I’m a reading fanatic. I read all the time. The problem is that I’m reading the same darn thing over and over and over again: It’s called “Google Reader“.
And this is fine, to a point.
I get all my daily RSS feeds into one pile of heaping insanity and the GUI keeps me honest enough so I can get the latest about friends, family, tech news, etc. and is inflexible enough so that I don’t (and can’t) find myself at 3 in the AM wondering where the time went and then crying because I have to get up in 3 hours to head to the office.
But there’s something about reading a good book offline that keeps me level (and I’m not even going to go into the “did you have your QT or devotional time” because that’s just plain obvious…).
And, sometimes I just have to “get off” and “unplug” and sit back in a couch and do some good old fashion reading.
So here’s what I’ve been reading “offline” recently: Fermi Shorts.
The Fermi Project is:
a broad collective of innovators, artists, social entrepreneurs, church and societal leaders experimenting with ways to advance the common good in culture.
The focus of this project is strategically placed on Christians and leaders throughout the Church. Multiple mediums are leveraged to push forward the essence of this project, including events, research, essays, films, books and culture shaping projects.
They’ve got a blog, some cool commentary, some videos and talks from conferences, and a lot of other great stuff (that I’d probably say in tune with) but it’s the “shorts” that have got me going.
Thanks to Stephen Redden, he first hooked me up with a copy of Shane Hipps short on “Our Nomadic Existence” which touches on a number of different points that are part of a much larger book called “The Hidden Power of Electronic Culture“, I’ve been dipping into the piggybank to shell out a couple more $5 dollar shorts for brain and mind consumption.
And that’s what I love about these things is that they are cheap, short (oh thank you God), but full of content well worth their shipping weight.
But, again, perhaps the greatest benefit is just the fact that I can print them out and go read them somewhere quiet without the noise and din of the internets.
A couple nuggets of gold from Shane:
Christianity is fundamentally rooted in a communication event.
… the medium is the message. It’s a cryptic little aphorism that stands in direct contradiction to the evangelical rallying cry. He meant that the forms of our media, regardless of their content, have the power to shape our minds and our messages. In other words, you can’t change the methods without changing the message. So in this view, the content of any medium is really the magician’s sleight-of-hand to distract us from the trick being played on our minds. We sit and gawk at the banality of a show like American Idol, appalled by the hideous vocal offering of the latest contestant. All the while we remain totally unaware that the flickering mosaic of pixels slips the watch from our wrists and re-patterns neural pathways in our brains. In reality, media are much more than neutral purveyors of information. They have the power to shape us, regardless of content, and thus cannot be evaluated solely on their usage.
and asking pointed and beautifully timed questions like:
- What does the medium EXTEND?
- What does the medium make OBSOLETE?
- What does the medium RETRIEVE?
- What does the medium REVERSE INTO?
If you want the answers, you’d best buy this thing. Great thoughts and well said. It’s even got some good discussion questions at the end. Wow. For 5 bucks this things a steal.
So, what are you reading offline?