Wed, Jun 28, 2017

New Website

I’ve put together a new website. For anyone who has been following my presence on the internet, this change shouldn’t come as a big surprise as I’ve periodically migrated my web presence from a static html site (1994) to movable type (2002) to wordpress (2004) to joomla (for about 15 minutes), to drupal (2010) and then back to wordpress again. What is perhaps a bit different this time is that this migration marks something of a homecoming as I’ve officially abandoned the Content Management System where I’ve been dwelling digitally for a little over a decade.

Fri, Feb 10, 2017

Peer review and reddit?

Crossposted from my Tools of the Trade blog There’s a terrific interview this week on the Inquiring Minds podcast with Nate Allen, one of the lead moderators for the r/Science subreddit. Colleagues will be especially interested in their discussion of the r/Science AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) events they run which host sciences who have recently published results for an interactive, carefully moderated and pretty high-level conversation with the 15 million + users on that forum.

Mon, Nov 7, 2016

Voting and Civic Participation, a response to Wayne Grudem

Note: Crossposted from Mere Orthodoxy and In All Things This has been a strange and bewildering year for American politics, and for certain segments of the American church. Some commenters have felt confident to call the church’s reaction to the general election a “schism” in the religious right—quite strong language. The candidacy of Donald Trump has been inordinately mystifying for many of us, Christians included, but “schism” is far too vague a diagnosis in attempting to capture the state of this discourse, just as “religious right” is a rather unimpressive sociological descriptor.

Thu, Mar 31, 2016

The Interwebs

Note: Crossposted on Tools of the Trade

Usually we tend to think of the WWW as a tool for research, and I’ll dive into some of the ways that I make use of specific tools to search and mine the web for resources into a later post, but today I wanted to share a bit about how the web can serve as a subject for research. Web social science is the next big thing, with regular sessions now appearing at many major academic society conferences. If you want to get the big overview, I’d recommend you start with Robert Ackland’s recent book, Web Social Science: Concepts, Data and Tools for Social Scientists in the Digital Age. Ackland’s book is a terrific resource, covering both qualitative and quantitative modes of research and he covers a large range of tools from online surveys and focus groups, web content gathering and analysis, social media network analysis (which I’ll discuss in a future post), and online experimentation. For an author who is quite technical the book covers a very helpful range of ethical considerations, surveys a range of contemporary methodological literature, and he presents the domain of research involved in each of these which would be accessible to a readership that hasn’t done this kind of work before. A few years ago when I began doing web social science and social network analysis, I found Acklands book to be a terrific catalyst into the wider field of web studies.

Mon, Feb 8, 2016

A poem for your friday

“The Heaven of Animals” by James L. Dickey Here they are. The soft eyes open. If they have lived in a wood It is a wood. If they have lived on plains It is grass rolling Under their feet forever. Having no souls, they have come, Anyway, beyond their knowing. Their instincts wholly bloom And they rise. The soft eyes open. To match them, the landscape flowers, Outdoing, desperately Outdoing what is required: The richest wood, The deepest field.

Tue, Sep 30, 2014

Address to the People’s Climate March

I devoted some time these past six weeks to helping organise a people’s climate march in Edinburgh. Given our research focus on how Christians and faith communities mobilise for action around climate change and other related ecological issues, this probably doesn’t come as a surprise. What did surprise many people, myself included, was the extent of the march (pictures here) that occurred last Sunday (21 Sep 2014). We had hoped for 200-300 and by most estimates, we had nearly 3000 people marching through the streets of Edinburgh committing themselves to action and calling on our nation’s leaders here in Scotland to address climate change in substantial ways.

Sat, Sep 6, 2014

When a surprising turn occurs

“It is pertinent to see that in a world of becoming this or that force-field can go through a long period of relative equilibrium, or even gradual progression as defined by standards extrapolated from that equilibrium. Much of social thought and political theory takes such periods as the base from which to define time and progress themselves, making the practitioners all the more disoriented when a surprising turn occurs, that is, when a period of intense disequilibrium issues in a new plateau that scrambles the old sense of progress and regress in this or that way.

Tue, May 20, 2014

Fr Schmemann on Dying

This morning during Matins I had a “jolt of happiness,” of fullness of life, and at the same time the thought: I will have to die! But in such a fleeting breath of happiness, time usually “gathers” itself. In an instant, not only are all such breaths of happiness remembered but they are present and alive— that Holy Saturday in Paris when I was a young man—and many such “breaks.” It seems to me that eternity might be not the stopping of time, but precisely its resurrection and gathering.

Thu, May 15, 2014

Merchants in the Kingdom?

Crossposted from KLICE Comment Over the course of several years of doctoral research, I’ve been reading the Christian Scriptures closely to see what we might responsibly say about the relationship between our everyday work and the New Creation. Along the way, I was struck by a strange prohibition that ends the book of Zechariah: ‘and there shall no longer be traders in the house of the Lord of hosts on that day’ (14:21, NRSV).

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