Tag Archives: video

A Social Network to Help us be Better Neighbors

One of the biggest problems with social media (at least for me and many of my friends, it may not be true of everyone, depending on how you use it) is that it is very tribalistic. I seem to have surrounded myself with friends who think and like all of the same things I do. It’s also anti-incarnational. By this, I mean that the relationships tend to exist almost primarily (if not solely, in some cases) online. I don’t actually do anything with many of these “friends” in real life.

Enter NextDoor.

NextDoor is a new social media site, completely free, that connects you to people who live in the same geographic and physical neighborhood you do. You can easily use it to connect with your neighbors and share all kinds of things: news about local parks, missing dogs, borrowing a ladder, babysitting, lawn mowing, construction, etc. It allows you to knock on your neighbor’s door to borrow a cup of sugar without having to knock on his door. Yet, will lead to you actually knocking on his door. It brings the neighborhood back and all of the good and little of the bad that comes with it. Rather than be tribalistic, as Facebook tends to be, it is more parish-based. You meet and socialize with anyone who lives near you, regardless of their ideology.

I think, somehow, this is what we all thought (or hoped) Facebook might do, and NextDoor will. If you live in my neighborhood (Seven Lakes, NC), join our neighborhood here.

Introducing Nextdoor from Nextdoor on Vimeo.

Life in a Carnival

Tonight I watched the DVD Bookumentary, Notes From the Tilt-a-Whirl by N.D. Wilson. I cannot commend it enough. I bought the book several months ago, but found it at the bottom of a stack of books that I am planning to read. It has just been moved to the top of the stack.

A stream of conscience flowing with brilliance. That is the only way I can describe what I saw tonight. He talks about wonder, life, death, hell, graveyards, rabbits, kittens, hawks, hurricanes, tornadoes, snow, mud, icicles, grandpas, grandmas, babies, oceans, sand, pails, college, philosophers, need I go on?

You absolutely must watch the film and/or read the book.

You can whet your appetite with this short youtube of the DVD.

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Top Four Reasons You Might Need a Kindle

This is a short and sweet post on why the Kindle (or Nook, Kobo, iPad, Android Tablet, or any other e-reader) may be a viable and preferred alternative for some readers to traditional books. I occasionally read books on my Kindle, but am not a huge supporter of all things Kindle. These (stolen mostly from Alan Jacobs’ lecture on Reading in an Age of Distraction — HT: FirstThings) are a few reasons why I might be wrong not to be a bigger supporter of the Kindle.

1. It occupies your thumbs. Many people find it difficult to read a book because their mind is constantly occupied with wanting to check their e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter updates. For some, this may be more of an addiction for their thumbs than it is their minds. If you fall into this category, the Kindle may occupy your thumbs enough to enable you to read more.

2. It makes you cool. If toting a book around makes you look nerdy, then toting a Kindle around makes you look “technologically adept” and that may be enough for some folks to have one and read it.

3. It allows you to read what you really want. Some folks just can’t get “in” to reading because they burden themselves with “educated” books. They force themselves to read the acceptable classics: Tolstoy, Austen, and others. They find it difficult to get into these books, so it takes them longer to read them. They do this because they know people will see what book they are carrying around and will/may judge them for what they’re reading. Reading on a Kindle allows you to give in to your guilty pleasures and read the books you really want to read without passersby knowing what you are reading. Because you will be reading the books you really want to read, it will be easier to get “in” to them and thus read more.

4. It provides instant access to most books. When you do finally have the itch to read, you are often forced to wait a day or more to get over to the library or store to pick it up. Worse, you might have to wait several days for it to arrive via post from Amazon. By then, you may no longer have such a strong desire to read. The Kindle allows you to download and begin reading the book almost instantaneously.

If you aren’t a reader, these may be the helps that get you on the path to being one. If you are, but aren’t as consistent as you’d like to be, the Kindle may be the difference-maker for you. If you are and are consistent, this may be pointless for you. If you are and are a paper purist, I’m sorry for any offense. But, what’s worse? Reading books on a Kindle, or not reading at all?

Finally, this post is dedicated to my friend, Uri Brito, who loves the Kindle. He really does.

The Mannequin: Icons of Desire

Last summer I read James K.A. Smith’s book Desiring the Kingdom. I wrote a goodreads.com review here. This past March I read the book I am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe, and reviewed it here. Smith alludes to or quotes from Wolfe’s book several times in his. Wolfe’s book is a kind of case study for what Smith is writing about in Desiring the Kingdom.

In Smith’s book, he talks about how liturgy and rituals (which we all have, whether we acknowledge it or not) will aim our desires, and knowing that we should develop liturgy and rituals that will aim that at the Kingdom of God. He analyzes the liturgy and rituals of various things: the church, the mall, sports, and reveals their power to aim our desires. In his analysis of the liturgy of the mall he describes mannequins as a sort of icon of desire that reveals to us our imperfections (physical in this case) and creates in us a desire to be redeemed from that (which comes from new clothes, shoes, or make-up in the case of the mall). How convenient then that this mannequin maker believes that is exactly what he is doing.

The video is a documentary on mannequin making appropriately titled 34x25x36.