Friday, February 07, 2014

Daily Links 2-7-14

Good morning! Here are a few links to start off your weekend: debating creationism, time to stop Facebook lurking, the importance of writing letters by hand, and more.


Earlier this week, the Creation Museum hosted a debate between co-founder Ken Ham and Bill Nye. In case you missed the debate, here's a great recap from Dr. Albert Mohler on what was discussed.


It's time to stop Facebook lurking:

For all of the good it’s done in connecting us all, Facebook has redefined the way we think about community in a singular way: It’s turned us into a culture of lurkers.
Where actual community requires that its members compromise and meet certain social requirements (like listening, interacting, being in relationship), Facebook allows users to join a community on their own terms. With its filters, search tools and editing powers, it’s turned community into a product that can be customized by its customers. 
We see, react and share only what we choose to. And, there’s nothing preventing us from standing on the sidelines and just lurking into lives we’re not involved in. 
Real community is predicated on two-way communication: The delivery of information and feedback. Though social media applications like Facebook have plenty of tools that enable back-and-forth discussion, scanning a newsfeed and checking out profiles turns community into a consumer experience: It distills conversations into one-way updates, that are filtered into easy-to-consume streams.


This week also saw the conclusion of series three of the popular BBC program Sherlock. Here's why we love the show so much. After the final episode concluded, I was left wanting to see more. That's what good television will do.


Tim Challies on the new book The Gospel at Work:

The Gospel at Work is a new book from Greg Gilbert and Sebastian Traeger and its big idea is this: You work for the king, and this changes everything. No matter what you do, your work has value because you are doing it for the Lord and who you work for is far more important than the details of what you do. This means that there is no such thing as a meaningless job and no such thing as a job that is insignificant. 
Much of the book is structured around two of the ways that we can allow our work to become sinful. Each represents an extreme. For some the temptation is idleness at work while for others the temptation is idolatry of work. Some hope to find their significance and worth in the work they do so that work becomes “the primary object of our passions, our energy, and our love. We end up worshiping our job.” But then others “can slip into being idle in our work. When we fail to see God’s purposes in our work, we don’t really care much about it. We fail to give any attention to it, or we despise it and generally neglect our responsibility to serve as if we are serving the Lord.” And, sadly, both of these extremes are celebrated in our culture. 
The challenge of The Gospel at Work is to avoid those extremes, and the way to do that is to work out the implications of the gospel in what you do.“ If you are a Christian, we want to challenge you to begin connecting the reality of what God has done for you in Christ to your job, thinking carefully about how this applies to and changes the way you think about your work.”

Brett McKay (from The Art of Manliness) on the importance of writing letters by hand:

In our hyper-connected world, with its text messaging and its Facebooking and its Twittering, the good, old-fashioned handwritten letter has nearly become extinct. Which is a shame because when it comes to sharing one’s true thoughts, sincere sympathies, ardent love, and deepest gratitude, words traveling along the invisible digital superhighway will never suffice. Why?
Because sending a letter is the next best thing to showing up personally at someone’s door. Ink from your pen touches the stationery, your fingers touch the paper, your saliva seals the envelope. Something tangible from your world travels through machines and hands, and deposits itself in another’s mailbox. The recipient handles the paper that you handled and they see your personality and individuality conveyed in your handwriting. 
So what keeps folks from taking advantage of the marvels of letter writing? Laziness, primarily. But I also think there’s an intimidation factor in play. Thanks to Ken Burns documentaries in which talented voice actors read eloquent 19th century correspondences, a misguided belief has formed that if you’re going to write a letter by hand, it needs to be filled with ponderous gravitas. Both roadblocks can be eliminated with a bit of preparation and education.


Six ways to salvage an unproductive day. I've had my fair share of those.

No comments: