Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Television to Internet Transition: social decentralization

When the television/radio culture was introduced, people were at the mercy of local programming. We all watched the same shows. We all heard the same news. At first there were just a few tv/radio channels, so the effects were greatly pronounced. We were unified around the content provided by a few people. If they did not say it, we did not know it.. unless we we read it in a book or were taught it in a school.

Then cable came and had a thousand channels. It did not change things too much, because so much of the cable programming is just fluff and the real meat stayed very near the staple networks (ABC, NBC, CBS). 24/7 news networks are the real exception to the fluff that cable offers. Anyways... I am going off on a tangent.

With the invention of the internet, we are decentralizing from the television model, where we must consume whatever we are fed. With the internet, we create our own content. The power is of the many, not of the few. We are more aware and connected to our loved ones via social networking like Facebook. There are still some high-traffic hubs and centralized information powerhouses, but we now choose what stories we are aware of, what news we consume. We can find and form our own little cultural niches.

In many ways we are returning to the social model of old, where we knew the ongoings of our families, and towns, but not much outside of that besides what little news made it to town via newsletter or messenger, but instead of actual 'little towns' we create cultural niches that we are interested in and pay attention to.

For example, I tend to check my email and Facebook each morning when I wake up. I am much more aware of my family and friends. Then after that I only am exposed to the sites that I am directly interested in. If you ask me what is going on in the world of 24/7 prayer movement I could talk your ear off. On the other hand, if you asked me about the latest music trends, I would be completely clueless. This is largely because of our cultural gravitation away from television to the internet, which allows us much more specialized self-directed information sources.

There are ups and downs to this. I admit, when I watch television, I have much less control what I am exposed to, but I get a much more well-rounded picture of American culture. On the internet, if I am not interested, I don't click on it. On TV I have to complain and muscle through it 'til the next segment.

That all said, with the internet, we can shape our world. We control what we see and pay attention to. The result is less uniformity over the population, and greater tendency toward extremes due to isolation in our own little self-controlled worlds, and a much greater diversity of opinion and debate. That is the often viewed as the downside. The upside is much greater exposure of truth.

During the days of ABC, NBC, CBS power only, if they did not cover it, we did not know it. Now if I uncover something, I can insert it into the public arena with a few clicks. We tend to think that there is much greater corruption in our nation due to all the information that is now revealed, but I would argue that it is just that we know about it!

If you are frustrated with media bias, that they are not covering your favorite news story, just remind yourself that the only reason you know about the news story in the first place is due to the decentralization of media power. Before the internet, we would not even be aware of the news that is being ignored and glossed over. Anyways... this is way too long. Good night!


Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Priveledge of Parenting

Lately I have come to realize the importance of parenting and how this idea of parenting as a great privilege and responsibility is all but gone in our society.

I recently came across a book that declared that religious people will soon dominate the world, through reproduction. Reproduction seems so innocent, natural, harmless, powerless, but it is the beginning of everything.

I hate to sound so cliche, but 'children are our future'. Seem obvious, but we rarely think about the implication of this.

As Christians, we hold up our pastors, preachers and evangelists on a pedestal, and they are important... but they are powerless without the parents. Everyone they reach has been raised by someone, talking to them every day, instilling their values daily into their young minds. Discipling them to be whatever type of person they are and care to be. The majority of preachers are 'preaching to the choir', to use another cliche, but the only reason they have a choir to preach to and like-minded people to influence is because the parents have raised them that way. We hear of miraculous conversions all the time, but these are a very minor portion of any religion's population. Most accept their idea of God that they were raised with, no matter the religion.

Christ said to care for the orphans. Could you imagine the peaceful worldwide revolution of love that would exist if we all tried with all our hearts, all our souls and all our strength model Christ everyday? To shepherd our children in love, kindness and generosity and to adopt all the unwanted children and raise them to do the same? To take responsibility for our schools and take it upon ourselves to tutor the struggling children? Oh man that would be cool! I need more hours in a day! Maybe once my own children grow a bit! That would be really cool!

Parenting is the #1 method of discipleship throughout history and throughout the world! We need to lift up and promote the importance of parenting, foster-parenting and adoption! A world wide movement of love, adoption, and foster care = revolution!!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Behaving as a Christian Universalist

I am one of those people who read Rob Bell's book "Love Wins" that has caused the theological controversy about hell and salvation theology. I saw the theological errors and spoke against them, but my lifestyle says otherwise. I am definitely not behaving in a way that shows the urgency of letting every one know about God's love and salvation. I kinda just live as if everything is okay. I have a serious problem getting the motivation to make 'On Earth as it is in Heaven' a reality. I have to gain the motivation and education necessary to live according to God's will rather than go along with the ways and concerns of the world. It's just to deceivingly comfortable going with the flow!!!

That said, I am glad to see some big names setting the theology straight on this. I have seen many testimonies of people who claim to have been shown heaven, hell, etc... but not one of them has ever said "Don't worry about it... everyone gets in!"

Friday, May 20, 2011

Twisted Morals

I've been making some observations lately that I find very odd. It concerns the morals of the world. Lately the ultimate moral good is peace and tolerance, and the ultimate evil is violence and death. Death bad, peace good. Sounds good on the surface, but what happens when tolerance of evil and peace at all costs is touted as good? What about the death of Osama Bin Laden when our ultimate evil is death?

I would pose another point of view... peace with evil is unrighteousness. Tolerance of injustice in the name of peace is
itself evil. Death of an evil doer is not sad or evil. It is the life choices that the evil person made that strikes me as a much greater evil. When it comes to Osama Bin Laden, his death is not something that I rejoice over, but I do rejoice at the end of his evil influence.

Neither do I find his death sad in the least, but his life choices are the ultimate sadness and it grieves my heart to see one person choose to perpetrate so much evil. You gotta hand it to him though, he definitely was productive... not lazy, not a procrastinator. If only the righteous could be that productive and purposeful then we could turn around this world for the better.

Peace is not our ultimate good, it is our goal, but true righteousness needs to involve the intolerance of evil, and sometimes to the extent of death.. as in the case of the execution of someone such as Osama Bin Laden.

This extends to the Mid-East peace goal in general. That speech yesterday... was that approval number suicide yesterday or what? Someone needs to tell that guy that approval numbers are not like golf, lower is not better. That speech seemed like he was shooting himself in the foot at every turn. Israel? Screw 'em! Debt ceiling? What debt ceiling?

Peace in the middle east is not a noble goal if it means upholding the evils of those who wish the death and extermination of Jews and siding against the only stable nation in the entire middle east.. the only one that even comes close to having a good human rights record. The only one where women and religious rights are treated with respect, not to mention the only stable nation in the entire region and the only one that is not hostile towards the US. Peace to the extent of tolerating evil is not righteousness.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I Love Perennial Edibles!!!

I am loving my perennial edibles this year!!! My greenhouse collapsed and I have not started the seeds of the tomatoes, peppers, etc early like I had planned, but what I do have growing are my perennial edibles!!! I have little tiny asparagus, sorrel, lovage, salsify, garlic, kale, rhubarb, horse radish, raspberries, fruit trees, all well on their way. If only I could get the fence in the ground in time for the deer not to get to them first!!!

By the way, our neighbor hood deer herd has multiplied from 5 last year to 12 this year, all does and probably pregnant right now!!! I seriously have to do something about that, and calling the DNR does not work. I tried!!!