About Charles Jones

Kinect: Future Awesome

Project Natal was going to be awesome. It was going to be more than awesome...it was going to leave us just one or two hardware innovations from Minority Report. Then the Kinect came out, and it was just another Wii: We wanted to lightsaber duel in a fully interactive digital environment -- perhaps a bar fight, so we could pick up in-game chairs and bash virtual Chewbaccas to death with them -- and instead we got to molest virtual tigers and go bowling. Again.The scenario shouldn't have … [Read more...]

Four Crucial Technology Landmarks in 2010

Last year a COLLIDE Magazine article once again raised in important question: “It’s 2010? Where’s my Jetpack?”. This look back at technology in 2010 starts with a similar question.Where’s my XBOX720?The PlayStation was released in the US in 1995. The PS2 and XBOX were released in 2000-01, and were followed by the XBOX360 and PS3 in ‘05-06. So where’s the next generation of consoles? There’s a simple answer: they’re not coming. The seventh generation of gaming consoles was built for growth, us … [Read more...]

Don't Not Pray for Christopher Hitchens

September 20th was "Everybody Pray for Hitchens Day". The writer and well-known atheist has cancer of the esophagus, and several of his friends in the clergy enlisted their congregations to pray for him. Hitch was understandably indifferent to the idea — "unless it makes you feel better" — but I was surprised to see a religious leader suggest that praying for Hitchens may actually be "hateful": As Mr. Hitchens' beliefs regarding God and religion are more than common knowledge, perhaps abstaining … [Read more...]

How I Met Your Mother: "Friends" With a Conscience

Last week, in order to use an illustration, one of my profs quietly admitted to having watched a few episodes of Friends, and joked that none of us had to admit to it if we didn't want to. I admit to it freely: my wife and I have seen every single episode at least 3 times, most of them many more than that. I honestly don't think there are a lot of church folk in Generations X, Y, and Z (that's "millenials", but it didn't flow) who would be embarrassed to make the same admission. It's a great … [Read more...]

Interfaith Apathy

I am completely uninterested in interfaith dialog. Does that make me a bad person?This Ground Zero Mosque business has allowed me to finally face the issue personally and honestly, and I've decided that I don't care. Aside from the fact that I've grown weary of the constant whining from the potential mosque's imam and other supporters (no one can stop you; if you want to build it... build it), I still don't have a clear idea of why a Christian should support it. The intent of building this … [Read more...]

Why is pop culture?

We here at CaPC spend a lot of time talking the whos, whats, and hows of pop culture. All of that talk is governed by the when (that is, now...certainly not yesterday), and the where (the West). But we don't talk a lot about the why.Murray Jardine, a political science professor at Auburn University, would like to help us with that. In The Making and Unmaking of Technological Society he explores the development of contemporary Western culture, which he describes as a "consumer culture" and a … [Read more...]

RetroPost: Should We Feel Great About Proposition 8?

Editor's Note: RetroPost is a weekly repost of an older Christ and Pop Culture that has some relevance to current pop culture events or releases.This Week: On June 8 of last year, Charles Jones wondered whether the initiative, and the attitude behind it, was such a great thing. This week, we found that a federal judge had more concrete reservations, striking down the Proposition as unconstitutional.California's Proposition 8, a ballot initiative making same-sex marriages illegal, just … [Read more...]

What Reading a Digital Bible Does to Your Mind

When Nicholas Carr wrote "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" in The Atlantic in the summer of 2008, I was totally unaware. I didn't even know that kind of question would be asked, and I wasn't really interested in such things at the time. I was just a designer who wanted to play with his son, make pretty graphics, and avoid losing any digits in the big paper cutter at work. Fortunately, he expanded on his interesting thesis in this year's The Shallows; I immediately recognized myself in his early … [Read more...]

The iPad is…

"My First Week with Apple’s Latest Wonder Gadget" by John Dyer at Collide falls in line with the last podcast, and David's article about the iPad. … [Read more...]

Transformers 2: Not Great, but that's Not the Point

First things first: giant alien robots who know kung fu are awesome. Movies with hand-to-hand combat are usually fun, more so when sometimes the hands become red-hot swords, or canons, or shoot tiny guided missiles. I just had to get that out.Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is not going to be in the running for any awards that have to do with acting, direction, or writing. There were too many low-panning shots, too much slow motion, too much sophomoric humor, and not enough social … [Read more...]