technical difficulties

So, on my last post, some people were telling me that they can’t get to my site:

http://curtis.klope.org

So, can I get a little help?  Let me know if you’re able to get to this link:

http://www.klope.org-a.googlepages.com/curtisklope

That is the direct link to the site, and http://curtis.klope.org merely redirects to it.

let me know if that longer link works…  Thanks for your help!!!

Email Woes

I’ve talked about him before, but this post is further confirmation that Merlin Mann is a genius.  He weighs in on some recent New York Times articles about (lack of) Productivity for the average white collar office worker in the US, he made some amazingly helpful comments towards the end of the post.

I would HIGHLY suggest heading over there and reading the whole thing, but here are some of his excellent comments in case you need some cold hard facts for why you should go read it (emphasis mine):

I think it’s important to clarify something here: there’s nothing fundamentally wrong or irreparable about email as a tool. Given my position on how email gets (ab)used, you could be forgiven for thinking I want everyone to write each other letters once a year and ride cows to work. No. Not at all.

My point has always been that, as with any tool, email can be used for good or ill depending on the problems you’ve decided it can solve. One trouble is that our use and widespread adoption of email hasn’t brought with it an equally widely-adopted understanding about how to use it, what content it’s appropriate for, and what expectations we accept regarding when it’s allowed to take us away from everything in our life that’s not email. There are very few shared rules of the road right now. And that’s making life hard for a lot of people.

I’m thrilled to hear that these ideas are bubbling up and getting the attention they deserve; email pain is usually a quiet, lonely, and shameful one, where people’s work and home life suffer from the silent understanding that “too much is never enough” — that trying to tamp down this always-on hysteria is a sign of weakness or sloth. That’s ironic, given the biggest reason we reason use email so much: it’s easy.

There’s no cashier, editor, or therapist through which your message must pass. You set your own rules for what’s appropriate to send, ask, or demand. You decide what it means when someone reacts (or doesn’t react) in a given manner or time frame. Email is still the Wild West, and companies are paying billions of dollars a year to supply the six-shooters and Stetsons. Yeehaw.

Do you feel like email, and other forms of online communication for that matter (chat, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) are a net positive for you, or a net negative?  Have you ever actually contemplated what the negatives are in (over?) using these communication tools?  And have you ever considered that they are just that: TOOLS to help us communicate and relate to people.  They are not the point in and of themselves.

A hammer’s for banging nails, and building something you want/need.  If we’re banging a hammer around all the time just because we have it “in our tool box”, it’s kind of missing the point, no?

“Fake” List of Global Warming Skeptic Scientists

yikes…

Curious about the Heartland Institute’s list of “500 Prominent Scientists” who deny global warming, Kevin decided to contact some of the folks on the list. He put together a list of 150 email addresses…simply the addresses he found it most easy to acquire. After only 24 hours, he’d received 45 emails from angry scientists saying that they, in no way, denied anthropogenic global warming.

Read the whole thing here, including some very angry quotes from those 45 emails, like this:

“I am horrified to find my name on such a list. I have spent the last 20 years arguing the opposite.”

(HT:EcoGeek -> DeSmogBlog)

Jill Bolte Taylor: My stroke of Insight

Found this video over at Doug Pagitt‘s blog. It’s a TED Talk by a “Neuroanatomist” named Jill Bolte Taylor, in which she recounts her experience of a having a stroke, from the standpoint of a brain scientist. She was able to remember the entire process, and in the end, discovered that there is much more to life than there seems to be.

While she doesn’t come to any specific revelation regarding Jesus, or even the Judeo-Christian God, I valued hearing about her spiritual experience, especially in light of her being a Scientist.

Scientists aren’t supposed to talk about things like Nirvana, and visions of heaven-like places…  are they?  😉

Jill Bolte Taylor: My stroke of Insight

(HT: Doug Pagitt)

On the topic of Global Warming/Climate Change…

I’m having a pretty heated discussion over at the Catalyst Blog concerning Global Warming/Climate Change. I wanted to carry on that discussion over here as well, and see if there is anyone on here that wanted to chime in.

In my understanding of the Bible, God has appointed humans as the caretakers of His “garden”, so I think this is an important issue to sift through, provided we can keep it civil. 😉

Drop a comment here, or over at the original post.

“52 Nights Unplugged”

It might be completely ridiculous that I’m blogging about a topic like this… but on the other hand, it makes it very clear that I need something like this. Maybe you do too?

“Writer and self-described internet addict Ariel Meadow Stallings wants to be “more present in the present,” and for her that means reducing the amount of time she spends in front of the computer/TV/phone screen. To do just that, she’s started a new, year-long project called 52 Nights Unplugged. The rule is simple: once a week, for one night, she doesn’t do anything involving a screen.”

I think that I need this… Except that I might adapt it and combine it with the Sabbath concept, and rather than just take a night off, I might try it for an entire day on the weekend. What would it be like to not watch any TV or use a computer for an entire day… hmmm.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

(HT: LifeHacker -> Electrolicious)

Plastic and its toll on the environment

Not much that I can say about this article except “wow” and “God save us”…

Plastic Ocean: Our oceans are turning into plastic…are we?

NOTE: This is a pretty long one, but I thought it was well worth the read if you’ve got some time. Here are a few choice quotes to whet your appetite.

Thanks to people like Moore and McDonough, and media hits such as Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, awareness of just how hard we’ve bitch-slapped the planet is skyrocketing. After all, unless we’re planning to colonize Mars soon, this is where we live, and none of us would choose to live in a toxic wasteland or to spend our days getting pumped full of drugs to deal with our haywire endocrine systems and runaway cancer.

None of plastic’s problems can be fixed overnight, but the more we learn, the more likely that, eventually, wisdom will trump convenience and cheap disposability…

(HT: Tim emailed me the link)

new page: Guestbook

NOTE: I’m completely stealing this idea from Matt (thanks for the great idea!).

I’ve created a new page, called “Guestbook”, which you should see as a new tab at the top of the page. I figured that it would be a cool place to list people who are regular readers/commenters on this site.

Why?

Honestly… because I’ve seen some other blogs do it, and it seemed like a cool idea. 🙂 I know, that’s probably a lame reason to do something… I can hear you saying in your head right now, “If your friends jumped off a cliff…” Oh well. I promise, I won’t jump off a cliff.

So, if anyone out there feels like being listed in my Guestbook, leave a comment here with your name and site address, and I’ll post it there.

Technological innovation = amputation?

From the article Virtual Virtue and Real Presence – Brian McLaren at LeadershipJournal.net

“Every technological innovation, McLuhan would say, is an amputation. For example, with the invention of the wheel or lever or chain saw, we use our muscles less. With the invention of the calculator, our mental computational skills grow rusty. While microphones help us whisper to thousands, they also make it less necessary for us to learn enunciation and vocal projection. And spell-checkers … make it EZ for us never to lern the lie of the grammaratical land”

“I recently heard someone say that preaching is going the way of the Eucharist: we’re moving from “real presence” to “virtual presence.” The preacher seen via projection or download is “with us,” but only in an abstract sense.”

Projection is a fascinating word, especially when contrasted with incarnation. I imagine the first chapter of the fourth gospel reading, “the Word was projected into our world to be observed among us,” and I wonder what difference it would have made.”

“That loss of “real presence” is bad for the church, no doubt. But I can’t help but think it’s also bad for us as pastors and leaders too. Because if our ministry is only virtual, it may be that our virtue is virtual as well.

When we can’t get hurt, when we can’t sacrifice, when we can’t share the pain of people in their actual presence and in “real time,” something in us may be getting amputated. Paul spoke of “glorying” in his afflictions for the sake of those he served.

That’s good for us to remember if we start envying the “virtual pastors.”‘