Thursday, July 30, 2009

Book review: Chris Anderson- Free

Free: The Future of a Radical Price
Chris Anderson
Print version 288 pages or Audiobook 7 hours
Published by Hyperion, 2009

In Free, Chris Anderson explains why making things cost nothing is influential and has radical implications for the modern world. He argues for the paradox that approached rightly making products and information free can actually be profitable and beneficial. While the book deals with free in various physical and digital forms the main focus of the book is in relation how the internet is especially suited to economic models based on free. I was somewhat sceptical that there was really enough to say on the topic to fill a whole book but I was pleasantly surprised. In the book he approaches the topic from a wide variety of angles including history, psychology, economic theory, sociology, IT, marketing and science. I found the book to be a quite engaging read even in discussions of areas like economics I normally have little interest in. Even if you don’t agree with the overall argument, you will likely learn some interesting facts along the way.

As you would expect of a book making this argument, the book is available for free online in various text and audio formats.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Singapore bound at last!

All going to plan, 24 hours from now i will be sitting on a plane for the first leg of my trip to Singapore. I arrive in Singapore early Sunday morning Singapore time after a stop-over in Perth. Yes that is kinda outta the way from Melbourne but it is saving me a lot of money ($300 verses $700 or more for a direct ticket).I'm going to Singapore to study as an exchange student at National University of Singapore for one semester (until early december). After a lot of drama things seem to be going pretty well- i got accomodation where i wanted, got a better scholarship than i expected and I don't seem to have swine flu.

I will be blogging about my experiences and posting photos at and posting shorter updates on twitter under the username @joannasingapore

If you could pray for me as i finish packing, travel and settle in that would be wonderful. Specifically that I wouldn't forget anything i need to pack, that my rather drawn out trip there would happen without any problems and that I'd stay healthy.

Pray like Jesus

I'm one of those people who has never really felt comfortable with how or how much they pray. I found the following sermon from Mark Driscoll really encouraging and helpful.

Download it here

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Song of the week- American dream

Switchfoot- American Dream

When success is equated with excess
The ambition for excess wrecks us
As top of the mind becomes the bottom line
When success is equated with excess

If your time ain't been nothing for money
I start to feel really bad for you, honey
Maybe honey, put your money where your mouth's been running
If your time ain't been nothing but money

I want out of this machine
It doesn't feel like freedom

This ain't my American dream
I want to live and die for bigger things
I'm tired of fighting for just me
This ain't my American dream

When success is equated with excess
When we're fighting for the Beamer, the Lexus
As the heart and soul breath in the company goals
Where success is equated with excess

'Cause baby's always talkin' 'bout a ring
And talk has always been the cheapest thing
Is it true would you do what I want you to
If I show up with the right amount of bling?

Like a puppet on a monetary string
Maybe we'’ve been caught singing
Red, white, blue, and green
But that ain't my America,
That ain't my American dream

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Resource roundup: Podcasts #2

First podcasts post is here

The world in words (website, iTunes)
The world in words explores global culture through the lens of the many different ways languages are used, created and adapted. You don't have to be a linguistics nerd to enjoy this program, anyone with an interest in international culture will likely find this fascinating.

Christian Audio First Chapters (website, iTunes)
This podcast features the first chapter of new and popular Christian books. It is a great way to decide if a book is one you'd be interested in before you buy it. At the Christian Audio website they also have a different free full lengnth Christian audio book every month. This month's free audio book is Crazy Love by Francis Chan.

Mars Hill Church (website, iTunes)
The Mars Hill Church podcast features sermons from popular author and preacher Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. I particularly recommend the Doctrine series which goes through the major themes of the bible and The Rebels Guide To Joy series which covers Phillipians.

The Boundless Show (website, iTunes)
The Boundless show is an Christian podcast focused at college students and young adults. It covers a wide variety of topics and is quite entertaining.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Song of the week- Revelation song

Kari Jobe- Revelation song

Book review: Pete Gall- My beautiful idol

My Beautiful Idol
Pete Gall
293 pages
Published by Zondervan 2008

In My Beautiful Idol, Pete Gall tells the story of his move out from the security of a decently paid but spiritually compromising job to a risky and uncomfortable life that honours God. Through his journey he grapples with some of the idols and challenges that face us as Christians. His writing is refreshingly honest, not shying away from his mistakes. He writes in a style somewhat similar to Donald Miller so if you enjoy Donald Millers books I’m pretty sure you will enjoy this book. I really enjoyed the book. I could barely put it down so finished it much quicker than I normally finish books of this length.

The audiobook is available for whatever you want to pay at noisetrade

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Procrastinators of the world unite...................Tomorrow!

Half way through the year already! Isn’t that scary? How are your new year’s resolutions going?

As I look back on commitments I made at the start of the year or at various times since then, there is a common thread I notice. It is that while I always fully intend to do good things, I just intend to do them later.

Pray for someone.......later tonight
Start the diet.......on Monday
Read my bible......tomorrow
Write some more blog posts.........sometime later this week
Go to the gym.......sometime before the membership expires

These mostly look like pretty reasonable at first glance. After all, everyone is pretty busy. But they all add up, both over time and when there is more than one thing getting procrastinated. This can be especially the case in spiritual things. It’s not like when you skip the diet, keep eating boxes of cookies- there the consequences of that tend to be painfully obvious. The consequences of spiritual procrastination can be a lot more subtle, but still very much exist. Too much procrastination keeps us as immature and ineffective Christians. I would have to wonder if it is part of the devils strategy that if he can't make us do bad things, that he'll influence us to keep procrastinating on doing the good things so they never happen.

Good intentions are never enough to beat procrastination. On their own they tend to fuel it. I'm learning that if I want to grow spiritually I actually have to make a firm plan. Then I have to act on it, even when it is inconvenient or not the most enjoyable thing to do at the time. I used to at the start of every week write down a list of things I was going to pray for on each day of that week. I think I need to start doing that again.

I'm sure I'm not the only one with a procrastination problem. What are some areas you need to kill procrastination in?