Louis CK on Technology


Interesting Video on technology.  A comedian, Louis CK pokes fun at the way we have adapted to technology and how it shapes us by altering our expectations of time and immediacy.  Beneath the humor are some interesting ideas.

Time, Place, and Breaking Bad

I recently heard a statistic that only one third of those who have been watching the hit show Breaking Bad have been watching it on live TV. The rest of those who watch have been using a DVR to record and watch at their convenience.

This brings up the immediate question of how this is effecting the TV industry.  Most TV channels rely extensively on ad revenue to support the shows that they broadcast, and they sell this advertisement based upon numbers of viewers.  However, if DVRs are the way that people are watching many shows these days, then it may be argued that ads will not be reaching their target audiences.  

The bigger question that comes up in my mind is in relation to time and place.  If we can now experience watching a TV show outside of its broadcasted time, then we are no longer tied to time in the sense of needing to be somewhere specific when watching a show.  Also, many cable companies and technologies now allow you to record a show and later watch it in a separate environment than on your TV, such as a laptop or smartphone.  

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The Music Industry and The Church

Derek Webb posted a blog today about the music industry and giving music away for free.  He maintains that the relationships build over the long term by giving music away for free is actually much more profitable than music services such as Spotify (or even iTunes).  His blog was very thoughtful and caused me to think through the way the music industry has functioned.

Webb tells a story of a young Johnny Cash nearly being disallowed entry into a studio to record.  He made it in only by playing something "worth the legacy of the historical room."  Webb goes on to define the ways in which the music industry has changed from focusing on the huge money making artists to being undermined in the last few years.  He claims that the gatekeepers are no longer standing at the door, but new communication technologies brought about by the internet can connect artist with fan, as well as produce music relatively cheaply and easily.

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How to do Church Online

This morning, I came across a website promoting how to do internet church.

Here is the link: ichurchmethod.com

The iChurch method contains the following five essential methodologies:

Part 1: Website – A Great Website that is Easy-to-Use.
Part 2: Multimedia – Interactive Multimedia.
Part 3: Ecommerce – Online Stores/Online Donations.
Part 4: Social Media – Engage and Connect.
Part 5: Mobile – The Future of Technology and Ministry. 

"With these five parts, a ministry can reach and change the world."

More and more literature is now being produced that attempts to capitalize on our digital culture.  Internet churches have now been doing their thing for approximately 10 years, and the methodology is apparently solidified.  But this sort of methodology is very interesting to me as it takes modernistic assumptions of old and attempts to apply them to our constantly changing culture.

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Thinking about some of my thinking

It has been a while since I have blogged.  My creativity in this realm seems to go in spurts, and so does my busyness elsewhere in life. 

There are a lot of things going on these days, and a lot to think about.  Sometimes taking time out to simply think about things seems a luxury.  Lately, I have been thinking about a few things, that I will list rather in random order, and perhaps will think more on them later.

1)  Power:  I have lately been noticing that there is much power to be had in this world.  I have also been noticing for perhaps the first time how much power I in fact have.  I have privilege and power (or authority) that many in the world simply do not have.  Even many in our own country.

For example, when is the last time I got pulled over and asked for my documents?  Well, actually that has never happened.  Why?  Because I am a white male living in a predominately white nation.  So, I simply don't have to think about things like what a privilege it is not to be inconvenienced by something of this nature.  Also, I am not the subject of racism, or at least not directly.  This is another thing I simply don't have to deal with.

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Surveillance Society Reversal

I saw an interesting article in Wired this morning from Clive Thompson, called "on Establishing Rules in the Videocam Age".

In this article, he talks about the new always on "sousveillance" culture.  He talks about the way in which this always on video culture can be reversed from a culture of surveillance to one where people are instead turning their cameras back around to look at those in power.

This particular development seems to mirror one of McLuhan's famous sayings in the Tetrad.  McLuhan once laid claim that all new forms of media must be asked four questions.  These four questions make up what he called the four laws of media.  They are:

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The Future of Church and the Full-Time Pastor


I read an interesting blog today, written a couple weeks ago here on the homebrewedchristianity.comblog on the future of the church.  I have been thinking and talking to a number of people about this topic a lot lately.

The author of this blog (Deacon Bo) concludes that within the next 50 years there will be a 50% decline in Christians in North America.  Obviously this is speculative, but the reasons he lays out are:

• The majority of our church structures are carry over from a Christendom paradigm, combined with a lack of self awareness of this fact.

• Many Baby Boomers are retiring, and so no longer funding ministries.

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Francis Chan engages the Hell Question

This video is from YouTube and is a preview video of Chan's new book about hell.

It should be very interesting to see how he enters into the current discussion and debate.

One can't help but notice a similarity in how this is being released (with a vague intro video) to Rob Bell's recent book.  He seems to be addressing Bell in some of this, but only time will tell.  I am sure this will ignite a whole other round of discussion prior to the book in the same way as well.  

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Public is the New Private

Re-entering my PhD program has caused me to think much about technology.  Two years ago, when I stopped my program, technology and Web 2.0 were at one place.  They have obviously continued to develop rapidly, and are now quite different than they were.

Issues of privacy are no longer as important or highlighted as they once were.  Below are two videos put out on youtube that illustrate the tension between public and private.  The first video is a humorous (yet poignant) looks at what happens when information that we readily display on facebook is asked of people in person.

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Stuffed Animal Baby - Ruckus in the Barn

I play in a band called "Brandon Floerke's Stuffed Animal Baby". We recently released an album online, and this is the title track off of the album. To download the whole album for free, please visit http://stuffedanimalbaby.bandcamp.com/album/ruckus-in-the-barn .

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Phil is a Professor, Ph.D. Student, Musician, Husband, Father, and Cultural Observer.

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