November 23, 2009

I have a confession: I was an Apple fanboy. After using a Mac for the first time, I fell in love. A week later, I purchased a Macbook. I love Apple’s attention to detail and the way that their hardware is nearly flawless. They have a great design team and they make good products. I was also in love with their software, and the way that it worked really well together. I was an Apple evangelist, telling everyone about how great I thought that Apple was.

It could be my new views on finances, it could be the problems encountered with Snow Leopard, but for the past couple of weeks, I have discovered that I am no longer in love with Apple. The main reason as far as I can tell is that I am tired of Apple’s business practices. They are a selfish and restrictive company. I do not like being told what I can and cannot do with the products that I buy.

I just switched my Macbook over to Ubuntu. While I still use OSX for my job, and the tools that I need to use are on that platform, for my own personal use, I use Ubuntu. I like the freedom to be able to do whatever I want on my computer. If I don’t like the way the windows look, I can change them, if I don’t like the fonts, boom! different fonts.

I think that the whole idea of freedom is very close to the message of Christianity as well. I think that if you compare Mac OS to Ubuntu, you can make a strong argument that Mac OS is like Catholicism, and Ubuntu is like Protestantism. Mac OS is available one way, has strict rules, and it ruled by one man. Steve Jobs performs the role of the pope, deciding himself what direction things should go. The rules are arcane and there is no good reason why half of them exist. Why can I not have anything fullscreen? On a Macbook, that would be very handy, but Steve decided he didn’t want that, so poof!, no easy fullscreen. Ubuntu is like protestantism. Linux is an offshoot of Unix, same as Mac, but it is available in THOUSANDS of different flavors. Ubuntu is just one of those. There is freedom in the way things are done, leadership is split among many people, and in a very real sense, among every user of the OS. Just as there is no ONE RIGHT WAY to worship God, and we have a great array of methods to do so, Ubuntu and Linux provide many different ways to experience personal computing.

I am tired of being treated like a child and told what I can and cannot do on my computer. I want freedom and the ability to use applications, browse the web, and use media in my OWN way. I want no one man in a turtleneck making decisions about what is best for me. I choose Ubuntu, and I choose freedom.

In defense of Church Media

October 21, 2009

Sometimes I think that church media can be concentrated on the wrong things. Some churches add flashy lights and over-the-top media for the wrong reasons. Whenever I work on a media element, I try to make it to the best of my abilities, but I am trying to keep in mind my audience and their well being over everything else. There is a place and a time for flashy stuff, and that is during a performance. Church is not a performance. Church media should reflect the message above all else, not the cool effects and techniques that were used. I really liked this quote from Dave Harris, a media guy from Southeast Christian:

I think media is one of the most powerful tools we have, but only if we use it intentionally. The idea of wowing a student with a fancy moving light or an HD projector doesn’t accomplish anything to grow them in their faith. We use the tools of media to tell a story or create an environment for students to learn the truth of the Bible in an engaging way. Students generally have short attention spans as is, so we need to make sure we never create a distraction, but use media to create focus.

Media should be used to support and enhance the message that is being presented. Sometimes I have placed my attention a little too much on the whiz bang. I hope that no one ever walks out the doors of Antioch thinking about how “good” anything on the screen is. I hope that they leave motivated and touched by the words that were spoken. If I can support that, then I have done my job.