Here are the slides from a presentation I gave recently to Christian Police Association conference at Thames Valley Police Head Quarters on Ethical Leadership.
Because the designer of this contraption does not appear in the video. I therefore do not believe there was a designer. A s designer is just a figment of our imaginations, because we have the mistaken sense that there needs to be designer. Perhaps it is due to problems we had with our father’s not playing enough lego with us as children. I therefore assume that this lego “machine” exists because of the random collation of lego bricks. After all given enough time any possible configuration of lego bricks is possible.
Some internet wag has put it this way:
Atheism the belief there was nothing and nothing happened to nothing and then nothing magically exploded for no reason, creating everything and then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself for no reason whatsoever into self replicating bits that turned itself into dinosaurs… makes perfect sense.
Just saw this spoof movie trailer and i thought you guys would like it. My friend Mark Meynell shared it on his twitter stream – so the clip parodies its own route to market.
It reminds me how much Facebook and Twitter (and to a lesser degree Pinterest) has been shaping my habits and as a result forming my character for better and for worse.
I definitely feel more connected to world events, feel in touch with a lot of people I don’t see regularly. I do feel the urge to share ideas, news and jokes with people that I probably wouldn’t have done before. Silly ideas that would have stayed safely locked in my head, I now share for public approval. I definitely feel empowered to advocate for justice in a way that i didn’t used to.
How do you think Facebook has shaped you?
Very impressive editing on this video to help President Obama do his own cover version of the undeniable catchy song by Carly Rae Jepson.
Just trying to imagine how long it took them to make it.
12 Million views shows that this kind of a video puts you on the map as a creative and helps Obama’s image too.
Still remember the day he was elected and the electric atmosphere in Chicago that night.
I guess no politician could live up to the hype and expectation that night.
Will he win the next election? I’d say “Yes”
Has he got my number, will he call me? “Maybe.”
Here’s a 4 mins and 30 seconds long talk I was asked to give at the Lausanne Congress in Cape Town two years ago. It is interesting to reflect that this was the only talk given about social media at the whole 10 day long conference. A lot has changed since this talk was given. Take a look at the talk and then let me know what you would have said given 4 minutes to talk about this subject to an international audience.
Its been the fastest growing viral video campaign in history. Over 100 million people watched (all or part) of the 29 minute video highlighting the plight of the “invisible children” – the child soldiers of the LLA.
Apparently it took Kony just 6 days to reach a 100 million views. But take a look at the next fastest videos to reach over 100 million views… notice anything about them?
They are all entertainment videos – either children’s comedy, funny family clips or pop videos. Most of them under 3 mins long. But Kony was a 29 minute campaign video encouraging us to take action for some of the most at risk children in the world. So this really is an encouraging and astonishing achievement.
One of the key things the Kony video asked us to do was to “cover the night” on April 20th with a poster campaign aimed to help the world wake up to the name of Joseph Kony – the head of the LLA who has kidnapped, abused and killed thousands of children. Sadly the reports are that the events that were organised around the world were poorly attended and that even on twitter there was a very little exposure for #kony2012.
I had and still have reservations about the KONY campaign – but I admire the vision, the use of social media and beautiful videography. I am interested in mobilising people to bring social transformation – as this is a key aspect of the church’s mission on earth. So I am intrigued why the campaign did not translate into on the ground action. Here are my immediate reactions:
1. Social media is a tool not a panacea
A viral video is does a great job of raising awareness but the move to call for action is a lot harder. This is where Malcolm Gladwell’s comment about weak ties is important. Gladwell commented that the civil rights marchers back in 1965 that faced down the police on bloody sunday in the US state of Alabama were bound together by strong social ties but Facebook friends are only weak ties. He is right of course but that is to misread how social media works. In my humble opinion the arab spring saw the use of social media to serve and support the ties that people already had rather than form new ones. Thus the Kony campaign will not galvanise a group of activists but it can help to inform and educate a wide audience.
2. Slactivism is real but not the whole story
A tweet, a “like” of a Facebook page or a view of a youtube video are certainly not enough when it comes to social activism. And it is a lot easier for us to watch a video than do anything else to help the victims of Joseph Kony. But to right off the Kony campaign as slactivism is misleading. Raising the issues has got to be part of a strategy of mobilisation. There will be a funnel effect – tens of millions watched the video but I believe hundreds of people globally will make the harder longer lasting choices to get stuck in and invest time and energy into working amongst the worlds poorest children. I keep coming across people who motivated by a desire to serve God actively seek ways to invest their lives into the most seemingly hopeless causes to demonstrate that God is powerful enough to bring transformation anywhere. Perhaps the Kony video will form part of a whole bunch of people’s journey towards greater involvement with the poor.
3. Beauty, Bandwagons and Discernment
The beauty of the video was the key to its viral nature – it was incredibly well shot and there was a very clever use of story telling through the eyes of the directors small son. But there were some some big questions that needed asking about the call for direct military intervention and with dubious partners. We live in a world where whoever makes the best marketing pitch gets the most amount of money and support – we need to help to educate the wider audience to ask critical questions about fundraising campaigns, aid and development charities without encouraging a cynical do nothing attitude. It also the celebrity factor that makes a huge impact. Look at the stats on impact of single tweet from Oprah Winfrey…
What are your reflection on the Kony2012 campaign?
There has been so much speculation about the iPad 3 since before even the iPad2 came out but as March 7th approaches the volume of speculation has been cranked up to 11. As a long term tech lover its hard not to get caught up in the information frenzy. My school yard conversations centred less around the relative merits of the first division football teams of my day and more around the relative merits of the latest tech. I had a Commodore Vic 20 and all of my friends had ZX Spectrums and we would enjoy banter centred around which computer was the best. I defended valiantly but I knew I was onto a loser when “full size keyboard” was all I really had to offer in support of my computer’s superiority.
So nowadays when tech is not restricted to the geek squad in the playground but is increasingly the landscape in which we spend most of our time. I spend more time on my iPad / Macbook Air than I spend in my car. A lot of my working hours and leisure hours are spent utilising these devices so the innovations in tech do make a significant differences to the way we spend our time. So watching this video is more than just about what is “cool” or “neat” there will be implications if this future comes to pass – both good and bad.
How about you try and respond to the video below by offering a suggestion of both a good and bad implication. For some of us technophiles we can only see the good for some of us technophobes we can only see the bad. So drop me a comment.
Here’s a starter for you:
The Good – more opportunities to communicate – 3D projection could be allow more effective person to person communication.
The Bad – always on tech may be more difficult to resist so that there is room in life for rest and sabbath in the rhythm of life
Now over to you…
a pretty random post to be my most popular one – but here’s my personal list of my favourite family friendly films.
help for preachers thinking up sermon series.
my response to the reaction from the different ends of the evangelical spectrum (before the book was actually released).
an easy access guide to Kate and Will’s wedding service.
a translation of the royal wedding sermon.
introducing the book my wife and I wrote together demonstrating how the whole Bible helps us to live for God.
this book made me angry and disappointed in equal measure.
does your church really engage all ages?
a response to the way Christians reacted to the death of Bin Laden
why has the role of women become the shibboleth for evangelicals – what can we do about it?
An Interview with Krish Kandiah conducted by Veronika Kaplotz for Regent College Magazine
To people who are cynical about social media, Krish Kandiah has this to say: start participating in the conversation. “Any culture we create will be a mixture of glory and brokenness. If Christians become literate in this language, we can bring light to that space. If we run away from it, who can blame it for being dark?”
Krish is an active blogger, Tweeter, and a firm believer that social media technology is an opportunity, not a threat. As a visiting faculty member during Summer Programs at Regent College, Krish taught the course Kinetic Christianity: Evangelism and Apologetics for the Third Millennium, and delivered an evening lecture entitled “Digital Discipleship: The Opportunities and Challenges of Social Media for the Church,” which was live-streamed on the Regent website. Inviting into the conversation a colleague from Sydney, Australia via Skype and questions via Twitter, Krish lived up to his enthusiasm for using social media to connect with others.
Regent World caught up with Krish in the Atrium, and in keeping with social media etiquette (not yet widely practiced), all technological devices went dormant during the interview.
RW: What are some of the opportunities of social media for spreading the faith? Does the church risk anything by not being part of the social media world?
KK: One of the positive impacts of social media on society is the sense of connectivity it has created among Christians in different parts of the globe. In the UK, social media is building a network across denominations. People are sharing resources, getting past the tribal.
As Neil Postman stated, changes in information technology are not additive but ecological, changing the entire environment in which we live. Why did dinosaurs become extinct? Because they couldn’t adapt to the changes in their environment. And so churches can embrace and adapt to these changes, or they can ignore them and face further irrelevancy and possible extinction.
The goal of our missionary church is to find new ways to express the gospel in an ever-changing world. And we have a good history of doing this. Without the Gutenberg press to easily distribute Bibles and pamphlets, would the Reformation have happened as it did? The early Christians took advantage of Roman roads to travel and spread the gospel. Why can’t we make good use of social media technologies to do the same?
RW: What about the disadvantages of social media, such as the time that is spent on devices instead of face-to-face interactions?
KK: With technology, there is a continual tension: do we use our tools, or let the tools use us? Marshall McLuhan raised those questions in the 1960s. There is always a fear with new technologies: Socrates warned that the introduction of writing would lead to the decline of memory. We have a fight or flight instinct when cultural change happens. But we have to avoid a reactionary approach: the question is how do you engage critically and faithfully with technology? It’s about working out a rhythm of life that uses social media well, and helps you be present and fully attentive in a situation.
Clay Shirky, a social media commentator, says that people in their mid-twenties don’t use the word “cyberspace” anymore. It’s not seen as a separate space, but a complement to face-to-face interactions: it allows for reminders of face-to-face meetings and parties, and a way to organize new events.
Social media also involves a “launch and see attitude.” It helps me in my preaching. I sometimes put a skeleton of what I plan to talk about on my blog and ask people to comment. I Tweet about it, I start a Facebook conversation. I do a lot of prep on the computer, Tweeting with one eye and reading Scripture with the other. After the sermon, I post slides and people can comment, and the conversation continues.
In terms of privacy issues, we’ve been warned of the Big Brother mentality, but now we’re choosing to broadcast ourselves. I actually want people to know what I’m thinking about, what I’m grappling with. I see it as a way to let my light shine before others, to promote an openness, to share my faith, as well as my doubts.
There is of course the invasion of social media into the home. And so we need to devise a social media etiquette. You can make a conscious decision, when you meet with a friend, whether to turn your phone off, or to continue attending to calls and messages. With a group of like-minded individuals, we devised the Ten Commandments of social media, sort of tongue-in-cheek.
The ten commandments of blogging.
1. You shall not put your blog before your integrity.
2. You shall not make an idol of your blog.
3. You shall not misuse your screen name by using your anonymity to sin.
4. Remember the Sabbath day by taking one day off a week from your blog.
5. Honour your fellow-bloggers above yourselves and do not give undue significance to their mistakes.
6. You shall not murder someone else’s honour, reputation or feelings.
7. You shall not use the web to commit or permit adultery in your mind.
8. You shall not steal another person’s content.
9. You shall not give false testimony against your fellow-blogger.
10. You shall not covet your neighbour’s blog ranking. Be content with your own content.
This interview is also available on the regent college website.
Listen to Krish’s lecture on “Digital Discipleship” on Regent Audio
One of the joys / problems of having an iPad is that the kids often grab it and won’t give it back!
But here are some really good apps that the whole family can enjoy:
5. Monopoly (69p)
8. Orbit 1 (free app)
What did i miss out? Let me know your suggestions.