I’m Reading: A Silent Week’s Roundup

I have been radio silent this week, but I have read a lot. A few of the highlights include the lifting of the embargo on Apple’s new tech updates (MacBook Air and Mac Mini), commentary on the Pro” in iPad Pro, choosing a markdown editor in a crowded field of awesome options, and thought pieces on minimalism, voting, and the use of humans over machines in the news industry. In the interest of your time, I have only included pull quotes where necessary, otherwise the links are a simply bulleted list with context. The articles are listed by topic in no particular order.

The iPad

Craig Mod has one of the most well thought out commentaries I have seen recently about the state of professional workflows on the iPad. I both enjoyed the read and continued my own processing of my workflows from Mac to iPad.

The main reason why I am linking to a Laptop Magazine review of the iPad Pro is because of the production quality of the video review.

Shocker, Ben doesn’t like some things about the new Smart Keyboard Folio. But seriously, he makes some really good points, especially when discussing the price.

I am linking to Marco Arment’s video review of the new iPad Pro because his video reviews of late are beginning to be watchable. The most unique this about this review is Marco’s ability to compare the two sizes of iPad Pro side-by-side since he was given a review unit (12.9“) and purchased the 11” model.

Miscellany

MacStories breaks down the pros and cons of two fantastic Markdown Editors, both of which I use. If you are in the market for a Notes replacement or new text editor of any kind on iOS, read this rundown.

Steven Sinofsky (a former President at Microsoft’s Windows Division) runs down the history of naysayers when new technologies take over old workflows. Fun thread.

I have had this article in my thread for awhile; it makes me want to use Apple News even more.

I think a lot about minimalism, but I had a recent conversation that made be realize I am a minimalist for a different reason that I will have to expound upon later: If I am not actively using something, I want someone else to have the opportunity. Though my approach to minimalism may be more about sharing wealth, this article has some good thoughts on why minimalism is becoming more popular.

I wasn’t even alive when Roger Angell first voted, but his commentary is important about the civic duty that all citizens share; we should all take pride in our ability to change the face of our country with our vote. Unfortunately, we break records when we get 50% of people to show up.

I don’t really care about Apple’s finances, but there are always interesting gems in these types of break downs. Best bit below.

The Mac Mini

I toyed with not linking out to review posts at all. They are say about the same thing and generally speaking they are positive reviews all around.

The MacBook Air

As with the Mac Mini, I thought about not linking to these at all, but they are informative and shed some light on Apple’s moves in their laptop line, especially as Intel drops the ball on being competitive with Apple’s own A-Series chip options. Daring Fireball’s review goes into detail about benchmarks between this MacBook Air and the recently reviewed iPad Pro; the numbers do not shine well on Intel.


Read, Think, Share, Repeat

The Challenges of 2020

TL;DR: Follow this link.

One of the craziest things about Christianity during the protests of the last few weeks is the fact that there are churches out there not discussing the issues honestly, not taking the time to have the hard conversations, not devoting their Sunday services to betterment of the world and people around them. If you’re church isn’t talking about racism right now, if they don’t mention that black lives matter, instead focusing on platitudes that equate to the all lives matter” sentiment, it is time to start looking for a new church.

My wife and I meet with my home” church virtually via Zoom since the pandemic is still a thing. Kimball Avenue United Church of Christ & La Iglesia Episcopal de Nuestra Señora de las Américas (KANSA, together) combined in a collaborative way to create a single denomination focused on the needs of their community. They follow Christ together toward the vision of love, reconciliation, peace and justice. The justice looks like the demolition and rehabilitation of an old church building and its grounds into a community garden and labyrinth open to all who seek peace through contemplation.

I give this elevator speech to mention that COVID has not been kind to faith communities in general. Budgets have been slashed, funding and grants have been cut, and congregations in need are also working to serve those in need, who are less likely to be able to financially support their church in these times. KANSA in one of the good ones. They speak truth, they have the difficult conversations, they preach in a loud voice every Sunday that black lives matter, that racism has no place in the church, that the LGBTQ community deserves respect and support, and that Jesus was a social justice warrior, who fought for the least of these no matter who they were, where they were from, what they looked like.

In fact, Jesus was most harsh to those who had the means to help and decided not to answer the call.

These systems of oppression we are protesting have been around a long time; they have screwed up a lot of lives, they have been the reason for revolution and the downfall of entire civilizations, they don’t work. We need to find a better way to live by supporting each other. And support has to come in systemic, social, financial, and political ways, both national and local.

I am not local to KANSA anymore, but I support their mission, the way that mission manifests in the world, and the simple fact that they follow Jesus no matter how ostracizing that position can be at times. Which brings me to the point:

Thanks to a $10,000 matching gift’ from an anonymous donor, the challenge has become an opportunity. Over the next two months, we plan to raise at least $10,000 to meet the challenge. Through August 31, 2020, every donation we receive toward our 2020 Challenge” no matter how small or how large will be doubled by the matching gift.

KANSA is hurting financially and needs support, they do good work and are unabashedly progressive in their approach to our world. Donate now and see your contribution matched to keep one of the good ones fighting the good fight.

Thank you for your consideration.