I haven’t had many nice things to say about Microsoft Office for Mac in the last few years two decades. Despite the suite’s power and the fact that it outstrips it competition in many different ways, I’ve used other software in preference to Word, PowerPoint, and Excel for many years, largely because right-to-left text processing in Office for Mac has been poor nonexistent since the 1980s, even after the advent and wide adoption of Unicode. I have consistently made sure to have legitimate access to the latest version of Office (currently as a personal subscriber to Office 365) for collaborative purposes, but I almost never use it for my own independent work.
The internet (I heard on Grammar Girl that the AP Stylebook says you’re not supposed to capitalize “internet” any more) experienced a flurry of virtue signaling this past weekend as netizens (does anyone still use that word?) reacted to the interrogation of Guido Menzio for doing complex math on a plane. Now, of course, what happened to Professor Menzio was completely inappropriate and unacceptable. And, of course, I would hope that I would not mistake an Italian-American doing calculus for a terrorist. But the situation made me stop and ask myself whether there are categories of people that I tend to prejudge based purely on outward appearances? Honesty would compel most of us to answer “yes.” I can’t honestly say that my initial reaction to a scruffy teenager with half of his boxers showing above his jeans is the same as my reaction to a well-dressed businessman. And it’s amazing how many netizens decrying the other passenger’s snap judgment about Menzio jumped straight to “dumb blonde” jokes, based solely on a small detail about her own appearance. Prejudices, biases, and snap judgments abound. They go hand in hand with phenomena like pereidolia and hyperactive agency detection, and were probably adaptive behaviors at some point in human history. At any rate, despite my best intentions, I still have a lot of work to do.
Yes, okay, I admit it. Referencing a popular media property in the post title is more or less clickbait. If you’re reading this, I guess it worked. Anyway, it seems the last time I blogged was in August 2015, and the last time I tweeted was in December. I have a pattern of starting strong, then blogfading as things get busy. But to tell the truth, I miss being part of the Bible-blogging community, so I’m going to try to give this another go, taking inspiration from both Ezekiel 37 and the Hooters’ “All You Zombies.”
I do have several things on my mind that I want to share with friends and colleagues far and wide, and questions I want to ask. I also have these recurring intentions of using Higgaion as a kind of accountability tool, keeping me moving on my research to avoid the shame of having nothing to really blog about. Maybe that will help me make good progress on my two SBL presentations for November 2016 and my Stone-Campbell Journal Conference presentations for spring 2017 (I can’t remember if it’s March or April in 2017).
But I’d also like to know: what’s on your mind? I’m especially keen to learn what kinds of Old Testament related topics (yes, there should probably be some hyphens in there, but I thought they looked ugly) would be of interest to other folk who, like me, self-identify as members or heirs of the Churches of Christ, Christian Churches, Restoration Movement, Stone-Campbell heritage, or whatever label you want to use. How is the Old Testament being heard and used in our churches these days? What parts of the Old Testament cry out for more of our attention?
So please use the comments section here to let me know what topics interest you, and in the coming weeks I‘ll try to share with you some topics that interest me. Maybe there’s some life left in this old blog after all.