Having the day to myself today, this morning I took myself out to breakfast. This is something I will often do for no other reason than to get out of the house and be served coffee while I read or brainstorm a few notes onto a 3×5 card. Since I work at home, there are times when it’s simply a healthy idea to get out of the basement once in a while — even if I’m not actually meeting someone, it helps to be out in public sometimes. And sometimes there is an element of people-watching that can take over or distract me from my book and my 3×5 cards. Don’t knock it, you’ve all done it — and apparently if you haven’t done it, you’ve never been to New York.
In my reading of Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody, I came across his brief mention and discussion of social capital, which he takes from Harvard Sociologist Robert Putnam’s 2000 book, Bowling Alone : The Collapse and Revival of American Community. In fact, Putnam didn’t originate the term in his 1995 article, “Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital” nor the book it became. The modern use of the term is ascribed to Jane Jacobs in the 60′s, but it goes back to 1916 when L.J. Hanifan described it as
Last week I I began a series examining the posts from the recent missional synchroblog in which I participated with a total of 50 bloggers (plus a few unofficial entries) in an effort to describe the meaning of the word “missional.” The project was born out of a frustration with the misuse of the term, as expressed by several of us. This was also the impetus for the major series I undertook last summer on the subject. I had left it aside for a while, but am still hoping to revive my work on the topic for eventual publishing.
The catch line was more along the lines of, “So a priest and a rabbi walk into a used bookstore…” not just because it sounds like the lead-in to a good joke, but because it’s actually what happened. I’ve said before that I have trouble keeping up with podcasts. I don’t take the bus anywhere, and in front of a computer I tend to prefer to read instead, which means if I start the computer playing something I still end up reading while it plays, and I miss stuff from the podcast. I tried listening while washing dishes, but (a) dishes don’t take that long and (b) people keep talking to me in the kitchen. But I really wanted to listen to the podcast of an event I was sad to have missed, from the Idea Exchange series last season: Rabbi Larry Pinsker and Jamie Howison — “A Rabbi and a Priest in conversation on how we read the Old Testament.” Fortunately, I had a perfect opportunity while last month on the flight to Vancouver en route to Seabeck for the Allelon Missional Order conversations.