Hitchcock said a good story was life with all the boring parts taken out.
HT: Jim Hamilton
Hitchcock said a good story was life with all the boring parts taken out.
HT: Jim Hamilton
Nadus Films vision is “to make films that make a difference.” The films wake people up to the injustices of this world and give them an opportunity to impact the communities who make the films possible.
Coury Deeb is the founder/director of Nadus Films who explains in the video below the founding of Nadus Films.
BBoy For Life is the story of a young break-dancing group in Guatemala who use dancing as a way to stay out of the violence of the gang life. Not only is the film well made, but it is clear that by the making of it Nadus Films is both raising awareness and directly helping the people in the film.
The movie has had high praises from film festivals. Here is the trailer.
I would encourage you to support young Christian filmmakers like this who are seeking to make a difference.
I love music videos like this. It is fun to see people get energized about what they are producing.
Way to go Eric Wilson (guy in the blazer), friend from college, and my brother-in-law’s brother.
We have four kids that range in age from 8 years old to 14 years old. Between the 6 of us, we have a dozen different devices connected to the web in our home. For years we have used software filters or accountability software to screen out porn. When we recently learned about a new device that promises to keep Internet Porn out of our house, we were excited to give it a try. The device is a router manufactured by Pandora’s Hope. The company promises that it’s router is easy to set up, works on computers and mobile devices, stops pornography at the “Gateway”, and causes no noticeable loss of browser speed. Today, I plugged in my new Pandora’s Hope Router for the first time. Here is my review:
HT: Justin Taylor
Rosen expalins that Morozov is arguing against the technologist experts who claim they can make everything better.
Morozov…is an enthusiastic skeptic of self-appointed experts who claim to be able to mold human nature. He indicts our contemporary technologists for their “quest to fit us all into a digital straitjacket by promoting efficiency, transparency, certitude, and perfection — and, by extension, eliminating their evil twins of friction, opacity, ambiguity, and imperfection.”
Morozov’s chief target is an ideology he calls “solutionism,” a term he borrows from architecture and urban planning. It “has come to refer to an unhealthy preoccupation with sexy, monumental, and narrow-minded solutions — the kind of stuff that wows audiences at TED Conferences — to problems that are extremely complex, fluid, and contentious,” he writes. Solutionists seek a technological fix to a problem without ever asking if the thing they are seeking to fix even is a problem. And they believe that the information and transparency our technologies make available to us will inevitably make us all freer and happier, a notion as misguided as its historical antecedent, the Enlightenment belief that knowledge is always liberating.
Rosen has a number of critiques of Morozov. One being that he only diagnoses the problem rather than offering a better solution to them. Another is that he is overzealous at times, applying labels that may not in reality fit.
Rosen has her critiques of the book but says:
Morozov’s argument is ultimately most persuasive when he appeals to history, urging readers to see the technologies we use today as part of a much longer story of man’s efforts to alter his environment — a story of brilliant successes and spectacular failures. Among the beliefs of Internet-centrists is “the firm conviction that we are living through unique, revolutionary times, in which the previous truths no longer hold, everything is undergoing profound change, and the need to ‘fix things’ runs as high as ever.” What Morozov does so well is to tell us that we aren’t that special; in fact, we are just as blind to our limitations as previous eras were to theirs — which opens the door for him to argue for ways of thinking about technology that are more “fruitful” and “humanistic.” This is why we have to engage directly and clearly with specific technologies if we are to criticize them properly. It is also why we are not wrong to be concerned when a company with Google’s reach and influence hires the transhumanist cheerleader Ray Kurzweil as its Director of Engineering, and renames its Search Quality Team to its Knowledge Team.
Update: Here is the link to Goodacre’s article: markgoodacre.org/Markcrucif.pdf
Mark Goodacre has proposed a view of the passion narratives (and the Gospels more generally) which he calls “history scripturalized.”
This is a mediating position in between John Dominic Crossan and Raymond Brown who propose “prophecy historicized” and “history remembered” respectively.
Crossan’s view of “prophecy historicized” means that Jesus did not climb the Mount of Olives and pray for deliverance. Someone, in order to make a theological point, fabricated this story by borrowing from 2 Sam 15. The details in the passion narrative are myth in which prophecy is turned into a story.
Raymond Brown on the other hand argues that the passion narratives are simply “history remembered.” As Crossan says “Ray Brown is 80 percent in the direction of history remembered. I’m 80 percent in the opposite direction.”
But Goodacre has argued that these are not mutually exclusive categories. The truth is that “traditions generated scriptural reflection, which in turn influenced the way the traditions were recast.” Therefore the memories were written up in language of the Jewish Bible.
Allison notes that to biblicize is not necessarily to invent. He gives the example of Eusebius who recounts Constantine’s victory over Maxentius where he casts the later in the role of Pharaoh and the former in the role of Moses. This does not mean that the battle did not occur.
Similarly Allison notes that in John Bunyan’s own account of his conversion he drew heavily on the New Testament’s accounts of Paul which again does not mean that his account is false.
A memory can be told in many different ways and many different languages, including the language of the Jewish Scriptures.
These notes are largely taken from Dale Allison’s Constructing Jesus, p. 388-9.
I have never considered the rules of conversation. But after reading these I thought they were good things to remember.
I am copying the entire article below which was written by Robbie Vorhaus and is titled “Preventing Glossophobia With Better Conversation.”
Glossophobia, the fear of public speaking.
Most think the fear of public speaking only refers to speeches and presentations; yet one of the most common fears among adults is engaging in meaningful conversation with strangers.
I hear it all the time, “What do I say?”
I shouldn’t be surprised anymore, yet I could be walking the halls of Congress, on a Hollywood sound stage, standing to the side of a bustling Parisian restaurant kitchen, or just walking along Sag Harbor’s Main Street, and someone will pull me aside pleading, “I’ve got this event/party/meeting/conference/board meeting/road show/presentation coming up and they expect me to talk to all these people and sound interesting; I just don’t know what to say!”
Truth is, it’s easy talking to friends about ourselves, but engaging in a meaningful conversation with someone unfamiliar can be terrifying, and you are not alone.
There’s an art to becoming a good conversationalist, and if you practice the following rules and tips, you will never suffer from glossophobia again.
Immediately find a common interest based on current events, food, geography, work, or family based on something you experienced or observed over the last 24 hours.
“I see it’s raining again in the south. How has this winter treated you?”
“My son, Connor, was telling me about Carmelo Anthony joining the New York Knicks. What sports do you follow?”
“A friend just sent me a newspaper article on the best doughnut shops in Boston. Where is your favorite breakfast place?”
“My teenage daughter, Molly, loves Justin Bieber and says his fame is explosive. What do you think is the secret for young people getting famous so fast?”
“My client called me from London this morning and said royal wedding souvenirs are flying off the shelves. Why do you think people are so interested in the royals?”
Open ended questions require an explanation, closed ended questions require a “yes” or “no” answer.
CE: “Did you like the play?”
OE: “What part of the play was your favorite? Who was your favorite actor?”
CE: “Do you like your job?”
OE: “What are the two best things about your job? What did you want to be growing up?”
CE: “Did you like the sermon?”
OE: “I was really moved by today’s sermon. Do you have a favorite sermon and how did this compare?”
Matt Murray, the deputy managing editor of The Wall Street Journal told me, “One thing that sometimes works is to ask surprising, even semi-personal questions that could be thought-provoking for the other person, you know, like after asking about what you do for a living, ask do you like it? What do you like most about it? What’s the hardest part of it?
It doesn’t always work but sometimes people respond thoughtfully and actually appreciate a personal interest, and engage beyond workplace banalities.”
Remember these simple storytelling basics:
Knowing this, when someone starts telling you their story, ask them questions related to classic storytelling, such as:
“That sounds like quite a journey, how did it all start?”
“I understand you came back to the States after five years. How were you changed?”
“What was the biggest obstacle you faced when you were launching your brand?”
“What gave you the inspiration to develop this new product?”
“How did your family react when you told them you were quitting your job to start this new company?”
Always be positive.
Resist the urge to complain, gossip, be negative, or critical.
It’s easy starting a conversation about war, dying, crisis, sickness, or spreading dirt about someone else, but in the end, you won’t be remembered for the content of your conversation, only that you leave people feeling negative and slimed.
And, when others go negative, be the person to pivot the conversation back to something positive. Avoid the word “but,” which negates everything said before it (“You may be right, but….”), and replace with the word “and.” (“You may be right, and there’s another group of people who have dedicated themselves to fixing the problem; have you heard of them?)
Make every conversation better, not worse, than you found it.
Scott Griffith, the CEO of Zipcar, has the art of listening down to a science. Not only does he naturally listen intently, creating the framework for a very intense and intimate conversation, but he also has the uncanny ability to repeat back both the content and context of the conversation at a later time.
Take the role of leader, and give people the opportunity to speak about themselves and what’s important to them. Encourage the person you are talking with to tell you more, and show a sincere interest in what they are saying.
A friend of mine was a genius at this technique and in the Nineties, after a State Dinner at the White House, a foreign leader mentioned to President Clinton that he thought my friend was the best conversationalist he ever met. Later, when Mr. Clinton asked my friend his secret, he was told, “It’s very simple, Mr. President, I just kept saying, ‘Tell me more!’”
And, if you really can’t bring yourself to get over the voices in your head long enough to listen to what the other person is saying, don’t fake it. Excusing yourself from the conversation is infinitely better than verbal and non-verbal insincerity, which is felt immediately.
Focus in on one thing that gains your attention, find something nice to say, and then ask an open ended question.
“I love that tie! How do you choose the right tie for a specific occasion?”
“I really enjoyed the part of your speech when you talked about your mother. In what other ways did she inspire you?”
“The second wine you poured — I believe it was a cabernet — was wonderful. How did you come to choose such a delicious wine?”
“I’ve never been to San Francisco before, but I really enjoyed discovering Chinatown. As a native, what’s your favorite part of the city?”
Growing an ongoing conversation by adding other people on the fly requires practice, timing, and some background knowledge, yet when done well, it broadens the scope of the conversation, and also provides an exit opportunity for you without disrupting the flow.
“Mr. Ambassador, excuse me for interrupting, and allow me to introduce our chief technology officer who recently returned from your capital city and loved it. Please continue your story about innovation.”
“This is my roommate and just like you, she loves hot sauce. Will you please repeat your story about your trip to Mexico?”
“I’m so glad I found you two standing here, because although you don’t know each other, you both share a love of gardening. What are you growing this year?”
In stocks, everyone tells you when to buy, no one tells you when to sell. It’s the same in conversation. It’s relatively easy to get a conversation going, the bigger question is, how do you get it to stop?
The answer in two words: gently and decidedly.
Here are the top three tips that will help you exit any conversation with style and grace.
My friend, the gifted author and entrepreneur, Jonathan Fields, says, “I use all of these, though not in a tactical way. They tend to come fairly naturally to most people when you make an effort to find people in whom you’re generally interested. Also humility, I think that goes a long way. And sharing brief, relevant, engaging stories, though that can be a pretty high bar to set.”
And Hale Dwoskin, best-selling author and the executive producer and host of the transformational new film, Letting Go, says about becoming a better conversationalist, “Give love as opposed to trying to get love. Be interested or curious rather than interesting.”
Or, you could just call me and we could talk about it.
HT: Kate Leichhardt
I have never concealed the fact that I regard (George) MacDonald as my master; that whole book (Phantastes) has about it a sort of cool morning innocence; and also, quite unmistakeably, a certain quality of Death, good Death. What it did was to convert, even baptise (that what where the death came in) my imagination.
One of the more fascinating points MacDonald makes in this essay is that the imago Dei (image of God) in man should not be located in man’s rationality, or his moral character, or his social ability, but in his imagination.
The imagination of man is made in the image of the imagination of God. Everything of man must have been of God first; and it will help much towards our understanding of the imagination and its functions in man if we first succeed in regarding aright the imagination of God, in which the imagination of man lives and moves and has its being.
The imagination is “the making of likenesses…the faculty which gives form to thought.” MacDonald spends quite a bit of time showing how imagination throws light on all the other parts that most people associate with the imago Dei. The imagination is the starting point for all of these.
McIntyre says, “Perhaps nowhere in the whole Bible is the basic character of the imagination as a category of biblical thought better illustrated than in the parables of Jesus.”
In the parables Jesus does not just give definitions of the kingdom but an array of images that turns the key on the imagination.
MacDonald asks what is the function of the imagination. He answers:
It is aroused by facts, is nourished by facts; seeks for higher and yet higher laws in those facts; but refuses to regard science as the sole interpreter of nature, or the laws of science as the only region of discovery.
All the processes of the ages are God’s science; all the flow of history is his poetry. His sculpture is not in marble, but in living and speech-giving forms, which pass away, not to yield place to those that come after, but to be perfected in a nobler studio. What he has done remains, although it vanishes; and he never either forgets what he has once done, or does it even once again. As the thoughts move in the mind of a man, so move the worlds of men and women in the mind of God, and make no confusion there, for there they had their birth, the offspring of his imagination. Man is but a thought of God.
This makes sense especially if Christianity is a tradition characterized by hope. For the imagination transcends the boundaries of the present in a quest for something more.
John McIntyre, Faith, Theology, and Imagination (Edinburgh: The Handsel Press, 1987), 19.