Which Way Will It Go?

Before the fall out from the convention has even settled, it looks like the election of a new Bishop of Newark, a post previously held by John Shelby Spong, is going to cause more arguments, as one of the four candidates is gay. The diocese have said that the committee deliberately avoided discriminating against candidates on the grounds of sexual orientation. Essentially, they have handed the decision to the members of the congregations in the Newark diocese, and as with the recent election in California it will be their choice of Bishop that will ultimately trigger, or avoid more arguments.

In the UK, Ruth Gledhill’s article in the Times yesterday that assumed that any Anglican covenant would be defined in terms of the conservative position has produced a swift response from Colin Slee, pointing out firstly that no covenant has been defined, and also floating the question as to whether many congregations in the wider Church of England, such as his own in Southwark, would sign up to it either. This offers the possibility that the Church of England as a whole may find itself theologically closer to the liberal provinces that include Scotland and New Zealand as well as the US and Canadian churches than the conservative provinces in Africa and Asia, and drafting a much more liberal covenant than the conservative churches could stomach. This of course raises the possibility that ultimately it may be these conservative provinces that will find themselves excluded, rather than the liberal wing.

Technorati Oddity

Ian posted a couple of weeks ago complaining that although it was picking up new links, Technorati wasn’t updating his ranking, and was permanently stuck on ’36 links from 20 sites’. As a result, I’ve been keeping an eye on my ranking and links, and exactly the same problem – I’ve had a couple of new links overnight, and more in the past couple of weeks, but the ranking is still stuck on ’50 links from 18 sites’. Anybody know what is going on?

Get a Taste of TED

Back in February I really enjoyed reading Wil Shipley’s blog posts describing his attendance at the TED conference, held in Monterey, CA. The conference brings together an amazing cross section of people, including actors, politicians, musicians and geeks. The thing that unites them all is ideas. To get some idea of what went on at the conference, Wil gives a good idea of the diversity in his postings.

However, until now, you couldn’t really get an idea of what the speakers were like. I say until now, because TED themselves have now posted videos and audio recordings of some of the major speakers online, with more to come. Even better, the videos and audio recordings are all released under a Creative Commons licence allowing them to be freely distributed.


The first of the videos is Al Gore, the man who in his own words “used to be the next President of the United States of Americaâ€?. Here he is talking about Global Warming. It is worth mentioning that this was his second presentation at the conference. His first is effectively what was used as the basis for his movie An Inconvenient Truth, which received a limited release last month. The video that TED includes of Gore lasts only just over fifteen minutes, and is well worth a look if you are at all concerned about Global Warming. However, watching Gore on stage it is hard not to compare him with the man he beat in the popular vote, but ultimately handed the presidency to six years ago, and wonder how things might be different…

Anyway, back to TED. Also amongst the other speakers represented in the video, and again showing the breadth of topics and speakers is David Pogue, who is best known on this side of the pond as the writer of a number of books in the ‘…for Dummies’ and ‘Missing Manuals’ series, on keeping things simple. He opens his presentation singing a reworking of ‘The Sound of Silence’ about being on hold for tech support, and includes songs about Bill Gates and Steve Jobs – anyone would think he started out as an accompanist! 😀 Great stuff. (More of his songs can be found on his website.)

It’s not just Americans. There is also a talk by a person you may not have heard of, Sir Ken Robinson, currently a senior advisor to the J Paul Getty Trust in Los Angeles. Previously voted Business Speaker of the Year, his talk is a very entertaining discussion on the public education system, particularly the way in which, since it’s birth, creative subjects are pushed aside in favour of academic subjects, leading to the cultural definition of inteligence as being academically gifted, pushing aside those whose gifts are elsewhere. Here he argues for the benefits of encouraging creative ideas in young people.

There is definitely something for everybody amongst the current selection, and a new talk promised each week. You can subscribe for free through a variety of methods including e-mail, and even through iTunes. I’d certainly recommend taking a look for some interesting, and in some cases pretty challenging stuff.

Something for Strange but True

Something to file under ‘Strange but True’ – having read Craig Murphy’s posting on a £5 coin that was only legal tender in Tristan da Cunha, I was intrigued to find that Scottish banknotes are in fact not legal tender in Scotland! In fact Bank of England bank notes are the only notes that are legal tender anywhere in the UK, and then only in England and Wales. Strangely that means that no notes at all are legal tender in Scotland or Northern Ireland. However, this is largely irrelevant, as creditors are obliged under law to accept any ‘reasonable’ settlement of the debt, and as the notes are not illegal traders are able to accept them if they so wish both in Scotland, and in the rest of the UK.

Yet More Anglican Postings

Father Jake has posted a series of interesting posts over the past few days. The Bishop of New Hampshire has written an open letter in the wake of B033, especially with regards to the feelings of delegates who felt they were betraying other members of the Church in the cause of Anglican unity, only to have it thrown back in their faces. The Times has published an article questioning whether Rowan Williams is too brainy to lead the Church. Perhaps the most interesting comment item is this article from the Guardian comparing and commending the US Church, and comparing it with what is happening in the Church of England. Michael Hampson, the author of the article has a new book, The Last Rites: The End of the Church of England that will be published in October.