Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The State of the Blog (12/21/16)

The Rev Reads It For You: This feature is on a semi-permanent hiatus. I bought the Kindle version of Rules for Radicals specifically because it was easy to copy text out and comment on. What I didn't know was that Kindle allows the publisher to set a copy limit.

I have surpassed the copy limit.

This is double annoying because the next chapter has some amazing examples of Alinsky calling special interest groups out on their bullshit (the Native American story is particularly humorous). I was going to do a separate post on just those stories but - nope! Kindle won't let me copy text!

At any rate, I'm going to try to figure a work-around out over the holidays. Stay tuned.

Wither the Rev?: The blog started out talking about Hegel and video games/cartoons. One fateful encounter with the Evil Lord of Evil later, it's become somewhat...different. We've got mission drift, is what I'm saying. So I'm not sure what the Rev 3.0 is now, but it sure as hell ain't a video game and Hegel blog.

To complicate this, I will start looking for jobs in Japan as of January 1st, and I plan to have boots on the ground in February. These last 5 years in America have been a constant reminder that I don't really want to be here. It was foolish to wait this long to go after what I want, and it would be doubly foolish to wait any longer. Which is somewhat sad, because with Trump taking office, America's prospects are better than they have been in a long time. So I say this sincerely: America, it's not you, it is me.

The point is, I don't know what this blog will be in 2017. And that's a good thing, because it is an opportunity for conscious improvement.

StudyOke!: One of my big goals for the 2017 is to build the other blog - the Japanese study blog.

This has been an interesting mix of fun, growth, and challenge. I started it to get practice with subtitling (wanted to learn Aegisub), but the project has sprawled into a lot of other areas as well. For example, I had never uploaded a video to YouTube before!

I've also been weaving mindset/NLP stuff into the lessons to make the grammar lessons more interesting - tying the language to the usage and rewire the brain into seeing the information as "valuable." That's a big issue for language learners. Your brain will spend five hours studying a vocabulary list only to file all that information under "unimportant" the moment you set your textbook down.  Music is a great way to bypass it, but I'm trying to innovate language lessons that have a similar effect.

I've run into two issues: first, the post-writing process is very time consuming - copy lyrics (most Japanese lyric sites don't let you copy directly), convert into romanization, translate, write a grammar lesson, make a video, make subtitles, upload, upload subtitles, etc.

Second, I'm having trouble finding my "controversy." It's hard to punch up when there's no one else doing anything similar. That's good in the sense that I'm not one blog in a sea of similars, but that's bad in the sense that there's no one looking for what I'm offering. It's a different jiu jitsu than what I'm used to.

Etc.: I have difficulty expressing how wonderful it has been to have you all respond to my posts. That goes for the haters too.

My number one goal for this blog is to keep putting out content that is worth reading. I'd like to ask you to keep reading until you think I'm no longer meeting that goal.


The Rev

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Distributed Thoughtware: Y'all Thought I was Kidding

There's nothing more fun than being both right and wrong. Here's a story I came across whilst browsing Vox Popoli:

Andy Crouch, the executive editor of Christianity Today, criticized both candidates, writing that enthusiasm for Mr. Trump “gives our neighbors ample reason to doubt that we believe Jesus is Lord.” He added, “They see that some of us are so self-interested, and so self-protective, that we will ally ourselves with someone who violates all that is sacred to us.”
As white male evangelists, we have no problem admitting that the future does not lie with us. It lies with groups like the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, led by Gabriel Salguero, or the Moral Monday movement, led by William Barber II, who has challenged the news media on its narrow portrayal of evangelicals. For decades, we have worked within evangelicalism to lift up the voices of these “other evangelicals.”
But Jesus-centered faith needs a new name. Christians have retired outdated labels before. During the late 19th century, when scientific rationalism fueled the questioning of Scripture, “fundamentalism” arose as an intelligent defense of Christianity. By the 1930s, however, fundamentalism was seen as anti-intellectual and judgmental. It was then that the term “evangelicalism” was put forward by Christianity Today’s first editor, Carl F. H. Henry, as a new banner under which a broad coalition of Jesus followers could unite.
But beginning with the culture wars of the 1980s, the religious right made a concerted effort to align evangelicalism with the Republican Party. By the mid-’90s, the word had lost its positive connotations with many Americans. They came to see Christians — and evangelicals in particular — as anti-women, anti-gay, anti-environment and anti-immigrant and as the champions of guns and war.
Mr. Trump did not create these contradictions, but his victory has pulled the roof off the building we once called home. It’s time to build a new home.
We dissect this after the jump.