Category: "miscellaneous"

Lawrence Lessig speaks

I have recieved quite a bit of criticism for the Worst Worship Songs post and subsequent comments. This is good, I guess, but it has made me a little wary of opening myself (and my various neuroses) up to be dissected by others. This quote from Lawerence Lessig (found in Free Culture, p. 156) allayed my fears. "We have a principle of free speech. We have this principle, not just because it is the law, but also because it is a really great idea. A strongly protected tradition of free speech is likely to encourage a wide range of criticism. That criticism is likely, in turn, to improve the systems or people or ideas criticized."(italics mine) I feel like that is what I, and you, fellow readers, have been doing in creating this monster of a post. And yes, the people who criticize the criticizers have equal right to do so (and an equal possibility of improving me). They may win yet.

Create your own South

Create your own South Park character. The picture above is what I might look like if I were on South Park.

No Top 5, But...

I've been thinking about something a lot lately, mostly because of the existence of a Christian Radio station in close proximity to our quaint little town. The mere idea of listening to this station makes me cringe, but, until yesterday, I wasn't sure why. In fact, I had started to feel really crappy about my attitude and was afraid to say anything, especially to those faithful listeners of said station. Then, I figured it out: I cannot relate to most Christian music (especially the type played on Adult Contemporary Christian stations). These songs tend to celebrate God in a way which makes me uncomfortable -- they ignore doubt, speak in generalizations and describe the world as a rosy, happy place. Even if the songs bring up doubt or suffering, they always end on a good note, with a charge to 'accept' or 'have faith'. I guess if that sort of thing works for you, that's good; however, since my favorite bands include Pearl Jam and The Cure, I'm not a member of that category. To be honest, I haven't added a new Christian artist to my listening catalogue in quite a while. I enjoy Waterdeep and Caedmon's Call because I feel they don't try to gloss over the tough stuff. I'm not giving up hope, though. If you know of any Christian bands that would restore my faith in Christian music, please let me know. And if you have any insight into the Adult Contemporary Christian music scene that I am overlooking, again, please enlighten me. I don't want to be a jerk, it just comes naturally.


This is a test of an MT client on my pocket pc.

BlogSwap: How Blogging Has Impacted My Life

Blogswap is something started by Tim Challies and I think it will be fun. Basically a bunch of people send in posts, and then they're sent back out for someone else to post on their blog. It's a way to meet new people, and attract new readers. So enjoy this post by Tim Irvin. If you want to read the post I wrote, click here.

When I was younger I dreamed of writing a book. As I got older I thought of writing a fictional series based on the life of a rural pastor. Time and procrastination placed these dreams on hold and blogging has satisfied the itch.

In the movie "A River Runs Through It", a Presbyterian pastor home schools his two sons. One of the boys is told to write a story. He brings it to his father who says, "...that's good, now make it shorter." He edits the story and brings it back to his father who says, "...that's good, now make it shorter." The third time he returns to his father and he says, "...that's good", then he throws it in the trash.

That's the way I approach blogging. I want my posts to be short and to the point. I want those who visit my blog to be able to read what I have to say in the least amount of time and I hope to say something in a sentence or two that will make them want to drop by again. It's been challenging. There have been a few occasions when I felt like I accomplished this goal and it was very satisfying.

I've not had a large number of visitors to my blog but the handful of regulars have become an integral part of my blogging experience. I admire the work that they've put into their own blogs and I've benefited from their knowledge.

For me blogging has made the World Wide Web more than just an encyclopedia of facts (or FAQ). Blogging injects personality and experience into the mix. I enjoy my daily reads and it excites me to discover that I might have something worthwhile to say as well.

Tim Irvin
aka: Jabbok is oriented towards a Biblical Worldview from a Reformed Baptist Perspective.

Would you like to BlogSwap? For more information click visit

Geek test

I took the geek test and got 31.2% - Total geek. Who can beat that?

via Metafilter

Speak directly into the transmitter

From the funny old booklet department: How To Make Friends by Telephone

I'm on TechTV

I've been wanting to do this for a while, so last night I finally got a netcam set up and called into The Screen Savers with a question. The show is usually live, but yesterday they played an old episode on TV and recorded one that will air on June 11. So be sure to tune in. By then it will be called G4TechTV. My question is on about 45 minutes into the show. I'll post again soon to tell more about the process and show a picture of my netcam setup. And after the episode airs I'll upload a video of my segment. Not only did I get to have my face on TV and get my question answered by Patrick and Kevin, they're also sending me a free t-shirt for calling on a netcam.

Top 5 Essential Elements in a Teen Movie

The inspiration...
Danny's sister Jenny and I saw Mean Girls last Saturday, and I was inspired. Tina Fey wrote the screenplay and acts as a strange math teacher; Tim Meadows is the principal. This is my favorite quote, spoken by Tim Meadow's character. "I have a nephew named Anferny, and I know how much he hates it when I call him Anthony. Almost as much as I hate the fact that my sister named him Anferny." Okay, enough about this movie. Just go and see it, okay?

Now for this week's list...
5. The lame school dance
The popular cheerleader types are always in charge of the festivities, and annoy everyone else with their pro-dance rhetoric. The alterna-kids are equally against, but end up going anyway.

4. The geek/freak hook-up
These characters (the geek and the freak) have had their own plot lines throughout the movie, and may or may not cross paths with each other. But, by the end, we know they will end up together and live happily ever after. (Or at least until 7th period.)

3. The awesomely bad, totally unnecessary cover song
Why mess with a good thing? Because teen movies are targeted at one of the most fickle and clueless people groups on the planet--teen girls. Unfortunately, this group is often compeletely clueless about music, meaning that if the movie requires a certain song, it must be remade in order to sound 'trendy'. (Read: crappy.)

2. The food fight/other element of revenge
Usually occurs between the alterna-kids and the popular ones and involves some sort of gross-out theme.

1. The major life lesson
This goes without saying. Of course we all watch teen movies to learn how to function in real life. Who doesn't need advice about being yourself. Watch any movie in this category and you will see what I mean.

*I must say I am very impressed with the outpouring of comments on my 'Top 5 Worst Worship Songs' entry. It's great to know I'm not the only jerk.*

Free Culture and the constitution

Jack Valenti, longtime president of the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) said this in 1982 in a testimony to congress: "Creative property owners must be accorded the same rights and protection resident in all other property owners in the nation." Valenti and the MPAA aggressively lobby our government for stronger copyright laws, and this is his basic reason. It sounds logical enough, but it goes against a long legal tradition regarding 'creative property.'

Article I, section 8, clause 8, of the Constitution says, "Congress has the power to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries." This clause does provide for protections on creative property for the purpose of promoting progress. Why would someone work hard to create a new idea if it could be easily stolen? But this clause does make an important distinction; it says that exclusive rights should only be secured for a limited time. This contradicts Valenti's claim that physical property and creative property should be given the same legal protections.

I'm learning a lot about copyright law from Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig. I first saw Lessig on The Screen Savers, and I went to his website where the book is available for free in several formats (I went for audio and MS Reader).

The problem with current copyright laws, according to Lessig, is not that they give protection to creators, but that those protections have grown beyond what was intended by the framers and what is healthy for our culture. Take the limited time mentioned in the above quote from the Constitution. The original length of a copyright was 14 years. It could renewed, if the author was still alive, for another 14 years. That would cover the commercial life of just about any creation, allowing the author to make money, but sending the creation into the public domain while it's still relevant. Today the copyright term is 95 years. The only ones who benefit from such a long term are the corporations who hold the copyrights. No artist is still alive and hoping to profit from his creation after 95 years. This extended term also means that the public domain is starving.

I haven't finished the book yet, so I don't know what Lessig suggests as a solution, but it's been interesting to learn how copyright law has changed over the years. And, sadly, those changes protect corporations and make it harder for individuals to be creative without fear of litigation.

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