Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Too much information?

Our week in Keswick was fun, despite some serious rain. I went to about 5 of the convention meetings, and was pleasantly surprised to discover 'Uncle' Clive Calver was the main speaker. This man has a lot to answer for (!) not least employing me in Youth for Christ many years ago. He went to the U.S. ten years ago and is still based there, so it is at least that long since I last met him. Great to hear him in full flow again... I could tell you some stories from YFC days - maybe some other time.

I was commenting elsewhere the other day - a Conversation on ChurchMCR about blogging - and noting the sheer amount of Stuff that is available. Since I began this experiment with blogging I have been reading those of a few other people, each of which has numerous links to more ('Blogrolls', each of which have links to more and so on ad nauseum). A lot of it really interesting stuff, but if I sat here all day every day reading I'd not get through it all. Then there's all the other stuff on the internet. And then there is FaceBook, MySpace etc. I know at least one person who is put off the whole 'Web 2' thing by the volume of information, choice, options and is giving it a wide berth. There's a case for Christians showing a good use of this technology to build relationships, but aware of the need to carefully select and edit material, watch use of time, and be aware of the limitations of virtual versus face-to-face. Aforementioned ChurchMCR is a web2 site seeking to promote just that.

cartoon from www.weblogcartoons.com

I was thinking about huge quantities of reading material again at Keswick (notice the subtle link) as I stood in one of the three bookshops and gazed out over the tables and shelves covered in books stretching off into the middle-distance. Again, not a chance of reading them all. Add to that the whatever-it-is number of hours teaching given at an event like the convention, all of it available to buy and listen to again on CD, and you have another huge amount of information, again I'm sure mostly edifying and interesting. Edit. Select. Discipline! I managed to restrict the additions to my sabbatical reading list to just two, but even so said list is now longer than when I started - there is just so much available on just about everything. As I've said here before, my head is full of inspiring stuff, now I need to get some specifics. (Still... I feel like I've been at this stage for a while now). I've actually cut back on the reading this last couple of weeks in the hope of letting some of what's gone in already settle a bit.

Is this amount of information a good thing, or too much of a good thing? I can't decide. What do you think?

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

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