Posted by Kendall Harmon

Emma Pierson studied “studied 1 million matches made by the online dating website eHarmony’s algorithm, which aims to pair people who will be attracted to one another and compatible over the long term; if the people agree, they can message each other to set up a meeting in real life. eHarmony’s data on its users contains 102 traits for each person — everything from how passionate and ambitious they claim to be to how much they say they drink, smoke and earn.”

She found that the old adage about opposites and attraction doesn’t hold...

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMenPsychologyWomen* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted April 10, 2014 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Once upon a time, we pasted photos of our babies and kids into scrapbooks. The scrapbook has increasingly moved online – in many cases onto social media sites such as Facebook – and the ease of filling up virtual page after virtual page is hard to overstate. This is not without consequences, of course.

These days, parents need to develop a strategy – either through forethought or facts on the ground – in order to use social media services such as Facebook as a way to document and share the moments of their kids' lives. Err too far toward conservatism, and you lose a sense of community (and irritate the grandparents). Err too far in the other way, and some of your friends may view you as the equivalent of a polluter, clogging up their news feed with baby photo after baby photo.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingChildrenMarriage & Family* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 8, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In Silicon Valley, where personal quirks and even antisocial personalities are tolerated as long as you are building new products and making money, a socially conservative viewpoint may be one trait you have to keep to yourself.
--The opener of a front page article from Friday saying so much more than the author thinks

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingLaw & Legal IssuesMediaPsychologyReligion & CultureScience & TechnologySexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted April 7, 2014 at 3:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When Dennis Schimpf was growing up the amount of photographs he appeared in were “few and far between.”

“Now kids at 9 or 10 years old are having daily pictures,” he said.

Schimpf is a plastic surgeon at Sweetgrass Plastic Surgery in Summerville, working in cosmetic surgery.

A recent study released by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) shows that there has been an increase in cosmetic procedures – and the survey finds that the selfie trend is the cause for this increase. The selfie trend refers to the action of someone taking a photo of his or herself and posting online on popular social media websites and smartphone applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingHealth & MedicinePsychologyScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spending* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted April 5, 2014 at 11:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The cherished idea of the Twitter universe as a gloriously turbulent and fluid place for debate has taken a major hit, thanks to new research from China.

At the same time, findings from the United States have demolished another plank of common wisdom about digital communications. There is, it turns out, no relationship at all between the number of times an online article is shared and the number of times it is actually read.

In a paper published in March, two Chinese social scientists, Fei Xiong and Yun Liu, of Jiaotong University in Beijing, revealed unexpected results from an in-depth study into how opinions form on social media.

The pair analysed 6 million posts from almost 2.5 million Twitter users during a six-month period. In looking at how Twitter users are influenced by the thoughts of other micro-bloggers, the researchers came to what they termed a ''non-trivial'' conclusion, meaning, pretty much, they aren't.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingEducationGlobalizationPsychologyScience & Technology* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 3, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The response to your Facebook post has been staggering. Was it written on the fly or what?

In the last month, there were four instances where I was subtly or not subtly moved along. I was having lunch with a mother younger than I am who was recently bereaved. Her loss was 14 months ago. I said, "Before the one-year mark was up, did you have people telling you, hinting or saying to you that you should move on?" I asked other people who had lost children. I was hearing the same story. It just made me mad. I jotted off that Facebook post and have been completely astounded by the response—3,780,000 views and more than 10,000 comments.

Aren't most of the comments supportive?

Somebody wrote, "I want to print words around my neck that say, 'Please just read Kay Warren's Facebook post.'"

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingChildrenMarriage & FamilyPsychologyMental IllnessReligion & CultureYoung Adults* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted March 28, 2014 at 12:26 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From Facebook to Twitter to Instagram and Google, many big Internet successes depend on coaxing people into sharing every last bit of information about themselves and their lives.

But a five-week old social app, Secret, is testing the limits of just how much sharing Silicon Valley thinks is a good thing. That’s because the sharing is done anonymously. And, as it turns out, much of the chatter is about Silicon Valley itself — offering a rare, unvarnished look at the ambitions, disappointments, rivalries, jealousies and obsessions of the engineers and entrepreneurs who live and work there.

Secret, like a number of other recent apps, connects people anonymously through their address books. Messages appear only as from “friend” or “friend of friend.” Juicy posts that receive a lot of likes or comments also appear occasionally, identified simply by the city or state where they originated.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingPsychologyScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted March 22, 2014 at 12:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Longtime blog readers know well that one of my favorite examples of the importance of listening to the screaming silence of something missing comes from the Sherlock Holmes saga entitled "Silver Blaze." In one of the most famous sections in all of Arthur Conan Doyle's writing in this saga we find the follow exchange:
Inspector Gregory [of Scotland Yard]: "Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
Sherlock Holmes: "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
Inspector Gregory: "The dog did nothing in the night-time."
Sherlock Holmes: "That was the curious incident
."
I mention this because recently the Anglican Communion Office launched an Anglican Communion Facebook page. You may find the page here. Being preoccupied recently with the diocese of South Carolina convention and other matters, I only recently checked out the page.

Imagine my surprise when on the front of the page I read the following:
A page to see posts shared by members of the Anglican Communion - 85 million Christians who share faith, tradition, history & ways of worshipping.
Now 85 million people is a lot the last time I checked--but I would have thought the Bible had something to do with it.

The silence is screaming and it is oh-so-significant--KSH
.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingGlobalizationReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyTheology: Scripture

5 Comments
Posted March 22, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A North Carolina pastor has established a website with the purpose of seeking questions from the public that he can address in his sermons each Sunday and helps attenders interact during the services.

Known as "WikiWorship," the online project is overseen by United Methodist Reverend Philip Chryst, who is a student at the Duke Divinity School. Individuals submit their questions to Chryst via the website or via email and he addresses them during a worship service he oversees in Wilmington known as The Anchor.

In an interview with The Christian Post, Chryst explained that the origin of WikiWorship comes from a sermon at Duke Divinity School's Goodson Chapel.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingReligion & CultureScience & Technology

0 Comments
Posted March 19, 2014 at 5:32 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

After escaping Sudan’s civil war and being separated for 24 years, a mother and daughter have finally located each another on Facebook.

Watch it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingChildrenMarriage & FamilyViolence* International News & CommentaryAfricaSudan

0 Comments
Posted March 16, 2014 at 4:18 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Professors on University of Wisconsin System campuses occasionally get into trouble for what they say in class, on social media or on the Internet.

Rachel Slocum, a UW-La Crosse assistant professor of geography, urged 18 students in an online course last October to do whatever they could, despite limited access to data for an assignment, because the federal government had partially shut down as a result of a budget impasse.

The message didn't get her into trouble. The way she said it did.

"Hi everyone," she emailed the students "Some of the data gathering assignment will be impossible to complete until the Republican/Tea Party controlled House of Representatives agrees to fund the government."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingEducationGlobalizationMediaScience & TechnologyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted March 16, 2014 at 5:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingGlobalization

0 Comments
Posted March 15, 2014 at 8:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

At 12.30pm last Friday, computer programmer Rowan Laurence, 32, saw a strange sight on Brick Lane — “as is quite normal down there,” he says. The sight in question was a well-dressed man in dark skinny jeans and brown brogues carrying a large wooden crucifix on his back, striding under the railway flyunder in the direction of Aldgate East. As is also quite normal down there, Laurence snapped what he saw and uploaded it to Instagram, captioning the picture “Jesus Lives”.

Two hours later, the good people of St Matthew’s, the lovely 18th-century church 10 minutes’ walk away in Bethnal Green, were in a panic. Their beautiful and historic altar cross, installed in the church after it was bombed on the first day of the Blitz in 1940, was gone. There was no trace of further damage in the church, nor anything else stolen, so the Rev Kevin Scully emailed his parishioners for help. By 4.15pm a local blogger informed of the theft had seen Laurence’s image from Brick Lane and a parishioner sent it to the vicar....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireReligion & Culture* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted March 13, 2014 at 7:46 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Every year, beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter Sunday, millions of people celebrate the 40 days of Lent by giving up—fasting from—certain foods or activities. It's a practice with a rich history among many Christian traditions. But how likely are believers today to participate in Lenten disciplines—and, if they do choose to fast, what are they fasting from?

The majority of adults (72%) are aware of the Christian tradition of giving something up for Lent. Even among non-Christians, awareness of Lent is at about the same level (70%). Yet in spite of this widespread awareness of the season, only 17% of all adults—roughly one-fifth of those who know about the season—have practiced Lenten fasting in the last three years. The same number (17%) plan to give something up for Lent again this year.

Read it all and take all this in as well.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social Networking* Theology

0 Comments
Posted March 11, 2014 at 11:25 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Google’s playful primary colors, quirky Doodles and whimsical office spaces are outward expressions of the company’s “Don’t be evil” motto. But the real work Googlers do trying to uphold that mantra goes far beyond flash.

I recently spoke with Ross LaJeunesse, Google’s global head of free expression and international relations, about what the company is doing to address hate speech, free speech and religious freedom online. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Brian Pellot: Why does Google have an entire team devoted to freedom of expression?


Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingGlobalizationLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureScience & TechnologySexuality* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted March 6, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of England is launching a year long project on Twitter to tell the story of the Church of England through the eyes of its people, providing a daily insight into modern faith in action.

The Project - @OurCofE - will be launched on 3rd March 2014 where over the course of a year, bishops, clergy, chaplains, youth workers and churchgoers from around the country will be given a week each to tweet about their life inside the Church of England.

The project is inspired by similar twitter accounts such as @sweden which was set up by the Swedish tourist board who invited people to take turns in tweeting their life in Sweden for a week, each with their own unique view of the country.

Read it all and Kate Reynolds has comments there.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted March 3, 2014 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

GCHQ, Britain’s electronic spying agency, intercepted and stored images of 1.8m Yahoo users taken from their personal webcams even though most of them were not suspected of wrongdoing, documents leaked by the whistleblower Edward Snowden show.

A secret programme called “Optic Nerve”, run in conjunction with the US National Security Agency, recorded millions of webcam images from ordinary internet users – as many as one in 10 of them sexually explicit – “in bulk”, the UK’s Guardian newspaper reported on Thursday.

“Optic Nerve” tapped into Yahoo users’ accounts and took still images from their computer webcams every five minutes.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 28, 2014 at 3:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Check it out.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 28, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"Who do you like?" asked recent ads on Facebook...featuring young women in alluring poses.

Some of the ads were configured to reach young teens, who were invited to join an app called Ilikeq that let others rate their attractiveness, comment on their photos and say if they would like to date them.

That's how 14-year-old Erica Lowder's picture ended up on display to adult men online. Users of Ilikeq, one of Facebook's fastest-growing "lifestyle" apps, were able to click through to the Indianapolis girl's Facebook page.

"How can Facebook say here's how we're going to protect your kids, then sell all these ads to weird apps and sites that open kids up to terrible things?" asked Erica's mother, Dawn Lowder.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaPsychologyScience & TechnologyTeens / Youth* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 28, 2014 at 7:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The researchers are quick to note that not everyone uses Twitter, only 14 percent of the US population, and not all who do use it to talk about politics, for example.
Still, looking at how conversations flow on social media can provide new insights into how people communicate in a way that was not possible until very recently.
"You could never do that in the old days when you were running around with a pen and clipboard," said Marc A. Smith, one of the study's authors and director of the Social Media Research Foundation.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaPsychologySociology* TheologyAnthropology

0 Comments
Posted February 22, 2014 at 11:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement announcing the deal.

Zuckerberg has been trying to get into the mobile messaging market for a while. The company offered to buy Snapchat for $3 billion last year, but that messaging start-up spurned the offer.

Read it all.

Update: From Jon Ostrower---"Just for a bit of perspective on Facebook and WhatsApp. You can buy 50 777X aircraft for $19 billion, which Qatar Airways did in November."



Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingGlobalizationScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 19, 2014 at 4:50 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Facebook said the changes, shared with The Associated Press before the launch on Thursday, initially cover the company's 159 million monthly users in the U.S. and are aimed at giving people more choices in how they describe themselves, such as androgynous, bi-gender, intersex, gender fluid or transsexual.

"There's going to be a lot of people for whom this is going to mean nothing, but for the few it does impact, it means the world," said Facebook software engineer Brielle Harrison, who worked on the project and is herself undergoing gender transformation, from male to female. On Thursday, while watchdogging the software for any problems, she said she was also changing her Facebook identity from Female to TransWoman.

"All too often transgender people like myself and other gender nonconforming people are given this binary option, do you want to be male or female? What is your gender? And it's kind of disheartening because none of those let us tell others who we really are," she said. "This really changes that, and for the first time I get to go to the site and specify to all the people I know what my gender is."

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingPsychologyScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology


Posted February 13, 2014 at 8:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Around mid-January]... the sports and pop culture website Grantland published a story called “Dr. V’s Magical Putter” — a piece of “long-form,” as we now call multi-thousand-word, narrative-driven reported articles — about a woman named Essay Anne Vanderbilt, who claimed to have invented a golf putter of unsurpassed excellence.

Over the course of 7,000-plus words, the writer, Caleb Hannan, devoted a lot of space to the contentious relationship he had developed with his subject. Ms. Vanderbilt, who was transgender but in the closet — and also probably a con artist — didn’t like Mr. Hannan’s digging into the details of her personal and professional life. In the final few paragraphs of the story, Mr. Hannan revealed some shocking news: Ms. Vanderbilt had killed herself.

The piece was initially met with praise from across the Internet. (“Great read,” raved a typical Tweet. “Fascinating, bizarre,” read another.) Then the criticism started. Mr. Hannan was accused of everything from being grossly insensitive to Ms. Vanderbilt’s privacy to having played a role in her suicide. The controversy soon grew so intense that the editor of the site, Bill Simmons, felt compelled to address it in an apologetic, if defensive, 2,700-word post of his own. Mr. Simmons stressed that the decision to publish the piece had not been taken lightly and that somewhere between 13 and 15 people had read it before it was posted and had all been “blown away.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaPsychologySports* TheologyAnthropology

1 Comments
Posted February 11, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

At some point before 35-year-old Jesse Ryan Loskarn hanged himself in his parents’ home outside Baltimore, he wrote a painful letter soaked in shame and self-loathing in which he attempted to explain the unexplainable.

The former chief of staff for Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) had lived a secret life, hiding memories of child abuse and his addiction to child pornography. Even as U.S. Postal Inspection Service agents used a battering ram to enter his house, it appeared that he was trying to hide an external hard drive - containing hundreds of videos - on a ledge outside a window.

“Everyone wants to know why,” he wrote, in a Jan. 23 letter posted online by Gay Loskarn, his mother.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesPornographyPsychologySuicideScience & Technology* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 10, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

An American family was able to live out their Olympic dream thanks to the generosity of their community.

Watch it all--heartwarming stuff.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingChildrenGlobalizationMarriage & FamilyRural/Town LifeSports* International News & CommentaryEuropeRussia

0 Comments
Posted February 6, 2014 at 6:32 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Modern societies are still at the dawn of understanding what kind of news they need in order to flourish. For most of history, news was so hard to gather and expensive to deliver, its hold on our inner lives was inevitably held in check. Now there is almost nowhere on the planet we are able to go to escape from it. It is there waiting for us in the early hours when we wake up from a disturbed sleep; it follows us on board airplanes making their way between continents; it is waiting to hijack our attention during the children's bedtime.

The hum and rush of the news has seeped into our deepest selves. What an achievement a moment of calm now is; what a minor miracle the ability to fall asleep or to talk undistracted with a friend; what monastic discipline would be required to make us turn away from the maelstrom of news and to listen for a day to nothing but the rain and our own thoughts.

We may need some help with what the news is doing to us: with the envy and the terror, with the excitement and the frustration; with all that we've been told and yet occasionally suspect we may be better off never having learnt. So I wrote a little manual that tries to complicate a habit that, at present, has come to seem a little too normal and harmless for our own good. In what follows, I play the role of my own interlocutor in order to make clear just why I believe this to be so urgent.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingGlobalizationMediaPsychologyReligion & Culture* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 6, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For the Episcopal Church Office of Communication, 2013 was a remarkable year.

“The year 2013 showed continued dramatic growth in audiences for all of our digital publications, our website and our social media outlets,” noted Anne Rudig, Director of Communication. Our internal and external media relations efforts yielded some significant placements and much expanded activity.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Data* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaReligion & Culture

5 Comments
Posted January 30, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Google's] DeepMind acquisition closely follows...[the company's] $3.2 billion purchase of smart thermostat and smoke alarm maker Nest, a slew of cutting-edge robotics companies, and another AI startup known as DNNresearch.

Google is looking to spread smart computer hardware into so many parts of our everyday lives — from our homes and our cars to our bodies — but perhaps more importantly, it’s developing a new type of artificial intelligence that can help operate these devices, as well as its many existing web and smartphone services.

Though Google is out in front of this AI arms race, others are moving in the same direction. Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft are doubling down on artificial intelligence too, and are snapping up fresh AI talent. According to The Information, Mark Zuckerberg and company were also trying to acquire DeepMind.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted January 28, 2014 at 11:09 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

U.S. technology companies may give the public and their customers more detail about the court orders they receive related to surveillance under an agreement they reached on Monday with the Obama administration.

Companies such as Google Inc and Microsoft Corp have been prohibited from disclosing even an approximate number of orders they received from the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. They could give only an aggregate number of U.S. demands that combined surveillance court orders, letters from the FBI, subpoenas in run-of-the-mill criminal cases and other requests.

The deal frees the companies to say, for example, approximately how many orders they received in a six-month period from the surveillance court.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingGlobalizationLaw & Legal IssuesPsychologyScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifePolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted January 28, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

@KendallHarmon6 is tweeting
@drewcollins is also doing so
@GoebelGreg is present as well
#MereAnglicanism is the hashtag

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingScience & Technology* TheologyApologeticsTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted January 25, 2014 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A Church of England diocese has issued a list of social media rules to its staff and clergy, urging them to consider God when tweeting the masses.

The guidelines range from practical security advice to more faith-based instructions, including a warning that updates are "transient yet permanent".

The list has been widely shared online, dubbed the "Twitter commandments".

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMedia* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 25, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Tallulah, an aspiring dancer from West Hampstead in London, threw herself under a train at St Pancras Station on October 14, 2012. Her mother said she had been unable to prevent the troubled teenager from becoming increasingly withdrawn at home and at school, as she developed a fantasy cocaine-taking persona online.

Ms Wilson said: “Like any parent I sought to protect my daughter, seeking help from professionals at her school, the NHS and the Tavistock Clinic. Her sisters and I did everything we could to keep her safe, but she had fallen into a world of nightmares. She was in the c lutches of a toxic digital world where in the final few weeks we could no longer reach her.

“I was shocked by the ease with which Tallulah and other children can access online self-harm and suicide blogs. Tallulah entered a world where the lines between fantasy and reality became blurred. It is every parent’s worst nightmare.”

Read it all (subscription required).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingChildrenEducationHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyPsychologySuicideScience & TechnologyTeens / Youth* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 23, 2014 at 3:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Leading social network Facebook (FB) has lost some 59% of its college users in three years and teenagers are also leaving the platform, an independent research firm said Wednesday.

Teen users have fallen by about 25%, according to a triennial report from iStrategyLabs, a digital strategy and marketing firm.

The data that's backing the study come from Facebook's ad platform, says iStrategyLabs Chief Marketing Officer DJ Saul in a blog post.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingEducationYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted January 16, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Near the end of my doctoral program in modern Western religion at Harvard University, I became convinced that the Internet was the most powerful platform available for global religious conversation. When I joined the team that was building Patheos.com, we had a vision for creating online a marketplace of religious ideas, attracting the world’s most talented writers to engage life’s most important questions. About five years later, we have four million unique visitors monthly and a vibrant multi-religious conversation that attracts a constantly growing number of participants from all religious (and nonreligious) backgrounds and all parts of the planet — and we are still only beginning to scratch the surface of what new media technologies built upon a global telecommunications infrastructure could mean for faith in the modern world.

In summary, then, the work of the technologist is meaningful from a Christian theological perspective for several reasons. It reflects the creative and constructive ingenuity of God, for we are created to be creators in the image of our Creator. The Jewish and Christian scriptures affirm the original goodness of the natural world, and technology can serve to repair the broken world and restore humankind’s capacity for stewardship. It helps us fulfill the creation mandate to subdue the earth and give it order. Technological development can be a form of neighborly love, as countless technologies — from the roofs above our heads to the vaccines that eliminate diseases to prosthetic limbs — serve directly to minimize human suffering and make the world more hospitable for human flourishing. From the perspective of the Christian theological tradition, the mental disciplines formed in the processes of technological innovation are infused with spiritual potential, cultivating the powers of attention and self-control that are intrinsic to prayer and obedience. And technologies can serve not only the interests of humankind generally but also the growth of the Body of Christ on earth. Thoughtful early adopters of emerging technologies have revitalized existing religious communities and planted more communities on fertile new soils.

We cannot travel from the garden to the heavenly city without crossing the tractor marks outside the walls.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingEducationGlobalizationHistoryPhilosophyReligion & CultureScience & Technology* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals

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Posted January 15, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Texas has seen the future of the public library, and it looks a lot like an Apple Store: Rows of glossy iMacs beckon. iPads mounted on a tangerine-colored bar invite readers. And hundreds of other tablets stand ready for checkout to anyone with a borrowing card.

Even the librarians imitate Apple’s dress code, wearing matching shirts and that standard-bearer of geek-chic, the hoodie. But this $2.3 million library might be most notable for what it does not have – any actual books.

That makes Bexar County’s BibiloTech the nation’s only bookless public library, a distinction that has attracted scores of digital bookworms, plus emissaries from as far away as Hong Kong who want to learn about the idea and possibly take it home.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingBooksEducationScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralCity Government* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

4 Comments
Posted January 8, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I have had an online ministry for more than 15 years. God has humbled me with the way He has chosen to use this influence He has given me. I try not to take it for granted.

One thing that has changed since I began ministering online—and it’s changed for all of us—is the rise of social media. Whether you believe it’s a good addition or not, we cannot deny its impact on culture or even on the church. Personally, I have chosen to use it for good as much as possible.

Still, it disturbs me some of the ways I see Christians respond on social media. I can post one thing, whether serious or not—and I do use humor intentionally as a part of my online presence—and it never amazes me how someone might respond. I have referred to the practice as a "slam and run." I just have to thank God at times for the delete option. But it’s an example of a bigger problem. Christians aren’t always behaving well online. What we’d never say offline we have no problem saying online.

Seriously, this isn’t a personal plea. This is a kingdom plea.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingReligion & CultureScience & Technology* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 7, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The beauty of the site, [Justine] Roberts explains, is how it goes on growing. More than five million people visit the site every month, almost twice as many as a year ago. While there is an endless supply of young women having babies, those who joined years ago to discuss baby-led weaning (or BLW as Mumsnetters call it) tend never to leave. The stranglehold that the well-educated, part-time mother once had on the site is also loosening.
“You will still find people who are discussing incredibly esoteric PhD subjects on Mumsnet. But you will also find endless conversations about Downton Abbey,” Roberts says.

As for their politics, “screeching conservatism of Middle England” covers it no better than does “Islington, lentil-weaving, eat your own placenta”. There is no point in talking about a Mumsnet election, she says, as Mumsnetters don’t all vote one way. Yet despite such talk of diversity, Roberts spends half her life telling the media what “the community” thinks on an impressively wide range of subjects.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingBooksChildrenHealth & MedicineMarriage & FamilyScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted January 1, 2014 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Very Rev. Peet Dickson

Dean and rector, Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul

Moore to the Point

russellmoore.com/blog

Dr. Russell Moore's blog is great for reading about the link between faith and culture in a winsome and yet challenging way. I highly recommend his books, too.

The Gospel Coalition Voices

thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/

I like just about any of the blogs associated with the Gospel Coalition. These are thoughtful writers helping us to see the world through the lens of the Gospel.Read them all and see what you think of their choices.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingReligion & CultureScience & Technology* South Carolina

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Posted December 29, 2013 at 11:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"Every cough and splutter is played out on social media nowadays, from the birth of the future King to the death of a former Prime Minister. Here we round up the tweets that tell the story of 2013...."

Check it out.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingHistoryMedia

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Posted December 21, 2013 at 1:31 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Christmas holiday brings peak attendance for most churches, and an increasing number of U.S. religious groups are using the boom time to wow parishioners with virtual choirs on YouTube and Instagram advent calendars.

More than 500 churches will stream Christmas sermons online this year, up from just a handful in 2007, said DJ Chuang, host of the Social Media Church, a podcast with church leaders about social media. Hundreds more started Instagram and Pinterest accounts this year to post photos of baptisms and quotes from the gospel, he said.

"Instagram is like the modern day stained glass window," Chuang said. "They use it to tell the stories of the church."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsAdventChristmasParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaScience & Technology* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted December 18, 2013 at 3:28 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Cybercriminals generally fall into one of three categories, he says. First there are the "Anonymouses of the world" or the hacktivists—people who expose information about a company or government they morally oppose. Second is organized crime. "They're realizing there's far more money in cybercrime than prostitution," Mr. DeCesare says. "You can buy somebody's I.D. for less than $10 online." Third are activities funded by states and other political groups. "Every government has a cyber division," he says, including the U.S. But cyber dangers now stretch beyond state lines to groups such as al Qaeda. "Cybercrime is a lot like that—[the country is] almost not relevant anymore," making it difficult to hold governments accountable.

From a consumer standpoint, Mr. DeCesare knows from personal experience how easy it is to be fooled online. One of his three children once clicked on a site that turned out to be pornographic. "A Selena Gomez site was not what it was advertised to be," he remembers. Mr. DeCesare now cautions his children against going to celebrity-related websites, which are common points of attack. The "bad guys," he says, often build their own sites around popular stars.

Read it all (emphasis mine).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingGlobalizationLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FirePsychologyScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyAnthropology

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Posted December 16, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A third [friend of Erin Wurzel]...posted her holiday table setting in Paris, complete with burning candles, rolled napkins with napkin rings, an open Champagne bottle, a huge centerpiece of fall flowers and the illuminated Eiffel Tower framed in a casement window.

“I let out an ‘Oh, my God!,’ like a little kid who wants something they cannot have,” said Ms. Wurzel, a program analyst in Philadelphia who uses the Instagram handle likewantneed. “You’re searching through your feed and a picture will hit you, like that Paris shot. It’s just so perfect. You just think, ‘I want that, I want that life.’ ”

It’s called Instagram envy, and Ms. Wurzel had it bad.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingPsychologyScience & TechnologyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spending* General InterestPhotos/Photography* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted December 14, 2013 at 10:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Truth has never been an essential ingredient of viral content on the Internet. But in the stepped-up competition for readers, digital news sites are increasingly blurring the line between fact and fiction, and saying that it is all part of doing business in the rough-and-tumble world of online journalism.

Several recent stories rocketing around the web, picking up millions of views, turned out to be fake or embellished: a Twitter tale of a Thanksgiving feud on a plane, later described by the writer as a short story; a child’s letter to Santa that detailed an Amazon.com link in crayon, but was actually written by a grown-up comedian in 2011; and an essay on poverty that prompted $60,000 in donations until it was revealed by its author to be impressionistic rather than strictly factual.

Their creators describe them essentially as online performance art, never intended to be taken as fact. But to the media outlets that published them, they represented the lightning-in-a-bottle brew of emotion and entertainment that attracts readers and brings in lucrative advertising dollars.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMedia* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted December 12, 2013 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A Frenchman who has lived half his 49 years in the United States, [Luc] Vincent was never in the Marines. But he is a leader in a new great game: the Internet land grab, which can be reduced to three key battles over three key conceptual territories. What came first, conquered by Google’s superior search algorithms. Who was next, and Facebook was the victor. But where, arguably the biggest prize of all, has yet to be completely won.

Where-type questions — the kind that result in a little map popping up on the search-results page — account for some 20 percent of all Google queries done from the desktop. But ultimately more important by far is location-awareness, the sort of geographical information that our phones and other mobile devices already require in order to function. In the future, such location-awareness will be built into more than just phones. All of our stuff will know where it is — and that awareness will imbue the real world with some of the power of the virtual. Your house keys will tell you that they’re still on your desk at work. Your tools will remind you that they were lent to a friend. And your car will be able to drive itself on an errand to retrieve both your keys and your tools.

While no one can say exactly how we will get from the current moment to that Jetsonian future, one thing for sure can be said about location-awareness: maps are required. Tomorrow’s map, integrally connected to everything that moves (the keys, the tools, the car), will be so fundamental to their operation that the map will, in effect, be their operating system.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingGlobalizationLaw & Legal IssuesScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifePolitics in General* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted December 12, 2013 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

1. Emergence of the Mobile Cloud

Mobile distributed computing paradigm will lead to explosion of new services.

Mobile and cloud computing are converging to create a new platform—one that has the potential to provide unlimited computing resources. Mobile devices are constrained by their memory, processing power, and battery life. But combined with cloud computing, data processing and storage can happen outside of mobile devices. What IDC calls the "Third Platform" will allow for better synchronization of data, improved reliability and scalability, increased ease of integration, anytime-anywhere access to business applications and collaborative services, rich user experiences, and an explosion of new services.

IEEE Computer Society resources: Rock Stars of Mobile Cloud, scheduled for 6 May in Boston, will cover insights into this emerging paradigm shift from leaders in the field.

2. From Internet of Things to Web of Things

Need connectivity, internetworking to link physical and digital.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingScience & Technology

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Posted December 8, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I love Twitter. You might have already guessed that, since I just finished tweeting the entire Bible, but I just felt the need to say it out loud.

A big part of why I love Twitter is the real-time exposure it gives me to interesting people, including writers whose work I have enjoyed. Here are ten Christian writers who have offered me something marvelous or cool or significant or funny in Birdland, in alphabetical order by last name.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaReligion & Culture

0 Comments
Posted December 5, 2013 at 11:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Less than five percent of current world languages are in use online, according to a recent study by prominent linguist András Kornai -- and the Internet may be helping the other 95 percent to their graves.

Those startling conclusions come from a paper published in the journal PLOSOne in October titled, appropriately, “Digital Language Death.” The study sought to answer a question that’s both inherently fascinating and little-discussed: How many languages exist online? (And, on the flip side, how many don’t?)

For reference, at least 7,776 languages are in use in the greater offline world. To measure how many of those are also in use on the Internet, Kornai designed a program to crawl top-level Web domains and catalog the number of words in each language. He also analyzed Wikipedia pages, a key marker of a language’s digital vibrancy, as well as language options for things like operating systems and spell-checkers.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingBooksGlobalizationHistoryPoetry & LiteratureScience & Technology* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted December 5, 2013 at 6:59 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Do you know what it is? Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireTeens / Youth

0 Comments
Posted December 1, 2013 at 1:32 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the early predawn hours of Thanksgiving, Jason Goldberger huddled with his team on the 20th floor of a Target Corp. building in Minneapolis to make sure everything was ready at the chain's most important store: Target.com.

The stakes were high. Online shoppers accounted for 40% of the $59 billion in sales racked up over the four-day Black Friday weekend last year, up from 23% in 2006, according to the National Retail Federation. Store traffic this year has been sluggish

Mr. Goldberger, who runs Target's website and mobile business, arrived at 2 a.m., His staff split into two conference rooms. One held a technology team responsible for the workings of the site. The other had people comparing Target's deals with offers from Amazon.com and Walmart.com.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaPsychologyScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life

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Posted November 30, 2013 at 1:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

While automakers and dealers lament that younger buyers have neither money nor brand loyalty when it comes to buying a car, a host of services are looking to the crowd to help them save for what could be the biggest purchase they will make for several years.

Geared toward first-time buyers, these services, like BoostUp, a Detroit-based company that Ms. Frandsen and Mr. Burris used, are trying to turn car-buying into a social experience.

Toyota and Google, for example, are announcing on Wednesday the Toyota Collaborator, a social car shopping tool where potential Corolla buyers can discuss decisions with friends and family in real time using Google Hangouts.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaScience & TechnologyTravelYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted November 27, 2013 at 5:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingReligion & CultureScience & TechnologySexuality* Economics, PoliticsEconomy

0 Comments
Posted November 24, 2013 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

While her husband’s health-care plans founder, Michelle Obama is pressing ahead with her own. Last month, joined by Rosita, a turquoise Latina muppet, and Elmo, a shaggy red one, she announced that Sesame Street’s puppets would promote fruit and vegetables rather than sugary and fatty fare; Cookie Monster may need to find himself a new job. Mrs Obama’s fight against childhood obesity has several fronts (she calls it “Let’s Move!”) but marketing is an important one. In September she convened the first White House meeting on marketing food to children. Their preferences “are being shaped by the marketing campaigns you all create”, she told the assembled executives. “And that’s where the problem comes in.”

To market anything that might appeal to young consumers is to risk a scolding. Advertising entices children to drink and smoke, makes them fat and sexualises them early, its critics allege. To tout even wholesome products to children, some claim, is to exploit their naivety and thus to deceive them. Crusaders like Mrs Obama have helped embarrass companies. Coca-Cola said in May that it would not advertise to children younger than 12 anywhere in the world. Last year Disney promised not to promote junk food on television programmes for children.

Such gestures make the best of an increasingly constraining climate....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingChildrenMedia* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted November 23, 2013 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A pastor walks into a Costco.

He sees a Bible in the fiction section. He tweets a picture of it. It ends up on Drudge. Christians are outraged. Again.

Only problem: there was no need to be.

Again.

Read it all.To Mr. Stezer's comments I would only add something we have said again and again--just because you read it or hear it, doesn't mean it is true, so learn to CHECK it yourself. Remember the Bereans? They are in the New Testament for a reason--KSH.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted November 23, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

17. While the average religious leader can expect one retweet for every 500 followers, the average musician only sees one retweet for every 30,000 followers.
18. 64% of consumers have made a purchase decision based on social content.
19. 91% of 18-34 year olds using social media are talking about brands.
20. 60% of U.S. smartphone owners now visit their favorite social networking sites on a daily basis, up from 54% in 2011.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingHistoryScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life

0 Comments
Posted November 7, 2013 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In recent years, Chris Yaw noticed a trend among acquaintances in construction and engineering as well as members joining his church, St. David's Episcopal in Southfield: They went online for education and career advancement.

Society's increasing reliance on computer-based interactions coupled with the changing habits of Metro Detroit churchgoers inspired Yaw to explore creating an educational platform that would connect communities.

After developing the idea with a design team and partnering with Forward Movement, a Cincinnati-based publisher, the website he envisioned, http://www.churchnext.tv, debuted in August.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingEducationReligion & CultureScience & Technology

0 Comments
Posted November 3, 2013 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The National Security Agency has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world, according to documents obtained from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and interviews with knowledgeable officials.

By tapping those links, the agency has positioned itself to collect at will from hundreds of millions of user accounts, many of them belonging to Americans. The NSA does not keep everything it collects, but it keeps a lot.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingLaw & Legal IssuesSexuality* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeThe U.S. Government* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted October 31, 2013 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Jake Belder ‏@jakebelder
A big thank you to the #gafcon2013 delegates! All of us confessing Anglicans are grateful for your faithfulness and your work this past week [This elf seconds this tweet!]

Canon Jack Lumanog ‏@CanonLumanog
After the #GAFCON2013 statement was read and received, I got a high five and an enormous hug from Archbishop Ben... http://fb.me/SKpw7I9Z

Canon Jack Lumanog ‏@CanonLumanog
#gafcon2013 "You have been on the Mount of Transfiguration. It is time to return to your homes and the... http://fb.me/2RuhYK8Hy

David Martin Hanke ‏@dmhanke
'Lift high the cross!' Closing Eucharist. #gafcon2013 http://instagram.com/p/f7XvvUlhcD/

Heather Strong Moore ‏@StrongHeather
Closing with Stand Up For Jesus #GAFCon2013

Rev. Anson Ann ‏@revansonann
++Wabukala thanked the Kenyan police force by giving them a bible... this will never happen in the West. #GAFCON2013 pic.twitter.com/n1CuZVeAks

Nigel Fortescue ‏@nigelfortescue
The Police are presented with a new Bible by AB Wabukala in thanks for helping 2 keep us safe. #gafcon2013 "Now go read it to your friends!"

Nigel Fortescue ‏@nigelfortescue
PFJ [Abp. Peter Jensen] gets a standing ovation. Now Martyn Minns too. #gafcon2013 pic.twitter.com/774vwESs0p

Nigel Fortescue ‏@nigelfortescue
Lots of thanks. Especially to the Kenyan church who have cared for us and bolstered security with government help. #gafcon2013

Nigel Fortescue ‏@nigelfortescue
Thunderous applause. Standing ovation. Spontaneous singing. PFJ crying. Statement has an impact! #gafcon2013 pic.twitter.com/91NqfjIN0F

Helmut Paul Wambi ‏@wambipaul
@gafconference it has been a success here in Nairobi. #gafcon2013

Rev. Anson Ann ‏@revansonann
After the final Nairobi Communique was read out, there was a standing ovation and singing broke out. #GAFCON2013 pic.twitter.com/447VxPpRcN

Nigel Fortescue ‏@nigelfortescue
Dr Senyonyi x2 [John & Ruth] come forward to read the GAFCON 2013: The Nairobi Communique. #gafcon2013 This will be a moving moment.

Nigel Fortescue ‏@nigelfortescue
There's been too much caution. Anglican caution has brought us to today! Bishop of Recife, Brazil #gafcon2013

daveclancey ‏@daveclancey
The armor of God is the gospel. #GAFCON2013 #eph6 #ArmorofGod

daveclancey ‏@daveclancey
"Everything starts with prayer. And ends with prayer." Bp Miguel Uchoa. #gafcon2013

Heather Strong Moore ‏@StrongHeather
Key moments and decision moments are prayer moments - Bp Ochoa #GAFCon2013 #Preach

Rev. Anson Ann ‏@revansonann
+Ochoa: Be strong in the Lord (Eph 6:10). Don't depend on yourself. Don't even try. #GAFCON2013 pic.twitter.com/UY0Ug8T1uW

Heather Strong Moore ‏@StrongHeather
Say to the Lord, "Let me never walk in my presumption" - Bp Ochoa #GAFCon2013 #BoldPrayer

Heather Strong Moore ‏@StrongHeather
Each challenge we face, no matter how big, has our God who is much bigger - Bp Ochoa #GAFCon2013 #Eph6 #Truth

Heather Strong Moore ‏@StrongHeather
Don't even try to live a Godly life on your own. Depending on the Lord means less of you more of Him - Bp Ochoa #GAFCon2013 #Eph6

Heather Strong Moore ‏@StrongHeather
The All Saints children's choir blessing our socks off w In Christ Alone #GAFCon2013… http://instagram.com/p/f7HWqFl3rW/

daveclancey ‏@daveclancey
Gafcon is a movement. So we must move ahead. Bp Miguel Uchoa of Recife. #gafcon2013

Rev. Anson Ann ‏@revansonann
Our beloved #ANiC bishops at #GAFCON2013. pic.twitter.com/CNDABq8G3h

Zane Elliott ‏@squeakycog
Hallelujah thine the glory, hallelujah amen, hallelujah thine the glory, revive us again. The cry of #gafcon2013 the heart of #Anglicans

gillian davidson ‏@gfdavo
Final church service of #gafcon2013 a time of personal and corporate repentance.

gillian davidson ‏@gfdavo
Bp Kanuku, Kenya on Eph 6 urging #gafcon2013 to humbly, in repentance put on the breastplate of God and face the fight that confronts us.

Canon Jack Lumanog ‏@CanonLumanog
Last day of #gafcon2013 and my body has just about had it! The spirit is willing - but the flesh is weak.

Heather Strong Moore ‏@StrongHeather
Yesterday my Rwandan sister, Vivian, told me I dance like an African! #Yessss #Arrived #GAFCon2013 @ThornhillMA @grod125

Anglican Future ‏@gafconference
Thankful to All Saints Cathedral and ACK for gracious hospitality and Christ-like love to #gafcon2013 delegates #anglican

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryGlobal South Churches & PrimatesGACON II 2013* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social Networking

0 Comments
Posted October 26, 2013 at 10:23 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

(in reverse chronological order, from most recent to earliest)

David Ould ‏@davidould
Africa; it's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you. #gafcon2013

David Ould ‏@davidould
last night in Nairobi. Will be very sad to leave this country where we have been so wonderfully looked after #gafcon2013

Sam Allberry ‏@SamAllberry
The Kenyans should lead the singing at all Christian conferences. It's been a wonderful week! #gafcon2013

David Ould ‏@davidould
Hearing from the sole #gafcon2013 Pakistani delegate about how they Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus. #thestrifewillnotbelong

Jeff Walton ‏@jeffreyhwalton
More communique: Fort Worth: affirm Anglo-Catholics. Quincy: mention Eucharist alongside Gospel as unifying #Anglican

Jeff Walton ‏@jeffreyhwalton
More N. Amer. #GAFCON2013 communique suggestions: change evangelizing West to "areas where Gospel has been obscured." #Anglican

Jeff Walton ‏@jeffreyhwalton
Suggestions for #GAFCON2013 communique heard in North American discussion group: more on sanctity of life, unborn. #Anglican

Jeff Walton ‏@jeffreyhwalton
"Integrity & authority of Gospel is fundamental. Go wrong with them, everything will go wrong in the end." -Archbp Peter Jensen #GAFCON2013

Canon Jack Lumanog ‏@CanonLumanog
Served as secretary of @The_ACNA caucus here at #GAFCON2013. Working out the final communique in working groups organized by Province.

Moses Kimani ‏@SirMosesKimani
Listening to the amazingly good Nairobi Communique of the #GAFCON2013 Conference at All Saints Cathedral. Applause! Applause! Applause!

Rev. Anson Ann ‏@revansonann
John Guernsey+ just read out the draft of the Nairobi Communique. It was very well written and exceeded my expectations. #GAFCON2013


ACNA ‏@The_ACNA
Bishop John Guernsey of @The_ACNA serves as Chairman of Communique Team at #GAFCON2013 https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BXa18BECAAAakgI.jpg:large … #Anglican #Episcopal #GAFCON

Mel Lacy ‏@lacymel
Significant afternoon for all those at #gafcon2013 as we consider the draft Nairobi communique in our provinces pic.twitter.com/jAZKlpTyGX

Heather Strong Moore ‏@StrongHeather
Our task is not to recreate the Jerusalem statement, our task is to put our shoulder to the wheel to move the GFCA forward #GAFCon2013

Canon Jack Lumanog ‏@CanonLumanog
In Nairobi - is it possible to feel like coming home to a place I have never been before? #GAFCON2013

Nigel Fortescue ‏@nigelfortescue
The most important moment of #gafcon2013 has arrived. @ All Saints Cathedral http://instagram.com/p/f42sQuKA6k/

Heather Strong Moore ‏@StrongHeather
Thanks to John Thorpe for a great session on Teaching Others to Teach the Bible #ChildrenAndYouthTrack #GAFCon2013

Heather Strong Moore ‏@StrongHeather
@lacymel Train your leaders, Teach Bible study skills, Disciple them, Be culturally aware, PRAY #GAFCON2013 #ChildrenAndYouthTrack

Heather Strong Moore ‏@StrongHeather
@lacymel Teach the Word, Build Christian worldview, Support parental discipleship, Live out the Word, Teach signif. of Church #GAFCon2013

Heather Strong Moore ‏@StrongHeather
Great session yesterday by @lacymel on discipling vibrant young people who follow Christ #GAFCon2013 #ChildrenAndYouthTrack

David Martin Hanke ‏@dmhanke
I really enjoyed visiting with the delegation from Myanmar this morning. #restorationva #gafcon2013 http://instagram.com/p/f4sa1dFhfk/

Canon Jack Lumanog ‏@CanonLumanog
Canon Jack at a Tweetup over tea during #GAFCON2013 of social media folks from America, Australia and England. http://fb.me/2NFzEdSYZ

Jeff Walton ‏@jeffreyhwalton
Islam changes wrld by power gain, Chrstns change wrld by willingness to give up power -Bishop Nazir-Ali http://bit.ly/18ibbVj #gafcon2013

Canon Jack Lumanog ‏@CanonLumanog
“Christ's cosmic victory erupts in visible expression in the local assembly." Rev. William Taylor #gafcon2013

Nigel Fortescue ‏@nigelfortescue
When headship and submission are on display in marriage, so is the cosmic victory of God in Jesus Christ. #gafcon2013

David Ould ‏@davidould
Marriage mirrors the gospel to the world - Willy Taylor #ephesians5 #gafcon2013

Canon Jack Lumanog ‏@CanonLumanog
"The western church, at best, has been asleep. At worst, has been deceived." Rev. William Taylor #gafcon2013

Nigel Fortescue ‏@nigelfortescue
If you sleep walk into partnership with those who court the world, you'll be eaten alive by a crocodile. #gafcon2013 William Taylor on fire.

Heather Strong Moore ‏@StrongHeather
Rev Taylor thanking our brothers and sisters in the global south for "staying awake" #GAFCon2013 #Eph5 # Blamo

David Ould ‏@davidould
Biblical truth means we cannot be partners with those who deny it and use deceptive words Eph. 5:6-7 Willy Taylor #gafcon2013

Heather Strong Moore ‏@StrongHeather
Submission to one another is part of bringing all things under the lordship of Christ - W Taylor #GAFCon2013 #Eph5

Nigel Fortescue ‏@nigelfortescue
Today we'll get a look at the draft GAFCON II statement. This is a pinnacle moment. Will it give us a direction to go together? #gafcon2013

Heather Strong Moore ‏@StrongHeather
Ain't no worship like African worship! So grateful for the joyful fervour that our brothers and sisters bring to our Communion #GAFCon2013

David Ould ‏@davidould
Picture simply can't do justice to the joyful music and dancing at #gafcon2013 pic.twitter.com/dqaaG58Lz1

David Martin Hanke ‏@dmhanke
Good morning! Afayo! (He is Lord!) #gafcon2013 http://instagram.com/p/f4OFSGFhcA/

Sam Allberry ‏@SamAllberry
Next time someone tells you liturgy = dry, send them to All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi. #gafcon2013

***
Note: there were extremely few tweets from Day 4, so we did not do a roundup of Day 4 tweets. Perhaps there were wifi problems...

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryGlobal South Churches & PrimatesGACON II 2013* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social Networking

0 Comments
Posted October 25, 2013 at 3:40 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It has long been a favourite among publicity-seeking celebrities wanting to post “selfies” online but now the Archbishop of Canterbury has joined the photo sharing site Instagram in his drive to spread the Christian message.

In a first for the Church of England, Justin Welby has joined the app’s 150 million users worldwide with an opening message urging churches and communities to support their local credit union.

His statement came as bishops across England and Scotland prepared to mark International Credit Union Day today.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingReligion & Culture* General InterestPhotos/Photography* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted October 17, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Legendary Pictures LLC, the company behind this summer's monster movie "Pacific Rim" and a coming film adaptation of the hit videogame "Warcraft," makes anyone authorized to read one of its scripts purchase a special iPad app that allows them to view it for a only few hours before the digital document, like a "Mission Impossible" assignment, self-destructs.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingGlobalizationLaw & Legal IssuesMovies & TelevisionScience & Technology* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted October 15, 2013 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Internet of things and the technology ecosystem surrounding it are expected to be a $8.9 trillion market in 2020, according to IDC.

In a nutshell, the Internet of things is the product of sensors, technology and networking all coming together to allow buildings, infrastructure and other resources to swap information. Today, the Internet of things and machine-to-machine data falls under the big data umbrella with projects just beginning.

IDC said the installed base of things connected will be 212 billion by the end of 2020, including 30.1 billion connected autonomous things. Intelligent systems will be installed and collecting data by this point.

Read it all from ZDnet.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingGlobalizationScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted October 4, 2013 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The series... [for example] looks at your commute to and from work:

Surveillance cameras in subway stations and on city buses watch you board and depart.
To automatically identify celebrities and regular customers when they enter a store, some retailers reportedly are using another facial recognition technology originally developed in the U.K. for spotting terrorists and criminals.
Meanwhile, smart cards log when and where you travel using public transportation

Read or listen to it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FirePsychologyScience & TechnologyTravel* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifePolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted October 1, 2013 at 5:46 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It seems not a month goes by without a social media brouhaha involving a high-profile Christian leader.

Such was the case when a prominent pastor tweeted about the recent Oklahoma tornado in a manner that seemed to connect the deadly storm to an act of God’s judgment. In between such controversies, insightful blog posts or “retweetable” phrases also go viral. Social media is creating a new class of religious influencers. If you want to watch the modern Christian conversation unfold, just log onto Twitter or check your Facebook feed. The Christian community’s voice has become a substantial one in the social, digital space.

A new Barna study shows that, in the last two years, there has been a significant leap in the number of pastors and churches engaging social media. More than one in five American pastors (21%) say their churches use Twitter, up from only 14% in 2011. Facebook usage in churches has likewise jumped from just over half (57%) to a full seven in 10. Pastors themselves are also engaged in online communication, with nearly one-quarter (23%) who use Twitter, well over six in 10 (66%) who are on Facebook, and over one in five (22%) who have a personal blog.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted September 26, 2013 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the Christian tradition, we have a certain understanding that loneliness is inevitable and part of the human condition. We're created for complete union with God, but unable to fully consummate that union this side of God's Kingdom. There is an Augustinian element of truth from which we cannot escape no matter how much intimacy we do cultivate. Still, that doesn't seem like a sufficient response for our loneliness predicament. If anything, it's an invitation for Christians to communicate more openly about the challenges of the loneliness we are all bound to experience at various seasons of our lives.

In our age of social media, when new "friends" are a click away on Facebook and Twitter users actively form real-time communities around everything from favorite TV shows to breaking political news, we can easily be led to think that loneliness is an outdated phenomenon. But it is not.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingChildrenGlobalizationMarriage & FamilyPsychologyScience & Technology* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted September 24, 2013 at 11:08 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In jumping, Rebecca [Ann Sedwick] became one of the youngest members of a growing list of children and teenagers apparently driven to suicide, at least in part, after being maligned, threatened and taunted online, mostly through a new collection of texting and photo-sharing cellphone applications. Her suicide raises new questions about the proliferation and popularity of these applications and Web sites among children and the ability of parents to keep up with their children’s online relationships.

For more than a year, Rebecca, pretty and smart, was cyberbullied by a coterie of 15 middle-school children who urged her to kill herself, her mother said. The Polk County sheriff’s office is investigating the role of cyberbullying in the suicide and considering filing charges against the middle-school students who apparently barraged Rebecca with hostile text messages. Florida passed a law this year making it easier to bring felony charges in online bullying cases.

Rebecca was “absolutely terrorized on social media,” Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County said at a news conference this week.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingPsychologySuicideScience & TechnologyTeens / Youth* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted September 14, 2013 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Twitter Inc. said it has confidentially submitted an S-1 form to the Securities and Exchange Commission to begin the process for an initial public offering, a long-awaited move by the microblogging service.

In a tweet on Thursday, the San Francisco-based company said, "We've confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO. This Tweet does not constitute an offer of any securities for sale."

A Twitter spokesman declined to comment.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingGlobalizationScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeStock Market

0 Comments
Posted September 12, 2013 at 5:25 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA) has launched a free cell phone application or 'app' to aid communication between parishes and parishioners in the Province.

The Dean of Christ Church Cathedral in the Polokwane area of South Africa, the Very Revd Luke Pretorius, is also a member of ACSA Media Committee.

"I am excited at what may be a world first from Africa," he told ACNS, "and [also] for how this app will improve the communication between churches and people by using cell phone technology, an essential and already popular tool in Africa.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Southern Africa* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingReligion & CultureScience & Technology* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted September 3, 2013 at 3:45 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There is something indulgent about boredom. It makes me think of posh people in Russian plays complaining they have nothing to do while other people work their arses off in the field. As Schopenhauer insisted, life for the person of means becomes a question of how to dispose of surplus time. Maybe that's why boredom feels like a problem especially associated with August and not least with children on long car journeys.

But according to the Norwegian philosopher Lars Svendsen, author of A Philosophy of Boredom, boredom comes to take on a particular and possibly darker inflection with modernity. Having been bored witless writing his PhD about Kant, Svendsen came to see a connection between his subject and his state of mind. With Kant, God is replaced by the self as the ultimate source of meaning. As traditional structures of meaning are wiped away, boredom comes to be regarded as a very personal sort of failing. And in order to avoid it, various distractions are entertained: travel, drink, drugs, the Xbox, sex, transgressive behaviour – all strategies of avoidance, all hinting at a desperate desire to hold off the acknowledgment of meaninglessness. It is, says Svendsen, a problem characteristic of modernity. Whereas boredom has once bragged about as a mark of nobility, now it is the ultimate in personal failing. Those who are bored are losers.

Perhaps this is why the entertainment industry is more important to us that we are often prepared to admit.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryAdult EducationMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMovies & TelevisionReligion & CultureScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted August 28, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Even if we get to see more, why is the post to be regretted if it is only a record of fun at a party or a cuddle in a bedroom or an enticement? It could be healthy fun.

Society cannot tolerate youth having fun on their own terms and with their own ways of broadcasting their adventures. The purpose of the didactic videos is to kill junior sexual feelings with shame. How deplorable that sexually adventurous young women are being punished by society, and constantly being told that they are ''degrading themselves'' and have no ''self-respect'' by seeking out various sexual expressions.

At a point when girls need autonomy and self-respect, the Commonwealth government promotes shame. Instead of immunising girls against the consequences of viral posts, our educators promulgate fear, disgust and disgrace. We need a program to inoculate us against shame, not cripple us with fear.

Read it all from the SMH.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingScience & TechnologySexualityTeens / YouthYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted August 22, 2013 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Since the days of Facebook’s Honesty Box, social-media websites have been the safe havens where teenagers go to gripe and gossip away from all the nosy adults in their lives. But times are changing: kids are spending more time carefully pruning their Facebook profiles in preparation for the college-admissions game, and they’re adopting a wider variety of social-media platforms to serve more specific functions. So maybe it’s not so far-fetched that LinkedIn, the stodgy social network for professionals, is suddenly making a very deliberate play to woo teenagers.

On Monday the social-networking site announced that it is lowering its minimum registration age from 18 to 14 in the U.S. and several other countries, opening the door for high schoolers to add LinkedIn to their already robust social-media diet of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingTeens / YouthYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted August 21, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Tyler Woolstenhulme might be loath to admit it but sometimes he’s not paying attention in church. He will happily confess that he’s not the only one.

The 31-year-old Mormon has more than once sat in the pew of his Sandy ward and let his mind wander. When that happens, he pulls out his iPhone 4 and sometimes plays his puzzle game, "1to50." Or maybe he texts his friends across the aisle.

"I take the time in church to catch up with people I haven’t contacted in a while," he said. "I text friends or family."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingScience & Technology* Theology

1 Comments
Posted August 20, 2013 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Check it out.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingEducationMediaReligion & CultureScience & Technology

1 Comments
Posted August 19, 2013 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

High-profile pastors have long complained (along with other celebrities) of impersonators on social media. But Rick Warren recently revealed just how widespread the problem is.

Warren announced Tuesday that in the months since his son Matthew's suicide, more than 200 fake Facebook pages have popped up, soliciting funds in Matthew's memory. So far, he has succeeded in shutting down 179 of them, which he said were "making money on my son's death."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaPsychologySuicideReligion & CultureScience & Technology* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

2 Comments
Posted August 13, 2013 at 12:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Recently I was visiting a church in the heart of a retirement community. The pastor got up and was astoundingly relevant. “There are five ways we tell you what’s going on here.” He held up his hand and counted on his fingers: “The bulletin, the sign, the website, our mailer and announcements.” He paused and then joked, “If you still don’t know what’s going on, then I have a hunch you’re just not with it!”

I don’t know if this was the pastor’s typical practice, but as a guest, it was a huge leg up in knowing where to find the information about how to get involved.

Your church may have stellar events, programs and even great communication strategies, but the best laid plans can get derailed by the simple lack of clearly and concisely communicating how you communicate.

- See more at: http://www.churchmarketingsucks.com/2013/06/communicate-how-you-communicate/#sthash.124jzRn3.dpufRead it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMedia

0 Comments
Posted July 25, 2013 at 4:27 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Why should pastors bother with social media?

Meredith Gould: Very short answer: Since social media, in some form is here to stay, church leadership, including but not limited to pastors, need to learn why it’s so powerful for ministry. I wrote The Social Media Gospel to help them learn and understand “why to” embrace social media. Why, pray tell, would any person of faith and goodwill choose to ignore these powerful tools for ministry?

You make the point that the rapid change of social media is one thing that church folks find off-putting. How can churches that don’t like change embrace such change-addicted platforms?

Meredith:....We need to distinguish among types of change before we can talk about what church people are finding so off-putting. Are they really upset about rapidly-changing functionality or is their resistance to cultural and institutional change?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingBooksReligion & Culture

0 Comments
Posted July 20, 2013 at 2:06 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In Canadian eyes, Calgary has not exactly been synonymous with cosmopolitanism.

Located some 200 miles north of Montana, the western city has long been condescended to by eastern elites in metropolitan cities like Toronto and Montreal, who cringed at its cowboy heritage, oil corporations, and conservative politics.

But these days, with Toronto's mayor stumbling through scandal and the now ex-mayor of Montreal facing corruption charges, many in the east look with envy at the wildly popular Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, a Harvard Kennedy School graduate, the first Muslim mayor of a major North American metropolis, and symbol of a city moving from cow-town stereotypes to something more cosmopolitan....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryCanada* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

0 Comments
Posted July 5, 2013 at 12:55 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“She has not just made this just about her,” said Leslie Richmand, a Plainsboro, N.J., counselor and another of [Patty] Hall’s Shaggy Facebook friends. “Patty is talking to all these people like they are in her living room.”

Hall calls the page a dog diary that she realizes has become something more. Fans have sent her a number of gifts, namely dog toys and books. but Hall also has received a collar with a radio transmitter, a wine glass painted with a portrait of Shaggy and a Mother’s Day card.

“She started off as a dog in distress, and now she has become their friend,” Hall said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social Networking* General InterestAnimals* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted July 3, 2013 at 6:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Remember a few years back, when teenagers left MySpace in droves for this new thing called Facebook? Grown-ups soon followed suit (not that they were ever much on MySpace), and joined Facebook by the hundreds of millions – which made it far less cool for their kids. So where on the Web are teens going now, and what can you learn from them?

A recent study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 94% of American teens still have a Facebook account, but they’re using it less, and using it more carefully. More than half have tightened down their privacy settings and regularly delete or edit previous posts.

But even with tightened privacy settings, teens have realized that Facebook is more like a family picnic than the private party they want it to be. They still share photos and use Facebook messaging, but they are increasingly turning to newer social networks to fill the function of traditional status updates. So which sites are they using – and why?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingChildrenMarriage & FamilyTeens / Youth* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spending

2 Comments
Posted June 20, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Against all Vatican expectations, the pope's has gained more than 100,000 followers in six months and continues to grow.

Followers are not exclusively Roman Catholics or Latin scholars, but represent a wide variety of professions and religions from all over the world. Some go so far as to claim that the language of the ancient Romans is perfectly suited to 21st-century social media.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingGlobalizationReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis

0 Comments
Posted June 19, 2013 at 11:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I recently received the following message from a stranger: “So basically, the ‘orthodox Catholic’ game you all play is just that . . . a game?” It was in reference to a Catholic man with whom I am friendly, and like very much. She had apparently read on social media that this man was planning to marry another man.

My friend had never “come out” to me, and—call me old-fashioned, or call me incurious—it had never occurred to me to ask, so the wedding plans were mildly surprising. But reading the email I thought, “Yes, so? What does this woman want me to do? Should I now hate him? Am I supposed to ‘un-friend’ him (that ridiculous term) or even publicly denounce him in order to demonstrate sufficiently ‘orthodox’ Catholic bona fides for her satisfaction? Is that what she wants?”

Well, I couldn’t do that....

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMarriage & FamilyPsychologySexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted June 19, 2013 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The myth of perfectly secure communication is dying.

Since the revelations of widespread intelligence-agency eavesdropping on the digital communications of millions of people in the United States and around the world, governments and technology companies have been under immense pressure to explain exactly how pervasive the monitoring has become. Users of e-mail and social networks provided by the likes of Google Inc., Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. have found themselves asking whether there are any means of keeping their data totally secure.

The short answer, it seems, is that there isn’t. And new revelations suggest that even the BlackBerry, touted by Research In Motion Ltd. as the most secure form of wireless communication in the market, could not clock the prying eyes of government.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingGlobalizationLaw & Legal IssuesScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryPolitics in General* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted June 18, 2013 at 6:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Watch our conversation with Michael Kessler of Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs about perspectives of religious and ethical traditions on the government’s massive collection of electronic data and its vast surveillance effort.

You may find the link here for the video.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingLaw & Legal IssuesScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryEconomyThe U.S. Government* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted June 16, 2013 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I’d suggest three ways to look at this issue through the lens of faith:

Government has a legitimate purpose and authority, but dividing citizens from one another should never be part of it. We should demand safeguards to prevent PRISM and similar programs from being used for repressive purposes. At a minimum, this ought to include full disclosure of the government’s purpose and methods here. (Lest you think this is a hypothetical concern, remember that the FBI has surveilled groups such as the American Friends Service Committee as recently as 2006.)

Surveillance comes about as part of the government's promise to keep us safe and secure. But only God can provide ultimate security—not invulnerability to threat but God's transformative support and presence amid our vulnerability. We follow the one who went to his death rather than depend on armed revolution to accomplish his goals. We should be relentless in questioning the government's claims about what we need to be protected from and how.

Our connections to others make us human.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe U.S. GovernmentPolitics in General* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted June 13, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The leaks by Edward Snowden reveal a vulnerability in U.S. intelligence since 9/11, triggered by a surge of information collected on people around the world and the proliferation of private government contractors to store, sift and manage it.

Mr. Snowden and other private employees with permission to plug directly into National Security Agency systems have unprecedented access to highly sensitive information—the result of years of pressure to break down the walls dividing U.S. intelligence agencies and share information that might expose the next terror plot.

Thousands of workers employed by government contractors sit side by side with federal workers and hold security clearances that provide access to intelligence databases. The result is a system so enmeshed that government and contract workers are often indistinguishable.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingGlobalizationScience & TechnologyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketThe U.S. GovernmentForeign RelationsPolitics in General* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted June 11, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Sammy Rhodes didn’t court Twitter fame. Maybe he flirted with it a little, but he only did it to make other people smile.

As the following grew for his 140-characters-or-fewer jokes posted under the handle @prodigalsam, Rhodes discovered the dark side of fame. Other Twitter comedians began to attack Rhodes for allegedly stealing jokes. As is typical in internet spats, it quickly turned personal and ugly.

“The internet has taught me two things: 1. People are the best. 2. People are the worst,” Rhodes tweeted on May 29.

Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/2013/06/08/2809008/huge-twitter-following-not-always.html#storylink=cpy

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingEducationReligion & CultureYoung Adults* General InterestHumor / Trivia* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted June 11, 2013 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of England has admonished one of its priests for calling the Archbishop of Canterbury a “w****r” on Facebook in a row over gay marriage. The Rev Marcus Ramshaw, who like Justin Welby trained for the priesthood at Cranmer Hall, Durham, also described him as a “massive mistake”.

After the Archbishop spoke against gay marriage in the House of Lords, Mr Ramshaw called for a petition to be set up urging him to resign....

Read it all (subscription required).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted June 7, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It is....no longer possible for a platform as large and influential as Facebook to distance itself from the content uploaded by its users.

This all has real implications, for forms of gender hate elsewhere. For too long, women who object to mainstream and accepted misogyny have been silenced with the mocking argument that they are uptight, overreacting, or need to learn to take a joke. It is an effective form of silencing – by branding derogatory and hateful material “banter”’ or “distasteful humour” because you immediately isolate and alienate the objector as a bitter prude.

But, like any other form of bullying, this line immediately falls flat when challenged. And so many women are now combining their voices to achieve victory in cases like this one that they can no longer be silenced.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingViolenceWomen* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life

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Posted May 30, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The digital age is changing not only the words we use but also their meanings. Have you noticed, for instance, that “Christ follower” is replacing “born again” and “evangelical”? Take a moment to peruse the list of who Rick Warren follows on Twitter:

A handful of individuals describe themselves as “born again.”
A couple dozen use “evangelical.”
Almost 800 use some form of “Christ follower” or “Jesus follower.”

It is not just “follower” that is on the rise. Thanks to Facebook, “friend” is, too. Subtly yet profoundly, these concepts are being transformed in ways that alter how Christianity is understood and lived.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals

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Posted May 9, 2013 at 11:22 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

No fair looking until you guess, then go and read it all.

Update: Since I know people are going to ask, you can find the Archbishop of Canterbury's tweets here.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingGlobalizationReligion & CultureScience & Technology* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

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Posted April 30, 2013 at 5:42 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Security experts at Twitter were fighting a seemingly losing battle yesterday against the Syrian Electronic Army, a shadowy group that sparked panic on financial markets this week by faking a news report about an bomb attack on the White House.

The group, which purports to support the regime in Damascus, hacked the Associated Press news agency’s Twitter account and reported that explosions in the White House had injured President Obama, sending markets into a tailspin, and wiping $136 billion (£89 billion) off the [value of the top 500 U.S. stocks in seconds]....

Read it all (requires subscription) and there is a lot more there from the WSJ.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyStock Market* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastSyria

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Posted April 26, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Imagine a world with machines that wash, press and dress you on the way to work and vacations via hologram visits to exotic beaches. In his new book, The New Digital Age, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt does just that — but it's no gee-whiz Jetsons fantasy.

Schmidt partners up with Jared Cohen, a foreign policy counterterrorist specialist poached from the State Department now working for Google Ideas. Together they forecast a raft of new innovations and corresponding threats that will arise for dictatorships, techno revolutionaries, terrorists and you.

Cohen and Schmidt chatted with NPR's Audie Cornish about negotiating the shifting balance between privacy and security in a rapidly changing technological landscape.

Read or listen to it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingBooksLaw & Legal IssuesPsychologyScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted April 22, 2013 at 6:11 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The FBI today released photos and video of two suspects in the deadly Boston Marathon terror bombings case, appealing to the public to help law enforcement officials find them.

“Somebody out there knows these individuals,” said Richard DesLauriers, special agent in charge of the Boston FBI office. He said the two men are considered “armed and dangerous.”

DesLauriers described the two men as Suspect No. 1 and Suspect No. 2. Suspect No. 1 was wearing a dark hat. Suspect No. 2 was wearing a white hat.

DesLauriers said Suspect No. 2 was observed planting a bomb, leaving it in place shortly before it went off.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireScience & TechnologyUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryEconomyThe U.S. GovernmentTerrorism

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Posted April 18, 2013 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In 2011, a researcher for Twitter discovered that bible verses, inspirational messages, and other tweets from religious leaders were incredibly popular among Twitter users. That discovery led the company to begin actively working with members of religious communities. Claire Diaz-Ortiz, who leads social innovation at Twitter and who spent many years abroad working with nonprofits, travels the world helping religious leaders get started on Twitter and offering advice on how to use the technology more effectively. In 2012, she worked with the Vatican to create the “@Pontifex” Twitter account for Pope Benedict XVI. We spoke with Diaz-Ortiz as she met with former White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships executive director Joshua Dubois and National Community Church lead pastor Mark Batterson in Washington, DC about Twitter’s work with religious leaders, the popularity of religious tweets, her experience working with the Vatican, and her advice on the best ways to use Twitter.

Watch it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingReligion & Culture

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Posted April 14, 2013 at 12:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Almost a month on from the election of the first Latin American pontiff, the head of the Vatican’s Council for Social Communications says Pope Francis is pioneering new ways of sharing the faith with people in and outside the Christian Church.

Archbishop Claudio Celli travelled to Santiago del Chile at the weekend for a conference on the challenges and opportunities facing the Church in Latin America in our era of rapidly developing digital technologies. The conference, which opens on Monday at the Catholic University of Chile, brings together some 400 communications specialists from across the continent.

At the heart of the discussion, Archbishop Celli says, lies not just the question of how to use the new technologies, but rather of how to bring the Word of Christ to men and women living in an increasingly digitalized world. The new Pope, he says, is already showing us an innovative approach to communicating that Gospel message…

Read and listen to it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingGlobalizationMediaReligion & CultureScience & Technology* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

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Posted April 8, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

1 Kings 18:21 describes a crucial moment of decision. It's the final showdown between the God of Israel and a false god called Baal. Elijah calls God's people to choose once and for all between the living God who delivered them, and this false god who has captured their affections: "'How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.' But the people said nothing."

They seem unable, or unwilling, to make a choice. They want to hedge their bets, sit on the fence, and keep their options open. How different are we Christians in the 21st century? Would you prefer to make an ironclad, no-turning-back choice, or one you could back out of if need be? Do you ever find that you're afraid to commit? Do you reply to party invitations with a "maybe" rather than a "yes" or "no"? Do you like to keep your smartphone switched on at all times, even in meetings, so that you are never fully present at any given moment? Will you focus on the person you're talking to after a church service, or will you look over her shoulder for a better conversation partner?

If so, you may be worshiping the god of open options.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaMovies & TelevisionPsychologyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spending* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 7, 2013 at 11:04 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

How has constant connection and endless distraction changed the church's task? How are we to advance our ministries without compounding the problem? How do we shepherd overwhelmed sheep?

Possibly the biggest transition since the onslaught of media-saturated culture is that the church's trajectory is being shaped less by where church leaders are trying to direct it and more by the responses of their followers. A leader's course matters less when those being led won't or can't follow due to an avalanche of distraction, competing messages, and overly stressed lives.

Most of the training we receive focuses on the ways of a leader. Allow me to suggest a more pertinent question: How do digital-age believers follow?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingPsychologyReligion & CultureScience & Technology* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted February 7, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Why is Facebook such a repeatedly bad actor in its relationship to its users, constantly testing and probing for ways to quietly or secretly breach the privacy constraints that most of its users expect and demand, strategems to invade their carefully maintained social networks? Because it has to. That’s Facebook’s version of the Red Queen’s race, its bargain with investment capital. Facebook will keep coming back and back again with various schemes and interface trickery because if it stops, it will be the LiveJournal or BBS of 2020, a trivia answer and nostalgic memory.

That is not the inevitable fate of all social media. It is a distinctive consequence of the intersection of massive slops of surplus investment capital looking desperately for somewhere to come to rest; the character of Facebook’s niche in the ecology of social media; and the path-dependent evolution of Facebook’s interface.

Analysts and observers who are content with cliches characterize Facebook as sitting on a treasure trove of potentially valuable data about its users, which is true enough. The cliched view is that what’s valuable about that data is names associated with locations associated with jobs associated with social networks, in a very granular way. That’s not it.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life

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Posted February 2, 2013 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The arrival of the Pope on Twitter has generated all types of reactions. The fact that the Pope has become a user of the second largest social network on the Internet has become the subject of much discussion. Everyone has an opinion about what this development means. Some interpret it as a desire to become more "modern," to bring the Vatican "up to date," and in doing so, improve the Pope's image and, by extension, that of the Church. This is an easy interpretation, albeit rather superficial, and one that is quite far from grasping the depth and scope of this initiative.

Several of the messages that the Holy Father has delivered for the most recent World Communications Days have provided the keys for more substantial interpretation. In these one can see how the Church has admirably understood that fact that the Internet is not only an instrument for communication, but rather, it is above all an area, a place where people meet and develop relationships.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingGlobalizationScience & Technology* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI* TheologyAnthropology

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Posted January 31, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

How closely does your Facebook profile resemble your actual life? If we only knew you from a Twitter feed, would you think we really understood your hopes and dreams, your joys and fears? Facebook may ask what you're feeling, but the rest of us don't really care. We can't even keep up with the drama in our families, among our closest friends. How can we handle the momentary peaks and valleys of hundreds, even thousands of friends? So we outline an online persona in black and white and only color in the parts we feel safe to expose. You only know I'm sick if I can find a witty way to tell you. You only find out I'm in despair if I can link the encouraging Bible verse God tossed me as a life raft.

You can fool anyone online for a while. Are you really surprised Te'o fell for the ruse? It's a small jump from crafting your online profile to inventing an entirely fake persona. Imagine the myth you could perpetuate when you're not even bound by the confines of all three dimensions.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMarriage & FamilyPsychologyScience & Technology* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 30, 2013 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social Networking* South Carolina* Theology

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Posted January 26, 2013 at 2:40 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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