Need a late Christmas gift? How about #JoinedUpLife the eBook … at last!! IVP has FINALLY launched their new ebook range for all platforms. Buy them direct thru thinkivp.com or go straight to the JuL ebook
It’s been well coded. They haven’t hyperlinked every chapter cross-reference, but chapters are easily accessed through the hyperlinked contents panel available on most readers. Footnotes and URLs are well done.
So it’s official. The smartphone with patented curvy bits now completes you:
[T]he iPhone 5 includes a new feature that gives shape and purpose to previously empty and meaningless lives.
It turns out that Siri now has empathy!
Wall Street rallied on the news, with tech analysts expecting millions of Apple customers to purchase an iPhone 5 to replace their existing boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse.
But in the words of Apple devotee Tracy Klugian, who was present at today’s launch, such expectations are overdone: “Most Apple snobs I know started putting their Apple products before their relationships a long time ago.”
Ooh sorry, irony alert: that’s a spoof. Wish the same were true of this piece where an economist offers a helpful challenge. ‘Perhaps it is time for us to question our perpetual product cravings, and accept that “old”, “used”, and even “broken” are not dirty words.’ No problem there, or with the equally useful point that ‘infinite’ economic growth, driven by planned obsolescence and consumerism, might be a teeny bit unethical. (I’ve had a poke at ‘infinite growth’ here.)
But I’m a mite disappointed that it’s ‘contemporary Swiss-born philosopher Alain de Botton’ who gets the guernsey for skewering the system. Apparently, ‘wealth does not involve having many things’. Did he come up with that himself? Likewise Jean-Jacques Rousseau: ‘Our souls rarely articulate what they must have in order to be satisfied, or when they do mumble something, their commands are likely to be misfounded or contradictory.’ If so, Jean-Jacques, would you care to signal what our souls are missing?
A clue in Augustine’s prayer, perhaps? (‘You have formed us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in you’; Confessions 1:1) Might Jesus’ brother have a relevant insight? (‘What is the source of wars and fights among you? Don’t they come from the cravings that are at war within you?’; James 4:1) Could Jesus himself have been onto something? (‘Watch out and be on guard against all greed because one’s life is not in the abundance of his possessions’; Luke 12:15.) And now I come to think of it, I think this economist has stolen the line about old, dirty and broken things from my mum.
I’m fine with economists quoting philosophers and ripping off my mum’s ideas. Really, I am. But it seems that the more desperate we get about consumerist madness, the more stubbornly we refuse to concede that Jesus was way, way ahead of all of us (even my mum). He diagnosed us. He re-enabled the God relationship that we disable but which salves us. His Spirit reorders our lunatic desire-scape. I’m not saying every Christian gets it. There are greedy Christians too, and I’m just a screwed up work-in-progress. But I find it totally amnesiac, or bloody-minded, that the author won’t even grudgingly concede that maybe Christianity was onto something a million years before dear Alain and co.
Anyway back to the curvy smartphone: \/\/hatever, you’re thinking. I still need one or else how am I going to stay connected, watch fb, read your blog and so on. New tech makes my dreams come true.
A bit spooky, though, how ex-LulzSec dude Jake Davis confesses that since a judge banned him from all computer use, ‘in a word, life is serene’:
Things are calmer, slower and at times, I’ll admit, more dull. … However, there is something oddly endearing about being disconnected from the digital horde. It is not so much the sudden simplicity of daily life … but the feeling of being able to close my eyes without being bombarded with flashing shapes or constant buzzing sounds … Sleep is now tranquil and uninterrupted and books seem far more interesting.
But I guess it’s important that the rest of us don’t rediscover how life used to be. Share prices would crash. They couldn’t patent new curvy bits. Rot would set in. The infinite growth economy would stop.
So get lusting for that me-phone. Avoid Jesus and his pernicious mates. Don’t look his way for meaning. On this the economist and I agree: it’s become unpatriotic to not want more stuff.
How’d we miss this thing???
God to Job: ‘Answer me like a man. Have you comprehended the extent of the earth? Do you know when mountain goats give birth? Have you watched the deer in labour?’ (38:3, 18; 39:1)
Job to God: ‘How can I answer you? I place my hand over my mouth.’ (40:4)
Moderns to God: ‘Actually, yeah. We got Google Earth. We track goats by GPS. BBC films everything now, deer are easy. So you can get lost, because we’ve disproved you, or whatever.’
God to moderns: ‘OK then — howzabout this here entire new species of weird monkey you completely missed for several millennia? Glad you found ‘em, well played, plenty more surprises where he came from though. Oh btw since you’re pretty smart can you maybe not accidentally chop down, burn or dehydrate his habitat?’
UPDATE from a mate: ‘In 2002 a new centipede was discovered that defined an entire new genus! Now new invertebrates regularly pop up … but the location it was found was shocking: New York City’s Central Park. Go figure.’
PS: Just going on looks, where do you reckon the fella above might rate on God’s ‘wisdom-endowment scale’, Job 39:17 …
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