her infant in a den of lions.    People chill.   Nothing is going to happen.


Maybe I'm wrong...tell me so.   I'm not venturing back into the comment forum there, but would love to discuss it with anyone here.

Update:

 Lenore has posted some thoughts on the response on her blog... Free Range Kids.
It's amazing how readership comments differ.....wow

28 March 2010

Church Home

A few months ago I had written about trying to find a church.  I realized that I haven't filled in the gaps on where we have ended up.   The fact is that we have found a great church family at Gateway Worship Centre.  They have welcomed us and helped us feel at home.   They aren't perfect, but in all honesty, if they tried to be we wouldn't be there  There is no attempt to be something they are not and we don't have to be more than we are.  They love Jesus and care about the town they live in.   I have grown tired of congregations that try to present as having it all together; whether that means on a personal level or a institutional level.

Gateway is led by the Spirit.   I feel each Sunday that the service could go anywhere if the Spirit leads.   It is an amazing thing to hear a senior gentleman pray out with great emotion, not on cue or as part of the script, but because he is moved.  To have the band whisper to the worship leader, "you have to play that song you wrote" or the pastor cry out in emotion for the message he has.   I haven't experienced these things before, not in a genuine way.

I've watched a dear old senior walk to the front to serve communion, one pant leg half tucked into his boot.  I think many churches wouldn't let this type of fellow near the front with the suits...but there he was serving with a smile.  And each week he greets me and asks how the camp is doing and how we are doing.

They are so friendly.  I feel like we have gained friends, parents and grandparents in the people that are there.
Today they threw a shower for our family on the arrival of Greyson.   So many thoughtful gifts from people that are just getting to know us, but have adopted us as part of their community.  One older lady crocheted a whole blanket for him.... the type of gifts that grandmas give to grandchildren and it was given to our new son.

I'm not setting out to sell anyone on this church.  But I have to say that people are coming and it's not because they have the best program or the coolest technology or a slick whatever..... the love God and the love people.   Sure there are rough edges but I am becoming more and more convinced that this is what Christianity looks like;  a group of imperfect people loving one another, because Jesus said to love one another.  And then together joining to love God and worship him in the best ways that know how.   

On the off chance that you live in the Gravenhurst area and are looking for a church that will offer you love no matter what you state of being.... come and check out Gateway.  End of endorsement

26 March 2010

Extensions of the WHOLE man.

Kevin Kelly has his thoughts on where tablets might end up going.  He states two things that will make them different than the average cell phone or computer/laptop, the second being:
The tablet window goes two ways. You watch; it watches you. Its eye can remain on all the time, watching you as much as you like. Brian Eno once famously said (in the pages of Wired) that the problem with computers was that there was not enough Africa in them. By this he meant that computers as we knew them could “see” only the wiggling ends of our fingers as we typed. But if they could see and employ the rest of our body, as if we were dancing or singing, we could express ourselves with greater finesse. This window tablet injects some Africa into computers. It overthrows the tyranny of the keyboard. Gestures are king. Swoosh your fingers to scroll, wave your arms as with a Wii, shake or tilt it. Celebrate its embodiment. The craftsmanship of this device will matter. We’ll spend hours holding it, caressing it, stroking its magic surface, watching it. The feel of its surface, the liquidity of its flickers, the presence or lack of its warmth, the quality of its build, the temperature of its glow will come to mean a great deal to all of us.
This is interesting to my Marshall McLuhan (somewhat) obsessed mind.  McLuhan always referred to technology as extensions of man (or woman) and here Kelly is pointing out that technology is going to feel better to us as it extends more and more of us.   McLuhan saw our actual nervous system being eventually completely extended by our technology.  Conventional computers have done a good job with sight and sounds... and maybe our thought...but now touch screens will start to take our whole body as extensions.  Causing us to move, to dance.   I think McLuhan would also see it as interesting that the newer innovation of touch screens and gestures overthrows the need to know the phonetic alphabet even more.  The keyboard isn't gone completely, but I think this is a move closer to not needing to know written language.  Which moves us farther from the visual to the oral community.  

It's also interesting to see how Kelly describes the romance between the individual and the technology.  The relationship is tangible to the user.   Kind of scary in a way.  You thought that people were already zealots about their Macs.... now their iPad is going to be their lover and best friend.   That might be more scary, I'd hate to see Apple fanboys more obsessed with something.

I think McLuhan would have loved this stuff.  I do too.... and I've only been thinking about it for a little while

25 March 2010

Good news for baldy

Going bald, cuts cancer risk
Men who start going bald at a young age are up to 45% less likely to get prostate cancer in later life, a study has found.
yeah win for me :)

The media

Saw this come through my feed reader  (found here)
Good point I thought

23 March 2010

That'll never work....even if it has

One of my favourite sites to read it TechDirt.... digging into the muck of copyright, patents and new business models etc.   
This is from a post of about whether you can use free content as a business model
It's really stunning to see people who obviously should know better continually insisting that content can't possibly be free to consumers. We've been seeing a lot of it in the news business lately, as newspaper execs who have built up an ad business for many years seem oblivious to the fact that consumers have almost never paid directly for news. And now that same sort of ridiculous thinking is showing up in the video market. Christopher Schneider points us to an article written by Dan Rayburn, who apparently is an analyst at Frost & Sullivan, but who appears to be wholly unfamiliar with network TV in claiming that video content can't possibly be free:
Frankly, I don't see where this idea of "free" comes from. Video content costs money to produce, to distribute and to consume. Yet even with those costs, many seem hell-bent on the idea that business models can somehow survive based on the consumption of free video content supported solely by an ad model. But in reality, that simply can't happen.
It comes from basic economics, Dan, combined with knowledge of how network TV has worked for many decades. In some businesses consumers pay for stuff. In others, third parties do it. In network TV, advertisers have always paid the freight. You would think that a big-time analyst would be familiar with that. But, of course, it looks like Dan doesn't get the economics right either:
If people are not willing to pay a content owner for their content, then it's not worth anything. That's the bottom line.
Dan, how much did you pay for the air you breathe? Ok. How much is it worth? Your "bottom line" is flat-out wrong. Value and price are two different things. Value plays into the demand curve, but price is set by the intersection of supply and demand. If something is priced at zero, it doesn't mean it's valued at zero.
 I'd also like to point out that good radio stations can make money providing content for free as well. 

12 March 2010

Introducing Greyson

Introducing Greyson Gordon Good.   Born at home March 11.   I'll try to keep the kid blogging to a minimum

10 March 2010

Nothing new?

From BW3
It has been said that what finally caused the Roman Empire to come crashing to a halt is that people were spending more money on chariot races, gladiator battles, and ever popular barbecuing of Christians, or throwing them to the lions than on necessities.  Soldiers no longer wanted to fight in far flung frontiers, investors no longer wanted to invest in foreign assets, they preferred 'out sourcing' (!), and obesity had taken over the elites that controlled 96% of all the wealth. Oh yes, and the Senate couldn't decide anything because legislators were in gridlock and they were on the payroll of major investors....... does this sound familiar????  

Someday archaeologists will be digging up the once great American landscape and they will find gigantic concrete sports stadiums, with all sorts of luxury boxes.  And then they'll find churches made out of plywood and press board and siding.  And homes made out the same thing.  And they will ask---- why did they spend more money on entertainment than on food, clothing shelter, and God combined?   And in the end----- who won??? 

9 March 2010

Rob Bell on Video Preaching

It's no secret that I am a fan of Shane Hipps, and I also appreciate the teaching of Rob Bell.   The latest Our of Ur has an excerpt of an interview with Rob about the Dangers of Video Preaching.
Your NOOMA video series has been popular. What do you think about the increasing number of preachers and churches using video technology to expand their reach?
It's powerful but there's also a dark side. Video is not church. You put images and music on a screen, and people will listen. But it's also dangerous. You're playing with fire. I think video technology deserves to be scrutinized heavily.
Go a little deeper. What makes video dangerous?
I don't think we know yet what the long-term impact will be on disciple-making. In 10 years we may discover what particular kind of Christ follower is formed by video preaching. I see warning lights on my dashboard. It's unclear what video may do to the ways we conceive of life together.
In the New Testament, there are 43 "one another" passages, and during a Sunday morning service you might be able to practice three or four of them. And as the service gets large, you can probably do fewer. A massive group setting is also dangerous. You can come, sit, listen, and go home and think, I've been to church, even if you haven't practiced any "one anothers." And with video that only gets more intense. I'm not sure that's the direction we want to be heading.

We want to be calling people to deep bonds of solidarity with one another. We may gather in a massive group, but from the stage I often say, "This is just a church service. Church is actually about caring for one another, and serving one another, and speaking truth to one another in love. Don't get the two confused."
It's great to see someone who has used video so well be aware of what it's dangers and limitations are.  I think every church needs to examine each technology - even when it seems to be successful, because it might be wolf in sheep's clothing.    It's interesting that over at Church Marketing Sucks they have an interview with Tony Jones about social Media.   Mr. Jones seems to be the other side of the spectrum, in that he seems to think that pastors (churches) should be on everything new that is out there.  Jones said:
There was a time when churches and pastors needed to decide whether they were going to wire the church for telephones. There was another time when they had to decide whether to bring microphones and amplification into the sanctuary. Those were decisions about using new technology to communicate. Social media is simply another step on that path--it's about communicating with people, and more and more people are using it, so churches need to decide how to engage that. 
He seems to spend little to no time on what the results of those choices were.   As far back as Marshall McLuhan there have been people pointing to what even microphones do for worship and preaching and community.  (I don't have my copy of the Medium and the Light so no direct quote here)
I think I like the way that Rob Bell and Mar Hill are approaching technology...  Others need to take notes (and read either of Shane Hipp's books)

8 March 2010

Um sorry about that

Over the weekend Ars Technica put up an article about why ad blocking software is killing good sights.  There basic premise is that it is my fault that they don't get money when I block advertising and that it stealing content.  At first I felt a little bad.  But you know what I hate adds....and sometimes they are annoying  (I toggled my adblocker off, looked at the site and turned it back on again)

Then Techdirt had a great article "Don't Blame Your Community: Ad Blocking is Not Killing Any Sites"
Essentially saying that if your Ads are driving people away you need to look at ads as the problem not the person leaving.  In fact there was this great quote:
Mike Markson recently wrote up a blog post for entrepreneurs, talking about how every entrepreneur needs to learn the lesson that, whatever doesn't go right is your fault. It's a tough lesson for people (especially entrepreneurs) to learn. If you can't raise money, don't blame the investors. You were the one who failed to convince them. If you can't make sales, don't blame the sales people. You either hired the wrong sales people or didn't put together a compelling enough pitch or didn't have a good enough product. It's your responsibility as an entrepreneur to fix things.
Which I think is a good reminder to everyone that likes to pass the buck, but really we should find a solution over someone to blame.

Ok, so what did I do?   I've turned off the ad blocking in my Google Reader.  So if your RSS reader has ads I will see them.... because in all honesty I want to support great sites like Ars Technica and TechDirt.    And when the ads get annoying I will just stop reading that RSS feed.  

1 March 2010

NBC's Tom Brokaw explains Canada to Americans

Tom Brokaw does a great feature on Canada.

EDIT:  Ok that was NOT the right clip.... YouTube seems to have it but is down right now....

EDIT 2
Here try this... It will likely be taken down

10 February 2010

I may have to quit

I spend a lot of time on the web. I love knowing all that is going on in the world
For while I would write blog post to speak about things that I had read else where.  It's funny how quickly you can find the people or organizations that constantly search for mentions about them.   I've had comments from the lead pastor of a major Ontario church, a few different authors that have well know books and a few bloggers that are very well read.   But so what?   I think I got sucked in to feeling some significance becaue of a brush with 'celebrity'

A few years ago I stopped doing a job because I found myself seeking (and at times finding) my identity in that job.   Now life is simpler.   I still work hard at my job, but I think I have found a good balance in not looking for my value in the results of a job.   As a Christian I believe that God needs to fill in the part of us that is always seeking to know that we are "ok"   But I sense that I have started to feel tickled by getting the attention of the web.   I start writing blog posts to see what attention I can get and gosh that's not a good reason. 

I guess I'm just struggling with what's the point of staying up on all these things...  It there really any point to all the debate that happens on the web?   It often just seems like the pointless theological debates the would happen in the lounge at bible college, or a digital version of a yelling matches that would happen in grade school, only with stronger opinions and bigger words.

If I just dropped off the web, Twitter, Facebook would my life be any different...better....worse?
What if I spent the time attempting to get to know my community.  Connecting with people who life in this little community of Torrance.   Would my life be different... better... worse?
Just thinking about it

15 January 2010

Bass Licks

I'm a bass player. I love playing bass and don't get to do it nearly enough.  In moving to camp, living in an amazing place, and being blessed with all that life is now.....the thing I miss is playing with a band.   Bass, unlike other instruments is as much about mixing melody with rhythm as it is about playing notes. Without at least a drummer, playing by myself is not always very fun.  So I'm always on the lookout for ideas that will inspire me to try and new things on bass in the absence of other musicians.
So when I saw this...


I thought it was some inspiration (not that I can play it...yet)
J.S. Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" - Norm Stockton (Lincoln Brewsters Bassist)
By the way HT to mike for the video

Now Here's the thing.... (and follow me this is a bit of a tangent)  If Norm Stockton can play like this, why does Lincoln Brewster not showcase him a little more in songs?   Actually....maybe he does, I don't actually own a Lincoln Brewster album, I rely on the hits as supplied by LIFE 100.3 so the one song that I have heard quite a bit lately is Lincoln's version of "Salvation is Here" (here's a YouTube link) which is a cover of Hillsong United.   In the Hillsong version there is one of the most amazing bridge/bass solos I have heard in a long time (in Christian Worship songs at least) but Lincoln passes it up for a pretty simple guitar noodle.  (both can be heard at around the 2:20 mark).  I know very few bass players that can nail that line.  In fact most worship bands skip it, change it, etc.   But Lincoln you've got a great bass player there.  If you're going to cover the song.....cover the best part.  And hey LIFE, why play a cover when he has his own great songs - and the original version is so good.
 
Maybe this should be a post about how I hate when the original song gets lost behind a cover by a more popular band.... but hey what do I know, I don't work in radio any more ;)

PS.... no offence to Life 100.3  They are a top shelf radio station......trust me I've lived other place that don't have good Christian radio.  (just in case anyone from there stops by) 

11 January 2010

Richard Dawkin's voice on the radio

Was Browsing Microclesia today and saw this post with imediatly jumped out to me
Camille Puglia writing in Salon
… I was recently flicking my car radio dial and heard an affected British voice tinkling out on NPR. I assumed it was some fussy, gossipy opera expert fresh from London. To my astonishment, it was Richard Dawkins, the thrice-married emperor of contemporary atheists. I had never heard him speak, so it was a revelation. On science, Dawkins was spot on—lively and nimble. But on religion, his voice went “Psycho” weird (yes, Alfred Hitchcock)—as if he was channeling some old woman with whom he was in love-hate combat. I have no idea what ancient private dramas bubble beneath the surface there. As an atheist who respects and studies religion, I believe it is fair to ask what drives obsessive denigrators of religion. Neither extreme rationalism nor elite cynicism are adequate substitutes for faith, which fulfills a basic human need—which is why religion will continue to thrive in our war-torn world.
It was interesting to me, because I've always wondered about why Dawkins was so focused on religion and his hatred towards something he doesn't even believe in.   I think I've read the tone of the "some old woman with who he was in a love-hate combat" when reading his books.

8 January 2010

2010 Begins

I'm one of those people that spends a lot of time thinking about different ideas.  My wife recently told me I should tell her more of what is in my head, "it's kind of interesting".   I guess this blog is afflicted by the same problem.   In both cases I don't like to verbalize (or type) my thoughts until I really have them all thought out.  When pressed, I can give you my thoughts on Airline Security, Twitter, Technology, Theology, New Haircuts, The Death of the Emergent Church, and lots of other things.  But often I never get around to writing those things down.

I've been thinking about raising kids and teaching them.... how we've deprived them of creativity because of technology and our terrible school system.

What a church should look like in my life. 

What it's like getting ready to become a dad for the first time.

Hopefully, I'll spend some time in this year actually getting some of these things down