Features

A 2008 Honda Accord has a longer trunk than a 2000 Accord, but the opening isn’t as wide on the 2008.  Gain a little; lose a little.  Must be something to do with aerodynamics.

accord trunk

A 2008 Accord also has some radio/CD controls that require a half-dozen pushes on a knob or switch, whereas the 2000 radio/cassette player required only a single turn of a knob.  I wonder who made the decision to remove the simple knob in favor of something less efficient.

A Roland RD600 digital piano has more knobs and sliders than the Ensoniq KS32, which opted for a large number of buttons.  You can take your pick as to which is easier.  The main factor is probably personal preference  . . . but the basic piano sounds are not as satisfactory as with the Ensoniq.  Someone seems to have paid attention to the peripheral mechanics on the newer Roland, thinking the retro-cool knobs and sliders would sell more keyboards, while not paying enough attention to the core content — the on-board digital sounds.

Personal computers these days have such a plethora of features that it seems no single feature works as well as the all of the features did in Windows 3.1 or Windows 98.  (Win 95 wasn’t quite as good.)  The slowest computer I’ve ever had runs Windows XP.  Windows 7 and Windows 8 are better in some respects, yet there are aspects of these newer machines that obviously received little thorough attention.  I have an HP laptop that is clearly incompatible with one stock Windows auto-update feature.  The functional loops are as maddening as they are amusing, when you stop to think about how this kind of thing really shouldn’t happen at this stage of computer evolution.  And don’t get me started on touchpads.  The mouse is necessary, but slower than the keyboard.  The touchpad is inefficient at best, and with Windows 7 and 8, its functions seem even less refined.

Sometimes, added features create more problems than they solve.

In your contemporary church assembly, have added features enhanced things, or have they detracted and/or created more new problems than they were worth in terms of the gains?  When those in charge have developed things, have they continued to pay attention to the core content?

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4 thoughts on “Features

  1. warsinger 06/04/2014 / 12:22 pm

    Powerpoint is great for songs. Unless you’re the one who has to put it together each week. Until the slides mess up or the leader wants to skip a verse of the song.
    The song books work just fine. Unless all the people sing into them or looking down. Until you want to sing a song, old or new, that isn’t in that particular book. Until you have a parent holding a small child who doesn’t have an hand free to hold the book.

    Tradeoffs.

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    • Brian Casey 06/04/2014 / 12:37 pm

      Good points, all; I appreciate the tradeoffs concept when considering features in general.

      To your PPT para, I’d add these: until the slide isn’t changed quickly enough (happens at every single PPT-using church assembly I’ve ever been in); and until you don’t know the music, and your church is projecting only words, which means you have to convince someone who controls the purse strings that we’re in a literate society, and projecting at least the melody enables more participation.

      And to your song book list, maybe this: until the rote-based, boring leader at your church can’t move out of his dog-eared-page personal repertoire of 20 songs. And this: until your worship leader is so unaware as to make all his selections from the same part of the alphabetically organized book, giving away the fact the he’s put no thought at all into the progression of things!

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  2. Steve Kell 06/04/2014 / 12:56 pm

    I share your angst re: just words without musical notation on the auditorium screen. Unfortunately I believe C of C’s are becoming musically illiterate–due to just projecting words and having praise teams (not a problem per se) miked so as to give the false impression that there is actually anyone else singing, let alone harmonizing. I’ve voiced this to our worship leader on occasion–receiving the typical “people become more concerned with the music instead of the lyrics” response–and there is some truth to that. But throwing out the baby with the bathwater doesn’t appear to be helpful–especially in the long run.

    [Please note I added a reflection to your #1000th blog on Jn 9 today.]

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    • Brian Casey 06/04/2014 / 1:19 pm

      Thank you so much for these thoughts, Steve. I’m not sure if we’ve run across each other before, but your name is so familiar.

      It sounds as if we think similarly here. I know exactly what you mean by “false impression …” and the “typical … response.” These these realities are a shame. Here (as though you haven’t read my stuff enough today!) is another post on lyrics/music projection: https://blcasey.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/keepin-it-real-3-relevance-and-participation-in-singing/. For the record, my mother is even more rabid on this issue than I am. I don’t sing as much (or care as much about it) as I used to, either, but there is this never-say-die part of my soul that longs for the solidly participatory that used to be more possible, in my experience. For now, I’m expending my efforts more in exegetical study, but I can’t let go of worship, whether personal or congregational.

      I’ve scanned your poignant remembrance on the https://blcasey.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/digging-in-john-9-1000/ post and am most appreciative. I intend to share a link to it with several others, including my parents, when we see them next week. Please know that your time and spirit, in evidence there, are not overlooked. More later!

      *Brian Casey, D. Arts*

      *blcasey.wordpress.com *

      On Wed, Jun 4, 2014 at 12:56 PM, NT Christianity wrote:

      >

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