Blog archive April 2006
was just reading a review of a book about freight train graffiti, and it occurred to me:
is it graffiti if i paint a british rail logo on a train?
and is it graffiti if i paint a white rectangle on a wall? over the graffiti that was there before? if i sign it?
didn't get to the blah 'emerging leadership' day yesterday - have had too much stuff at weekends lately. jonny hasn't posted on it yet [being too distracted by chelsea] but my only thoughts on the subject were, that too much concern with leadership is a fault of old-paradigm churches. emerging churches/alt worship communities are always getting the questions, "who is your leader?" "how do you do leadership". and the questions behind those are, "who has official permission to do this?" "how do you control people?" so while we need to sort out leadership issues for ourselves, we also need to not get sucked into playing an old-paradigm game in order to reassure them.
the public front of alt worship groups has tended to be deliberately collective and egalitarian, as a move against the prevailing church culture of star leaders. at grace we still resist [after much debate] putting information about individual team members on the website. i think bios and pics help strangers understand who you are/where you're coming from, and humanise things - i always go straight for these things when investigating new churches because, frankly, a haircut gives a lot away. but at grace the feeling was that we should continue to make a stand in favour of the collective. maybe all the more necessary since we've got a couple of superstar bloggers in the group ;) as mike rose said, blogs have re-emphasised the individual over the group and perhaps given the emerging church its own version of the leadership cult - though thankfully more democratic and emergent.
we've been using the term 'curator' for a while to describe a person who does the overall commissioning/shaping of an event. the word 'editor' might also be useful - the editor doesn't write all the stuff in the newspaper, respects individual voice - but guides the overall shape and feel. it's a different emphasis to 'leader'. who's the editor in your church?
i went to work today but it was a mistake - i couldn't cope with anything much. so i left 'early' - which somehow ended up as 4pm. i needed to do something different, so i bought a stealth fighter kit
and a geoff mcfetridge toy
on saturday morning my father had a cardiac arrest. the hospital called me out of the blue to say that the outlook was not good, my mother was with him and that i needed to alert the family. so i phoned my brothers and jumped on the first train to bristol hoping i'd arrive in time. he was alive when i got there but asleep/unconscious and frankly the doctors were expecting him to die. so we did the bedside vigil thing. my mother watched him all night, i stayed too to be with her. it was a hard night and the fact that they let us ignore all visiting rules spoke volumes about the situation.
towards dawn he started to wake up, and at breakfast after a short break we had the joy of finding him fully awake and back with us - perhaps brighter than he had been before. the doctors were surprised and pleased at his recovery and have restarted treatment. but today he seemed a bit confused, irrational, behaving slightly badly, wanting to go home. of course he's still very ill. this disturbed us and took the edge off our joy. to be perfectly honest i kind of freaked and left the visit early.
he can't yet speak clearly, which doesn't help - he gets frustrated that we often can't make out what he's saying. they may start giving him liquids by mouth tomorrow, which will no doubt help - as will putting his teeth back in!
but it's been a rough, rough weekend. i made phone calls i never wanted to make. i'm suffering from delayed shock i think. i was quite upset on the train home when i should have been happy. his behaviour today has shaken me. i just hope he calms down and that nothing else happens.
having returned from That Uncivilised Place ;) i can report that my father has improved considerably over easter. last thursday and friday he was very ill indeed, seldom awake, unable to speak and having oxygen pumped into malfunctioning lungs. today he is a fairly normal colour, is talking though understandably hoarse, and will be moved back to a normal ward in the morning without the oxygen. they had switched off the screen showing heart/breathing/oxygenation today, obviously it doesn't need close monitoring any more. he's still being fed and watered by tube, the underlying weakness and not eating remains a mystery, but the crisis seems to be past, god willing. many many thanks to all who've prayed.
am in bristol for easter seeing my father. had to travel right into the centre of bristol to find an internet cafe to do my grace blog entry. the starbucks in the mall near the hospital are the only ones in the universe to have no hotspot. the cafe round the block here in the centre of town has a hotspot but it doesn't work. everything closes at 6 or 7pm. it's crap here.
if only for the title/idea
i need a new tag don't i - bedouin
coffeeshop campers and the honours system from Coffee to the People in haight-ashbury - it's the link from the quote in the previous post but i want to foreground it since it's directly relevant to the discussion here.
One of the first decisions any coffeeshop owner has to make is what to do about the people who hang out all day studying, using the free wireless, and lounging on the couches, but don't actually spend any money. Sure, they spend $1.50 on a small coffee from time to time, but they nurse it for hours and take up room that might be used for other, paying customers...
the new office space by jackson west at gigaOM:
Of course, the business of coffee shops is to sell food and coffee, not to take the place of VC-run incubator offices. While some have dealt with the problem of freeloaders by charging for their Wifi, this often turns geeks away. Coffee to the People in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury is trying to come up with guidelines, and the issue of coffee shop etiquette is a popular topic of discussion among digerati. Some cafe owners only share the WEP or WPA key with paying customers, limit the number of wall jacks to recharge batteries, or shut down wifi on the weekends to encourage offline socializing.
picking up the wifi-coffee shop thing again, go read going bedouin by greg olsen [thanks daniel]
By focusing almost exclusively on service-based infrastructure options, a business could operate as a sort of neo-Bedouin clan - with workers as a roaming nomadic tribe carrying laptops & cell phones and able to set up shop wherever there is an Internet connection, chairs, tables, and sources of caffeine.
the way i see it:
this is the workplace model often aspired to in recent years:
• single business
• mobile workers
• fixed/owned core functions
this is the networked freelance thing many of us are doing:
• many businesses
• mobile workers
• no core/shared functions
this is 'bedouin':
• single business
• mobile workers
• mobile core functions
bedouin bears obvious similarities with church 2.0 [just as olsen's descriptions of how dynamism gets bogged down in infrastructure resemble church 1.0][but more of that later...]
olsen continues in bedouins are everywhere :
I feel like I unknowingly stepped into some sort of quasi-religious mass movement. There is clearly passion around the central ideology of infrastructure minimalism. What's also interesting are the different facets of this movement that draw peoples attention and the different perspectives that are being voiced.
Three key areas of discussion focus seem to have arisen:
- Technology: Saddlebag contents? What specific tools are available to Bedouins?
- Location: Tent or no tent? Physical vs. virtual office?
- Social needs: Are Bedouins lonely? Can alternative workplace concepts meet the social needs of workers?
I'm certain there are coffee shop owners that are scrambling to create "Welcome Bedouins" signs and to figure out how to better extract revenue from the Bedouin crowd. Surely some business model will emerge where oasis operators and Bedouins can mutually benefit from a loitering location flush with AC, bandwidth, and table space.
there's a lot of comment about madonna charging £80-160 per seat for her UK dates. but it's a free market, the tickets are selling out, so good luck to her.
the thing i admire about madonna is her survival instinct. whenever her career is on the slide through poor product and bad choices, she pulls her act together and does what she has to do - make a great pop album. and lo and behold, she's the woman of the moment again - this time, at a point where she could reasonably have let it go. that commands my respect.
and looking like that at her age too. whatever did she do? that ass is a masterpiece of taxidermy.
i had several big posts lined up for this week, but my father is very ill in hospital and my blogtime has been taken up with phone calls to my mother. tonight i'm not feeling well myself, so i'm going to bed with a hot water bottle.
on arrival in austin daniel presented me with an artwork that he'd commissioned from his friend patrick [remind me of patrick's surname daniel!]
The background is a Nolli plan of London, more specifically the area encompassing Holy Joe's. The transparency is based on movements of the body. The green lines are the extension of dance movements based on quadrants in space [the ultimate points of extension]. The pink diagram illustrates hypo/hypertonic exchange within the cell. So the two layers interact with each other showing the established structure and free flow of ideas and movement.
[apparently the area round holy joe's gave a better nolli plan than round grace - denser urban fabric]
having brought it back in its two pieces in a tube, i got it framed and hung up today. here's patrick and the work at daniel's apartment:
and here is is in my apartment:
thanks patrick and daniel, it's an honour.
btw i know it's slightly misaligned at the right - i'll correct that in a few weeks when it's flattened out properly. it was quite a ticklish job getting the rear layer [which is cardboard] into the right position after weeks of being rolled up.
wifi-enabled drinking glasses by jackie lee and hyemin chung at MIT media lab:
Two cups are wireless connected to each other with sip sensors and LED illumination. The Lover's cups will glow when your lover is drinking. When both of you are drinking at the same time, both of the Lover's Cups glow and celebrate this virtual kiss.
via Mike Rose on the Grace Lent blog
a magnificent idea with obvious uses for wifi-enabled holy communion [someone needs to work this out for the bread]
so how do you consecrate bread and wine if it isn't all in the same place? at Grace we've wondered whether a prayer of consecration spoken over a mobile phone held above the bread and wine is valid - can anyone explain why not? and if so, one could have dial-a-priest or consecration call centres [waiting to take your call 24 hours a day].
applying that to the medialab glasses, there would be another light that would glow when consecrated.