August 15, 2014

Friday in the wild: August 15, 2014

It's that time of the week again! Friday, that is, when I give a little love to my parochial little slice of the Internet by sharing some of my favourite links for the week.

Last fall, KJV-onlyist and net.crank Steven Anderson sat down with James White for a two-and-a-half-hour interview about the translation and transmission of the Bible, for a documentary titled New World Order Bible Versions. He promptly abused the interview by using a snippet of it in the trailer, making White look ominious, with spooky music and everything.

However, he did promise to make the full interview available, and as White says, he kept his word. I've been holding off watching the documentary until this came along. It looks like Anderson is trying to position himself as the next Gail Riplinger or KJV-only darling. Frankly, I'll always fondly remember him as the perpetrator of the infamous "pisseth against the wall" sermon, or the crackpot who antagonized border guards and screamed like a little girl when he got detained and tazed. Fast forward to about 1:00, and enjoy:

This was fun: Wired writer Mat Honan tried an experiment, hitting "like" on everything he saw on Facebook, then watched in horror at what it did to his timeline:

My News Feed took on an entirely new character in a surprisingly short amount of time. After checking in and liking a bunch of stuff over the course of an hour, there were no human beings in my feed anymore. It became about brands and messaging, rather than humans with messages.

Likewise, content mills rose to the top. Nearly my entire feed was given over to Upworthy and the Huffington Post. As I went to bed that first night and scrolled through my News Feed, the updates I saw were (in order): Huffington Post, Upworthy, Huffington Post, Upworthy, a Levi's ad, Space.com, Huffington Post, Upworthy, The Verge, Huffington Post, Space.com, Upworthy, Space.com.

[Read I Liked Everything I Saw on Facebook for Two Days. Here' What It Did to Me]

The morals of the story: a) be careful what you approve of, and b) know what your tools do.

Joe Carter at The Gospel Coalition posted a plea for critical thinking when it comes to news from the Middle East:

Over the weekend social media sites exploded with outrage over reports that the Islamic militant group ISIS was beheading Christian children in Iraq. The news is horrific and disturbing—but is it true? . . .

As Christians, we have a duty to champion the truth. We should avoid spreading unsubstantiated claims and inflaming dread and panic by playing on people’s natural disgust of harm to children. ISIS is an organization that has committed heinous acts of violence and violated the human rights of many of our fellow believers. But we must not partake in the spreading of lies, even if it is against our enemies.

[Read Factchecker: Is ISIS Beheading Children in Iraq?]

In other words: Don't take media rumours at their word, don't be led by your emotions, and don't lie about an enemy that's already bad enough, to make them out to be worse than they actually are. Sound advice, which makes the rather severe pushback in the comments all the more surprising.

In the past week we have lost two Hollywood legends: Robin Williams, who died this Monday, tragically by his own hand; and sultry actress and widow of Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall. Steve at Triablogue argues that "her legend was based entirely on three classic films from the 1940s which she made with Bogart." I think he's overstating his case, considering that Bacall had a lengthy career comprising both classic and not-so-classic movies, which is arguably par for the course for any star of the screen, legendary or not. (By contrast, for example, James Dean's reputation does rest on three films: East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause, and Giant, in addition to a few uncredited roles and a couple dozen television appearances.) Steve does rightly note how good Bacall and Bogey were together and why, in his poignant final paragraph:

Audiences enjoy watching screen couples who obviously enjoy each other. There's an element of common grace to this. They may not be admirable people in real life, but they project a certain ideal. God made men and women for each other.

[Read Bogey & Bacall]

Finally, last week I mentioned a podcast I had recently discovered about design: 99% Invisible. No sooner do I point it out, than its very next episode presents one of the most intriguing documentaries I have ever heard: The Sound of Sports, originally broadcast on BBC Radio in 2011. It's about how sound designers engineer the sound of sports brodcasts to heighten the experience for viewers. Usually this can be accomplished with a lot of well-placed microphones, but sometimes they will "sweeten" the sound with added "production value." Thanks to live TV, you can feel like you're actually there—even if the experience is nothing like being there.

That's the ball game! Until next time, Share and Enjoy.