Link blog: society, church, funny, christianity

Experimental Theology: How Facebook Killed the Church

Richard Beck reckons Facebook killed the radio star, erm, church: "Millennials will report that the "reason" they are leaving the church is due to its perceived hypocrisy or shallowness. My argument is that while this might be the proximate cause the more distal cause is social computing. Already connected Millennials have the luxury to kick the church to the curb. This is the position of strength that other generations did not have. We fussed about the church but, at the end of the day, you went to stay connected. For us, church was Facebook!"
(tags: facebook church society religion christianity social-networks generation-y internet)

A nice cup of rabies – What is LJ doing to my links? Part 4

LJ has been messing about with links to Amazon and other online shops: there's some Javascript which they're serving which re-writes the links (possibly to get LJ some money as an affiliate) and then makes the browser display the old link when you mouse over it. The script source is posted here: it's illuminating.
You do wonder how long LJ can keep cocking it up like this. I'm still here because I don't think Dreamwidth is financially credible and I've noticed that people who've moved tend to get fewer comments, but I'm annoyed that this script was also served on the journals of paying users and boggling at LJ's excuse that they didn't check what the thing did before they started serving it: putting unknown Javascript on your site is such a good idea.
(tags: livejournal internet dreamwidth javascript programming)

A Trailer for Every Academy Award Winning Movie Ever – Funny Videos |

(tags: funny video movies trailer humour comedy parody cracked movie)

Persecute me – I’m after the Brownie points | Frank Skinner – Times Online

Frank Skinner (who's a Catholic) on whether Christians are persecuted in the UK. "We’re a bit like Goths — no one can remember us being fashionable and we talk about death a lot. I love the glorious un-coolness of that"
(tags: catholic christian christianity church culture religion politics uk society funny)

9 Comments on "Link blog: society, church, funny, christianity"

  1. My argument is that while this might be the proximate cause the more distal cause is social computing.

    An interesting conclusion, given the rest of the piece. Supposing the rest of the article to be accurate – that people have always seen the church as having the major problems on Beck’s list (hypocritical, political, judgmental, shallow) but previously couldn’t act on that fact because they’d lose their social connectivity if they left, and now they can get the latter elsewhere so are free to leave because of the former – I would not have said that that made Facebook etc the root cause! Surely it would seem like an obviously better idea to fix the actual problems with the church than to try to re-establish the conditions under which people have no choice but to put up with them.


    1. He’s just got ‘proximate’ and ‘distal’ the wrong way around in that sentence. Swap them and it fits perfectly with the rest of the article.



      1. Yes, I suppose so. The emphasis seemed slightly odd to me in that case, but perhaps I’m just still hearing the echoes of the original wording.

        Off topic, pw201: I seem to be consistently failing to receive email notifications from LJ for replies to comments I post on here, but they work fine for everyone else’s LJ I post on. Do you know of any reason why that should be so? (My first guess would be that your journal happens to be the only one I read that’s hosted on some particular one of LJ’s machines whose mail system is funted, but before I report a bug I thought I’d give you the opportunity to burst my theory by saying ‘ah, no, that’s because I’ve set $obscure_option’.)


        1. I have not, as far as I know, set $obscure_option, so I’d report it as a bug if I were you.

          The Atom feed of comments works as a backup, but it’s temperamental: I need to fix the script at some point.


          1. Further to this, some time ago: I did raise a support request, and LJ are now requesting that I do some diagnostic procedures to help narrow the problem down. Can I persuade you (or, in fact, anyone who reads this) to reply to this comment, so that I (theoretically) get a notification? Sorry to put you to the trouble.


        2. It would be better, and he probably wouldn’t have made the mistake, if he hadn’t tried to sound poncey by using the word ‘distal’ when what he really meant was ‘underlying’.



          1. (His whole argument is stupid anyway — since when did people, especially teenagers, have such trouble finding somewhere to socialise that they had to go to church even when, all other things being equal, they would not have gone there? Why do computers suddenly enable churches to be replaced as social venues — are there no coffee shops, no diners, no street corners out on which to hang?

            What we’re probably seeing is that the generation he calls ‘Generation X’ went to church even though they didn’t want to because of parental pressure as there parents attended, and later on drifted gradually (in a population sense) away from the church as the became independent from their parents. Now there’s what he calls ‘Generation Y’ who have ‘Generation X’-ers as their parents, that parental pressure isn’t there so they never go to church in the first place, thus causing the sharp generational drop-off.

            But that’s too simple, too obvious, and too not-involving cool-buzzwords for him.)



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