Damage & Too Much and Too Little

Damage by Wendell Berry


I have a steep wooded hillside that I wanted to be able to pasture occasionally, but it had no water supply.

About halfway to the top of the slop there is a narrow bench, on which I thought I could make a small pond. I hired a man with a bulldozer to dig one. He cleared away trees and then formed the pond, cutting into the hill on the upper side, piling the loosened dirt into a curving earthwork on the lower.

The pond appeared to be a success. Before the bulldozer quit work, water had already begun to seep in. Soon there was enough to support a few head of stock. To heal the exposed ground, i fertilized it and sowed it with grass and clover.

We had an extremely wet fall and winter, with the usual freezing and thawing. The ground grew heavy with water, and soft. The earthwork slumped; a large slice of the woods floor on the upper side slipped down into the pond.

The trouble was a familiar one: too much power, too little knowledge. The fault was mine. Continue reading Damage & Too Much and Too Little

Creatures are not Machines

Wendell Berry, in an essay within his book Life is a Miracle (53ff), writes about the persistent problem of some analogizing humans with machines. You don’t have to look far for examples or remarks about the human mind being like a computer chip, or people being talked about as complex machines. Just watch a recent Droid commercial and you get the point. Berry points out that this is a serious problem, not because analogies are somehow bad to make, but that analogies have certain limits which need to be respected. In this case, the analogy seems to get carries away to the point of actually becoming an identification with, rather than an explanatory metaphor. Continue reading Creatures are not Machines

Rhett Smith does a great job of keeping tabs on technology and new media and how it’s used in ministry. The other day he turned people’s attention to Church TechCamp, a gathering of people interested in using these forms within the church. They are meeting at Fuller tomorrow (Friday September 26 at the Catylyst). Here’s Rhett’s summary of the camp:

If you can make it to Pasadena, CA this Friday, then you need to so that you can attend Church Tech Camp. It’s the first in what I think will be a growing group of church leaders who are on the innovative edge of integrating technology and ministry, especially as it relates to social media, web 2.0 tools. If you can’t make it, then watch the live stream of the get together. Not only is the technology and its use in ministry innovative, but the organization of the camp itself is on the leading edge. Check it out and you will see.

» Technology and the Future of the Church

Check out the website here for more information, registration (it’s free) and links to the live website. I am going to try and make it to some of the meeting, maybe I’ll see you there?

Tips for Using Delicious In (Doctoral) Research

delicious stickers

del.icio.us is one of my most daily visited sites. Recently, I read a great post on the delicious blog about librarians and teachers using delicious more and more in their schools. This is an idea I think is fabulous and so I thought I might spell out a few ways I go about using this social bookmarking site for my doctoral research. I’ve been using delicious for at least a couple years now and have more than 3,300 websites bookmarked on my delicious page and a ridiculous amount of tags to go along with all those sites ((Actually, I’ve slowly begun to delete and rename tags but it is an extremely tedious process, read: almost a complete waste of time. Unfortunately, delicious, up to this point, only allows its users to edit tags one by one, there is no batch edit feature; nor is there, so far as I know, any 3 party app setup to help maintain tags, just create them.)). I use it for my blogging, I use it to send articles to friends, and most importantly I use it for my current research. I now find it indispensable in my daily schoolwork routine.

Continue reading Tips for Using Delicious In (Doctoral) Research

Why Apple's Safari Is Still a Smart Option

I like to find out what browsers people like to use and why they like them so I thought I’d take a moment to make a case for why I think using Safari is still a smart option and not just for the Mac fan boys/girls. I also offer some tips you may not be aware of. (Parts of this was first posted on Paul’s blog a few days ago).

I am currently using Safari Beta 3 and I like the way it’s working. Obviously a lot of which browser you use comes down to preference and what job you have to get done. For me I do a lot of research, reading and blogging on the web, and Safari works great for both of these. While I know Firefox has a million times more developers and plugins I wanted to point out some of the invaluable options Safari has and ones I’ve come to depend on.

Continue reading Why Apple's Safari Is Still a Smart Option

Dress Down Friday – Tetris-Like Quinn Gets Updated

Quinn-1 One of my absolute favorite mac games, Quinn, has been updated into a really nice sleek new version that is universal binary and has a number of great new features. This freeware game is worth downloading and checking out. We all need a break from time to time! Continue reading Dress Down Friday – Tetris-Like Quinn Gets Updated