Ferguson Links

Lighter stuff for those who get emotional/agitated reading on race and violence (whichever side you are on)

How Twitter and Facebook are different for sharing/following the Ferguson situation

How younger and older blacks feel differently about Civil Rights and Civil Disobedience

Coverage of the Coverage from a faith perspective

The following articles are by Christians talking about race, poverty, violence etc. in America (proceed at your own risk, send all complaints to original authors)

Silence by white Christian America

WARNING! Black American Christians may have a different POV than you are used to. Kristena Cleveland: “The Cross and the Molotav Cocktail” (ALSO: graphic images of lynching/hanging)

Don’t Ignore It by Eugene Cho

and lastly, if you only read one argument that may make you angry, this one is calm and rational and provides good suggestions for action: “Speaking of Michael Brown




The Digital Invasion

I heard a great lecture by the authors of a book entitled, The Digital Invasion last week. They also have a website www.thedigitalinvasion.com

The authors are a father/daughter team.  Dr. Archibald Hart is a clinical psychologist and has been at Fuller Seminary in CA for 40 years and written alot of good books.  Sylvia Hart Frejd is connected to Liberty and has a D.Min. after a Masters in counseling, and focuses on spiritual formation.

If you work with young people or just want to be aware of the possible problems of internet addiction, or just have kids, I think this book will be a great resource based on the lecture I heard.  I don’t have the book yet but it is high on my list.

Here are some things to pique your interest:

  • The problem with the internet is obviously the addictive nature, the main consequences result from sleep deprivation
  • Internet addiction changes the brain:  you lose grey matter and gain white matter, and that’s bad for you.
  • we are creating new psycho-pathologies (new mental diseases, the brain is actually changed by behavior)
  • Silicon Valley CEOs send their kids to Waldorf Schools, one aspect is lack of technology (Google it)
  • Schools in South Korea don’t allow kids to use computers for the first two years of education
  • The digital world rewires the brain for speed, and multitasking is less efficient/productive.
  • They quote neurological studies about the impact, “rewiring” is an accurate description of what happens
  • Some children born today will learn more from a machine than a mother/father
  • Whybrow calles the internet, “electric cocaine”
  • Internet is lowering EQ, IQ and capability for empathy
  • Internet is comparable to food addiction, because it’s something we can’t fully avoid, but must set boundaries
  • Frejd uses the term “Godspace”, and says we must protect it
  • Internet overuse/addiction does the opposite to our brains as what silence/solitude does.  Contemplative disciplines can help the pre-frontal cortex part of brain heal itself. She cited Curt Thompson.
  • “We have lots of connections but we need conversations.  With God, with self, with others.”
  • The presenters were mildly alarmist, but did recognize the good of internet.  Their big concern is for the next couple of generations.
  • Frejd has a Family Digital Use Contract to limit use, such as no smartphones/tablets at dinner table, boundaries for parents and children

Other resources

  • Nicholas Carr at Harvard, wrote “the Shallows”
  • Mark Baurlein at Emory
  • Dr. Kimberly Young in PA, has opened inpatient internet addiction centers
  • Dr. Sherry Terkle at MIT, “we are all cyborgs” she works in robotics and wrote, “Alone-Together”
  • The Center for Internet and Technology Addiction
  • Her son has dealt with gaming addiction, and she mentioned “The Demise of Guys” by Zimbardo

Of course, this is a remake of an 80s film, but it’s very relevant to our lives now:

Silence Retreat-Day 1

I arrived safely yesterday afternoon.  It’s a lovely area.  I was a little surprised by the wetbar in the mini-fridge but I have lots to learn about Ignatian Spirituality.

The free copy of Pope Illustrated was waiting on my bed.  Already lists the top 5 likely replacements.  Cool.

I wonder what happened on the Bachelor last night.  I wonder how Tierra and her eyebrows are doing.  Will be praying for Sean.

(First of all, these posts are jokes.  Secondly, they were scheduled before I left town, so I cannot reply or approve comments.  If your sense of humor can’t handle weird stuff, feel free to stay away this week.)

Reality TV Outreach Ministry (RTVOM)

I think we really need a 501(c)3 Christian organization dedicated to reaching out to these poor people on Reality TV shows.

I am not volunteering.  I would feel much more comfortable serving sex offenders, ex-offenders and the homeless.

Who are these people?

In essence, I don’t believe they are any more broken and messed up than the rest of us, but what sets them apart, is their desire to expose their “messed-up-ness” on television.  I might be willing to open up to close friends and Christians, but feel no need to let my freak flag fly on a major network.  And then you have the sad cases of the oblivious and “self-awareness challenged” that fill up American Idol and many of these shows.

There are many ways to date and meet people (church, online, etc.) without going on national TV to drink wine and ride in helicopters and have your heart break in a limo.  I really believe future generations will look back at the Bachelor as we look back at the work of Dr. Kinsey and Dr. Mengele.  Super Dates and Fantasy Suites are pretty far from reality.

I tweeted about Bachelor recently and had America’s favorite sociopath, Bentley, follow me.  That was scary.  But I tweeted him back to ask, “so, I suppose ur gonna follow me a couple of weeks and be super nice before blocking me?” (if you didn’t see the show, you won’t get it)

I took my kids to an eating establishment that caters to kids recently and while in the playroom, a guy hit a telephone outside.  I called 911 to make sure the police knew, but didn’t feel the need to go outside and stare as many did.  Some helped.  Some just took pictures.  I may have tweeted, I can’t remember. Oh, I did take a picture of the car and pole as I drove away, but not of the guy (who seemed okay).

Reality TV is train-wreck TV for the most part (with a few positive exceptions such as weight loss and building houses for families in need).  Sometimes I force myself not to look.  You know, you can pray without seeing everything that happened.

Rubbernecking often leads to more accidents.  I wonder what type of accidents staring at Reality TV causes.