A possible compromise on the gay marriage... →
Tony Campolo offers a suggestion regarding gay marriage: I propose that the government should get out of the business of marrying people and, instead, only give legal status to civil unions. The government should do this for both gay couples and straight couples, and leave marriage in the hands of the church and other religious entities. That’s the way it works in Holland. If a couple wants to...
iCloud and iOS 5 to be officially unveiled next... →
Apple press release: Apple® CEO Steve Jobs and a team of Apple executives will kick off the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) with a keynote address on Monday, June 6 at 10:00 a.m. At the keynote, Apple will unveil its next generation software - Lion, the eighth major release of Mac OS® X; iOS 5, the next version of Apple’s advanced mobile operating system which powers...
What will the UK international aid be spent on? →
The UK government has released details of what it plans to accomplish with its international aid spending: The set of plans show exactly how Britain’s aid programmes will deliver results and measure progress up to 2015, including: - In Bangladesh, lifting 5 million people out of extreme poverty - In Ethiopia, providing basic healthcare for 7.5 million people - In Pakistan,...
Stop trying to find yourself, it's time to lose... →
David Brooks in the New York Times writes about the world that this year’s graduates are entering into and challenges much of the conventional wisdom about how to live: Most people don’t form a self and then lead a life. They are called by a problem, and the self is constructed gradually by their calling. … Today’s grads enter a cultural climate that preaches the self as the...
Amazon looking to become mainstream publisher →
Bethany Overland at Techflash reports on the steps Amazon is taking to fully enter into the book publishing business: Seattle-based Amazon in recent weeks has rolled out two new book imprints, announced a roster of best-selling authors whose books will be published under those imprints, and hired a prominent publishing executive to set up an office in New York. This is a very interesting if...
How to build a caring organisation →
Seth Godin: If you want to build a caring organization, you need to fill it with caring people and then get out of their way. When your organization punishes people for caring, don’t be surprised when people stop caring. Brilliant. Simple. Profound.
David Cameron hits out at world leaders over... →
I for one am very pleased that Cameron is keeping the commitments that Tony Blair and Gordon Brown made: The UK contributed £8.5 billion last year, which is 0.56 per cent of gross domestic product. That compares with Germany’s £7.8bn, which is only 0.38 per cent of GDP; America’s £18.5bnm which is 0.21 per cent. … The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We made a clear...
Stop thinking everyone sees the world the way you...
If you’ve ever found yourself expecting people to see the world the way you do, this post is here to serve you notice to snap out of it! I was out for a drink with my wife, Rachel, on Thursday night and we ended up in a conversation that ultimately led to each of us separately writing a list of things we noticed about the bar we were in. Here’s my list: The couple on left have an...
Organising your emails into folders is a waste of... →
Gabor Cselle writes up the findings of a recent report: Organizing your Email into Folders doesn’t make finding your emails easier or faster. People that put emails into folders spend more time organizing their inbox, more time searching their email, and don’t find emails more often than people who just use search. This doesn’t surprise me at all. I stopped filing a long...
The austerity hasn't started yet →
Fraser Nelson at The Spectator challenges the idea that George Osborne is cutting deep and fast at all: Another month, and another all-time record for state spending in Britain. The government splurged £1.8 billion a day in April — of which £332 million a day was borrowed. Up goes the national debt. All of which leaves us with the question: where is this austerity that George Osborne keeps...
Sparrow mail app updated →
Nice update. I’ve now stopped using the Gmail web client and use Sparrow on both my Macbook Pro and iMac.
Interesting results from one church's billboard... →
Vince Antonucci put up a controversial billboard in Las Vegas proclaiming that ‘God Gives A Damn’. Here’s how he describes the impact: Nothing. Yes, nothing. We got zero phone calls, zero emails, zero letters. We got zero concerns, zero complaints, and zero questions. And the amount of people who showed up at our church through this advertising campaign? Zero. And his...
A response to Francis Chan's video ad on hell →
Jeff Cook at Jesus Creed responds to the recent video Francis Chan released about his new book on hell. He included one quote in particular by CS Lewis to challenge Francis’s view that we shouldn’t rationally wrestle with our views about who God is and what he does: The point [of Job] is that the man who accepts our ordinary standard of good and by it hotly criticizes divine...
Sometimes in life you meet people who inspire you. And sometimes in life you...– Jamie Oliver expressing his frustrations during his Hollywood Food Revolution show!
Phrases to strip from your writing →
Good advice from Alex Mann. I know I’m guilty of lazy use of some of these!
Tom Wright speaks up on hell and Rob Bell →
This is a very informal interview but he makes some good points and is largely supportive of Rob writing his book Love Wins.
'The Pastor' by Eugene Peterson
I recently finished reading Eugene Peterson’s memoir ‘The Pastor’ and thought I’d jot down a few of the things that stood out to me. I have to say that I enjoyed reading this far more than I expected to. As you can imagine from Peterson, it is beautifully written and I was fully engaged from the moment I started reading. He has a compelling story to tell and it is...
In praise of failure →
The PhilanthroCapitalism blog reviews Tim Harford’s new book ‘Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure’: “Adapt” is both entertaining and inspiring in its call for new thinking in how we tackle social and environmental problems. Indeed, it is a must-read for anyone who wants to make the world a better place. We hope that it will both inspire more foundations to learn to...
End of the state-private divide in education? →
Julian Glover in The Guardian explores the possible impact of so many schools becoming academies: England may be ridding itself of the curse of the state-private school divide. When most schools are self-governing, and seem in most regards apart from the price tag and the snobbery to resemble the private school down the road, the difference between the two sorts will diminish. Already some...
Quarterly stats for KERUFF
It’s now three months since I (re)launched KERUFF. Following last weeks generic update, I thought I’d share a few stats about usage of the site. There have been 1,820 unique visitors to the site site and the various pages on the site have been viewed 13,750 times. Those visitors have come from 66 different countries. The vast majority of those (63%) are UK based with the US (22%)...
Apple's amazing customer service →
Michael Gartenberg: More and more I hear anecdotal stories of Apple’s customer service, and how an experience went from being frustrating to heroic. These become tales at cocktail parties and dinner gatherings. The net result: The type of experiential marketing that simply can’t be bought, only earned. … Apple has taken the formerly horrid experience of buying high-tech gear in a...
We need complexity →
Donald Norman: In attempting to reduce the frustrations caused by the complicated nature of much of today’s technology, many solutions miss the point. It is no great trick to take a simple situation and devise a simple solution. The real problem is that we truly need to have complexity in our lives. We seek rich, satisfying lives, and richness goes along with complexity. Our favorite songs,...
Embracing uncertainty →
Martin Lewis of Money Saving Expert: Sometimes there just isn’t a right answer, or at least not without a crystal ball. This simple fact is one many people struggle to grasp. My focus is financial, but this impacts all elements of life including relationships, work and health. The Government is looking to try and boost our happiness, perhaps ensuring the understanding of uncertainty would...
Gordon Brown rules himself out of IMF job? →
From the BBC News Twitter stream: Gordon Brown tells BBC the new #IMF boss must be appointed on merit and he’s ‘not in South Africa to pitch for the job’ So I’m assuming that if Gordon is saying that, ‘the new IMF boss must be appointed on merit’, then he must be ruling himself out. :)
An update about KERUFF
It is nearly three months since I (re)launched KERUFF. I’ll be sharing some of the quarterly stats next week but, before then, I wanted to just provide a bit of a general update. Those of you who know me well will know that I’m very much of the school of thought that says, ‘start early and improve as you go’. In that spirit, this site is very much still a work in...
Another leadership blunder by Ed Miliband →
Duncan Robinson writing in the New Statesman: Miliband was emphatic [about Ken Clarke being sacked] in the commons. Yet two days later - and with Clarke looking safe in his position - Miliband has changed his tune. Miliband cannot call for the heads of ministers willy-nilly, without beginning to look like the boy who cried “wolf”. No wonder he’s trying to distance himself...
Apple's new cloud music service: what about... →
Ben Brooks expands upon MG Siegler’s article (which I commented on earlier) about Apple’s forthcoming cloud music service. It’s an interesting idea for how Apple could look to get around the fact that not all music in people’s iTunes libraries will have been purchased from the iTunes store. If Apple said we want all the music in the users library to be streamable (so...
Learning from economists about the best ways to... →
Nicholas D Kristof for the New York Times: Now we reach a central question for our age: How can we most effectively break cycles of poverty? For decades, we had answers that were mostly anecdotal or hot air. But, increasingly, we are now seeing economists provide answers that are rigorously field-tested, akin to the way drugs are tested in randomized controlled trials, yielding results that...
Tom Wright responds to Stephen Hawking →
Tom Wright, writing in the Washington Post: Hawking is working with a very low-grade and sub-biblical view of ‘going to heaven.’ Of course, if faced with the fully Christian two-stage view of what happens after death — first, a time ‘with Christ’ in ‘heaven’ or ‘paradise,’and then, when God renews the whole creation, bodily resurrection — he would no doubt dismiss that as...
Steve Jobs to send thank you notes to Amazon and... →
MG Siegler at TechCrunch: While Apple is believed to have had the infrastructure work done for a while for their cloud music offering, the hold up was these label deals. Negotiations have been ongoing for months, and given the stakes, it seems likely that they could have gone on for many more months. Then Amazon decided to get ballsy. They launched their own cloud music service in March...
A public thank you to my friend Matthew Johnson
I wanted to go public today with expressing my gratitude for a good friend of mine. Matthew Johnson is a really great guy I had the privilege of getting to know through the International Mentoring Network (IMN) a few years ago. He is a United Methodist pastor from Arkansas, North America who, if I’m honest, is not someone I’d necessarily have expected to form a strong connection with. But I...
Unemployment down by 36,000, employment up by... →
So far so good. Private sector job creation is currently overwhelming public sector cuts. More still need of couse, but it’s definitely looking positive. Youth unemployment is also down. (These figures are for January to March.) UPDATE: Andrew Neil has a good breakdown of all the stats on his blog.
Further thoughts on the Stephen Hawking 'heaven'... →
Brad Hirschfield at the Huffington Post: In no way however, does the absence of scientific evidence for the existence of heaven mean that heaven is for idiots, as Hawking suggested in further comments to his interviewer. Having asserted that there is no heaven, the professor went on to “explain” that heaven is “a fairy tale for people afraid of the dark”. That kind of...
Tumblr is growing like crazy →
MG Siegler at TechCrunch: A year ago, Tumblr users were doing 4.5 million posts a day. Remarkably, that number today should hit 30 million. The service now has 18.8 million blogs across its network, and there have been 5.5 billion posts in total. It was August of last year that they surpassed 1 billion posts — in less than a year, they’re up over 5x. Tumblr (which KERUFF is built on) is...
Is the ANC fit to lead South Africa anymore? →
Leisl Algeo, writer at Mommy Gone Mad: There is no doubt in my mind that the ANC are the parents of this beautiful new democracy in which we live. They battled against dark forces and held the hands of the struggling masses as we underwent transformation. The ANC leaders made sacrifice after sacrifice to ensure that we would one day have an equal and democratic society. They gave birth to...
Stephen Hawking belittles pretty much everyone on... →
Ian Sample quoting Stephen Hawking in an interview for The Guardian: “I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark,” he added. I’m guessing Mr Hawking never read How To Win Friends And Influence People. Calling the vast...
The art of the start →
Ben Arment: Great ideas can fall short when they’re not executed properly. There is a wisdom to the art of the start. If you’ve ever had an idea and gone public with it way too quickly, this post from Ben is just for you. In StrengthsFinder speak I’m an ‘Activator’ and so this is especially good advice for me!
Intuitive or Sensing: What type of people is your... →
Eric Bryant: Sensing people think Intuitive people are lying (or crazy). Intuitive people think Sensing people lack imagination. Neither are correct. We need both Intuitive and Sensing people to make the world go around. I love Eric’s breakdown of the differences between people who, from the Myers-Briggs assessment, are Intuitive and Sensing. And he adds a very interesting application...
Blackberry Playbook will start selling for the... →
Kate Solomon at TechRadar: BlackBerry PlayBook UK pricing has also been revealed ahead of the June launch, with the 16GB model kicking things off at £399 - that’s the same price as the 16GB Wi-Fi only iPad 2. So a half-baked product that doesn’t even do email properly is selling for the same price as the iPad 2. Somebody remind me, why on earth would anyone want to buy that when...
Liam Fox challenges David Cameron's overseas aid... →
From The Guardian: In a letter to the prime minister, Fox argued that creating a statutory requirement to spend 0.7% of national income on official development assistance (ODA) from 2013 will open the government up to legal challenges. I really hope Cameron doesn’t buckle on this one.
Apple iPhone share of the phone market: 5%... →
Pretty amazing really. Especially as this is referring to the whole phone market and not just the smartphone market. Apple now is taking 55% of the profit of an entire industry that they weren’t even part of just a few years ago.
Why is the UK government pushing through so many...
One of the accusations that gets thrown at the coalition government is that they are trying to do too much, too soon. This gets said about their approach to dealing with the deficit, but also more broadly to the reforms they’re pushing - ranging from health to education to policing. So why would a government which, it could be argued, doesn’t have a particularly strong mandate take on so much...
The future of the library →
Seth Godin: The library is no longer a warehouse for dead books. Just in time for the information economy, the library ought to be the local nerve center for information. (Please don’t say I’m anti-book! I think through my actions and career choices, I’ve demonstrated my pro-book chops. I’m not saying I want paper to go away, I’m merely describing what’s...
Simon Jenkins on David Cameron →
Simon Jenkins at The Guardian: While much is promised and little as yet delivered, the coalition has begun a slaughterhouse of sacred cows that have been meandering across the public sector munching gold for half a century. For Cameron to have attacked them head-on, and in the first term of a minority government, is to his credit. Fascinating profile of David Cameron.
Ed Ball's economic plans are reckless →
Tim Harford in the FT: Mr Osborne claims some credit for this international confidence and is right to do so, since he looks determined to adjust government spending to suit the UK’s detumescent economy. The Lib Dems also appear willing to take a bullet in defence of the austerity plans. Ed Balls, shadow chancellor, claims that such austerity is a macroeconomic disaster, and the...
Religious belief is part of human nature →
Richard Allen Greene interviews Professor Roger Trigg on the findings of a massive new study by Oxford University: The blockbuster study may not take a stance on the existence of God, but [religious belief being part of human nature] has profound implications for religious freedom, Trigg contends. “If you’ve got something so deep-rooted in human nature, thwarting it is in some...
John McCain speech on torture →
John McCain: I believe some of these practices – especially waterboarding, which is a mock execution, and thus to me, indisputably torture – are and should be prohibited in a nation that is exceptional in its defense and advocacy of human rights. I believe they are a violation of the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, the Military Commissions Act of 2006, and Common Article Three of the Geneva...