Status Update—Spending Time Face to Face

Getting back to writing after a bit of travels, I report today from the beautiful campus of Santa Clara University in the silicon valley. I’m here attending a small conference/meeting on Theology and Communications: In Dialogue being held by the Pontifical Council on Social Communication, in conjunction with the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. It has been a collegial and thought provoking meeting, with lots of talks and conversation.

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Rodney King In Life

It has been reported widely that Rodney King was found dead yesterday at the bottom of his pool. For those of us over in our early forties, the video of Rodney King being beaten literally senseless by police officers in Los Angeles will stand as one of the truly brutal and horrifying media experiences of our lives. But it was also one of the first of what we now call “viral videos”. Before YouTube, before the web, the Rodney King video was everywhere. Everyone had seen it. And because it was shot by a bystander, it it was also one of the first major events of citizen journalism of the digital era.

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“Leave a Beautiful Hologram” Alone

I’ve been away for a few days at a conference, so haven’t written muhc. This bit by Nicholas Carr at Rough Type (Live fast, die young and leave a beautiful hologram) disturbed me enough to get me back to the keyboard. Sounds like the estate of quite a few deceased entertainers are arranging to have their loved ones appear in front of new crowds using digital hologram technology.

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Best Absence Note Ever

Mr. Ackerson-

Please Excuse Tyler … he was with me!

Barack Obama

Check out the photo of the note written by President Obama himself.

President Obama Gives 5th Grader Best Absence Note Ever, via Jim Dalrymple and Peter Cohen at The Loop.

Jobs, Unions, and Professional Education

Inriguing story over at the The Atlantic by Jordan Weissmann on a new study by Jeremy Greenwood (an economist at Penn) and Emin Dinlersoz (from the Census Bureau) on occupational change between 1983 and 2002. A good deal of the change in occupations had to do with changes in technology. As Weissmann puts it:

In roughly 20 years, entire categories of factory work nearly disappeared. If your job hinged on your aptitude with a shoe machine, it was in danger. Likewise if you worked a lathe every day for a living, or had a spot anywhere else on a classic production line, where dozens of hands handled simple, discreet tasks.

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Does This Phone Make Me Sound Selfish?

Not really sure exactly what to make of this. Tania ap Sion and Owen Edwards recently published a study that compared the content of prayer requests submitted to the Church of England’s Say One For Me website and those submitted in handwritten form in churches. As it turns out, the content of the prayer requests differed dramatically.

[Researchers] found that 34% of people had prayed online for help with their own personal issues, compared to just 3% or 4% of traditional handwritten prayers left in churches. These online prayer authors were particularly concerned about their work or relationships, as well as their personal spiritual or moral issues.The number of prayers submitted for friends or loved ones also fell from 75% of church notes, to 57% online.

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