Thursday, August 5, 2010

The July 8s :: Blogs

The July 8s :: Blogs - The most thought-provoking and world-opening blog posts I've stumbled on in the month of July

1) "Air-Conditioning is Terrible for the Earth--Here's How to Live without It" (Stan Cox, Alternet / July 10, 2010)
Over the past decade, gains in the general energy efficiency of appliances have been wiped out by our growing reliance on one device in particular: the air conditioner. Just since the mid-1990s, as the U.S. population was growing by less than 15 percent, consumption of electricity to cool the residential, retail and automotive sectors doubled.
... But while working on Chapter 1 (pdf) of Losing Our Cool: Uncomfortable Truths About Our Air-Conditioned World, I learned that there are still plenty of people who, out of ecological and other concerns, live without air-conditioning -- even in the hot heart of the Sunbelt.
Read on for tips and tricks!

2) "Is Food the New Sex?" (Mary Eberstadt, Policy Review no. 153 / January 27, 2009)

What happens when, for the first time in history — at least in theory, and at least in the advanced nations — adult human beings are more or less free to have all the sex and food they want?
This question opens the door to a real paradox. For given how closely connected the two appetites appear to be, it would be natural to expect that people would do the same kinds of things with both appetites — that they would pursue both with equal ardor when finally allowed to do so, for example, or with equal abandon for consequence; or conversely, with similar degrees of discipline in the consumption of each.
In fact, though, evidence from the advanced West suggests that nearly the opposite seems to be true. The answer appears to be that when many people are faced with these possibilities for the very first time, they end up doing very different things — things we might signal by shorthand as mindful eating, and mindless sex. This essay is both an exploration of that curious dynamic, and a speculation about what is driving it.
3) "Out of the Doldrums" (Tall Skinny Kiwi / June 26, 2010)

Photos of beautifully cheerful Albanian apartment buildings. Check them out!

4) "Transform 2010 and the law of preferential attraction" (Tall Skinny Kiwi / June 15, 2010)
Why do missionaries always go to the same places? The same reason why most of mission funding goes to the same organizations . . .

The answer? It happens because of what someone called the "law of preferential attraction". He who has gets more. Big web sites get even bigger because they attract more links and grow exponentially. Mission resources are sucked into the larger already-well-funded ministries. Short term mission teams avoid the hardest and neediest places in favor of the countries that always get the mission teams and are better set up to host them. THUS the squeaky wheel gets more grease and the rusty wheel stays dry.

The solution? You can only break this by an intentional effort to go further, go harder, go beyond. Take the road hardly-ever traveled, push into new territory and avoid landing wherever the stream's flow wants to push you.
5) "Though the Earth Give Way: Haiti, Suffering, and the Crucified God" (Brad East, The Other Journal / July 7, 2010)
The following syllogism seems to be the internal logic of the theological shape of what many people speak or think in the wake of disasters like the earthquake in Haiti: (1) everything that happens is the direct result of God’s will; (2) everything that God wills is for a good reason, comprehensible to human understanding; (3) therefore, the earthquake and massive suffering in Haiti is the will of God, and we may and ought to seek and name the reason for its happening. 
As has been noted in various other places, what is uniformly lamentable about these propositions is their untenable relation to, and categorical distance from, the God revealed in Jesus of Nazareth; instead, this deity bears more than a passing resemblance to the god envisioned (or, better, created) as acceptable within the bounds of a philosophical theism unrelated to exodus or resurrection. Indeed, what is distressing about these categories of thought is the way they capture the most representatively pro- and anti-God responses available in the American context.
6) "Is Your Cell Phone Drenched in Blood" (Godspace / July 28, 2010)
Cell phones were once a luxury, something that people thought were sort of frivolous. But in today’s age of ever-advancing technology, we’ve come to consider them an absolute necessity. Now practically everyone owns one – and we replace them with new ones every 1-2 years. But at what cost? It turns out that a vital raw material used in many cell phones is often mined illegally, and by slave labor.
7) The Kingdom Is Here Where Do You See It Synchroblog (Godspace / Summer 2010)

The Kingdom Has Come--Will You Join Me in Helping People See It (May 21, 2010)
Blog With Me--An Invitation to Participate (June 3, 2010)
What Does God's Kingdom Look Like--Unveiling God's Dream for Shalom (June 7, 2010)
What Does God's Kingdom Look Like--Anti Shalom Forces at Work (June 8, 2010)
What Does God's Kingdom Look Like for the Children of Israel (June 9, 2010)
What Does the Kingdom of God Look Like to the Prophets? (June 10, 2010)
What Does the Kingdom of God Look Like to Jesus (June 11, 2010)
The Kingdom Is Here--Let's Celebrate! (June 15, 2010)
What Does the Promise of the Kingdom of God Look Like--Reflections from Dave Perry (June 16, 2010)
The Kingdom Is--Becoming Instruments of Change (June 17, 2010)
The Kingdom Is Here--Reflections from Richard Rohr (June 18, 2010)
The Kingdom is Here--Where Do We See It? (June 21, 2010)
In Christ Jesus the Kingdom Has Come (June 22, 2010)
Martyn Joseph--Thunder and Rainbow Lyrics (June 23, 2010)
Where Is the Kingdom--In Age and Disability (June 27, 2010)
God's Kingdom: Arts for the Wider Community by Lynne Baab (June 30 2010)

8) Food and Me (In a Hazelnut Shell / Spring-Summer 2010)
I'd like to reflect spiritually on the food that I'm thinking about and planning and making and eating. What do my food choices (about health, sustainability, etc.) mean about my relationship to God's creation? What does the work that we put into (or don't put into) our food mean? Does it matter if I eat with other people or stuff my face with toast while walking to class? Basically, does God care about what I eat and how I eat it?
Food and Me (May 22, 2010)
Food and Me, #1: Cornography (May 25, 2010)
Food and Me, #2: The Middle Years (May 29, 2010)
Food and Me, #3: Catching Up (June 15, 2010)
Food and Me, #4: On Corn and how it is in everything (June 16, 2010)
Food and Me, #5: The Supermarket Experience (June 18, 2010)
Food and Me, #6: The Kitchen (June 25, 20100
Food and Me, #7: Five Sense Sabbath (Three weeks removed) (June 26, 2010)

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