Archive for the 'Religion' Category

Blogging as Religion?

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

Tara’s going off on a crazy rant about blogosphere as religion.

It may be crazy, Starbucks-cup philosophizing, but I think there’s some interesting thoughts threaded through there.

First of all, it seems that technology has a way of polarizing people the same way that religions do. I’m not sure exactly why, but I have a few ideas that I’ve been thinking about, mostly inspired by reading The Psychology of the Internet.

the psychology of the internet

I’ve been meaning to talk about the book, but I just haven’t the time to get my thoughts organized and written out. Needless to say, I highly recommend reading the book, as it will provide some significant insights for people who work on the Internet.

Back to Tara’s post, though. She says:

The blogosphere is our day to day – where we publish our voices and theorize. Our blogs are our ‘pulpits’, our posts are our ‘sermons’. But here’s the clincher, our ‘congregation’ – if you will – or those who read our blogs are also usually bloggers. They have their own pulpits and sermons and congregations (sometimes we are both the congregation and the ‘preacher’). Totally decentralized religion.

The blogosphere has beliefs…many of them. Niches of beliefs. We disagree strongly and often.

I would venture to say that the blogosphere’s biggest value is disagreement. At least, it seems, that this is what bloggers spend the most time doing and reading. Seriously, “me too” and “I agree with so-and-so” posts aren’t that interesting to read. So, the most interesting reading ends up being disagreement (and I think many bloggers know on some level that disagreement gets you attention).

Indeed, its hard to be a moderate in the blogosphere. In this vein, The Psychology of the Internet discusses a phenomenon from social psychology called the risky shift in which groups tend to polarize their members. Intuitively, we’d expect a group to balance each other out, but people with relatively moderate viewpoints tend to assume that their groupmates hold more extreme views, and to alter their own views in compensation [source].

The risky shift can happen in fairly small groups and I’d expect that the size of the blogosphere only amplifies the effect.

contemporary christian porn

Monday, April 4th, 2005

Brandon has just compared porn to something interesting. I’m not going to say what it is he compared it to, but I’m sure you can figure it out.

Bison Hill

Thursday, March 31st, 2005

I spent four years of my life in Shawnee, Oklahoma at Oklahoma Baptist Univeristy. I enjoyed my time there and learned a lot. In many ways, it has made me who I am. Though I’m not particularly religious anymore, I still really like OBU and think it is a good school.

Well, I thought that until not long ago, when a friend of mine was fired from OBU.

I worked in the PR office at OBU my senior year under Zack Zinkaid, who was the PR director. Last week, he wrote a letter to the local paper in Shawnee criticizing the decision of a local church to move out of a poor neighborhood and build a $10M expanded church complex.

The article had nothing to do with OBU, yet Zack got fired for harming OBU’s image.

I can’t say how bad a move this has been for OBU, so many people are upset about it:

Then there’s the Google-bombers:

JIm Wallis on The Daily Show

Friday, January 21st, 2005

I haven’t watched it yet, but I’ve been hearing alot about Jim Wallis’ appearance on The Daily Show.

Oh, and by the way, you can download the show here.

[UPDATE: link removed]

P-I Focus: Who are those Christians?

Monday, January 17th, 2005

P-I Focus: Who are those Christians?:

For some today, all Christians are closed-minded religious bigots whose politics are somewhere to the right of the Terminator. For others, Christians can be explained in terms of two-party….