Do you want every ebook in the world in Logos?

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Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 2:23 AM

A few thoughts:

1. I am intrigued by the motivations of those posters who just keep on repeating ad nauseum the same things. It would be fine if there were new insights that advance the conversation, but it does not seem to have been the case. It seems that the turn that some of these discussions have taken would be -- in normal circumstances -- the kind of conversations that these very posters would say belong on faithlife. My question to you is whether you would like those who hold the opposite point of view to do the same and keep on hammering their (same) arguments? I guess what I am asking is what would be a productive way for this discussion to progress or is it really already exhausted though perhaps some refuse to admit that it is so?

2. I am seeking to imagine the future if FL broadens its distribution as discussed in this thread. In my opinion, this very discussion illustrates what has already taken place as FL has already considerably widened its audience and offerings. The constituency of these forums is deeply divided over very fundamental issues and there is bound to be some alienation worsening even as one path is favored over another. By alienation I mean that FL has cultivated a greater investment in its users than say, Amazon. We don't buy packages from Amazon, have an integrated system of notes, etc. There is very good cause for users to feel that significant changes to the software (as has already been pointed out in other discussions) is no trifle for them. So, what would it be if FL so diversifies its offerings and audiences that the interests of the majority shifts even more, and I would say -- if it succeeds as it wishes in attracting lots of students of other subjects than biblical studies -- even further away from Christian values and a ministry perspective? What will happen when Bob asks again in the future input about other decisions? It seems to me that the alienation can only grow worse and some who now are in favour of going that direction may come to regret it when they find themselves in a larger company of those who want to go places that go well beyond what they had in mind.

3. I am also puzzled by the phenomenon of posters who profess Christian values yet have yet to respond to the most basic questions that have been asked by the proponents of no, myself included: (1) Do you think it right for a Christian to encourage another party to undertake distribution of materials such as erotica? (2) Do you think that finding such materials in the webstore of a company that presents itself as having for mission statement to serve the Church results in a good/pure testimony to the world? (3) Do you care about whether this is morally/ethically right for Bob and other FL people to do this or when you say the benefits outweigh, you mean that the educational benefits are of greater import to you than the spiritual liabilities? (4) Would Jesus as we can know Him from the Scriptures say 'yes' or 'no'? And does this matter to you? This admittedly, are also faithlife type of questions and so, I am not necessarily inviting a continuing debate here. I am just, if some of you may allow me to do so, asking you if you have answered these questions for yourself. I am also conscious that in this point I have also repeated previous points, making myself open to the criticism that I do what I reproach in point 1. However, I think there is a difference: those who say 'no' have never contested the idea that there would be educational, perhaps even edificatory value to a number of books that could be gained if FL could distribute more books. We are not arguing around your points but saying that the ethical aspects are more important than pragmatism. But I feel that your arguments circumvent the points/questions we have brought on.

There we go for another round... what will it be: real answers or more circumventing? 

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Lynden Williams | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 3:55 AM

Surprised that this thread is still alive and fifteen pages deep.

Use the Vyrso store as an example.

1. You can filter what you are looking for.

2. The free stuff (mainly novels) are not on the home page.

3. The site including logos.com already publishes material that some people object to. The 90 10 principle sounds like something I can live with.

4. Yes some material may slip through.

Everything ever written in Religion and Theology formatted for Logos Bible Software.Logos Youtube Channel

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 5:59 AM

Thanks Francis for trying to bring some sort of summary of things from your perspective and try to articulate the questions in your mind. Let me take a few minutes to respond to your specific questions with my personal perspective.

Francis:
(1) Do you think it right for a Christian to encourage another party to undertake distribution of materials such as erotica?

No, I do not but I recognize that this issue is not as cut and dry as it seems to some. Where the issue is grey is whether this would be the case. I'm hoping that the 90/10 will eliminate most, if not all of this.

Francis:
(2) Do you think that finding such materials in the webstore of a company that presents itself as having for mission statement to serve the Church results in a good/pure testimony to the world?

Again, it is my hope that most of this material would not actually be offered because of the 90/10. Specifically answering the question, I actually don't think that most of the world even cares about this. I'm not saying that as an excuse but more as a fact. I think the issue is not as much the world stumbling on materials that are not appropriate.If there was a concern I would think it might be a weak Christian stumbling as a result of doing some sort of search. But again the 90/10 distribution is key. Personally there is already material offered by Faithlife that I think could also cause people to stumble - things I believe are heresy. Even though there is some risk with them being offered I'm okay with this because not all of us hold the same opinions.

Francis:
(3) Do you care about whether this is morally/ethically right for Bob and other FL people to do this or when you say the benefits outweigh, you mean that the educational benefits are of greater import to you than the spiritual liabilities?

I do care about the moral/ethical part of this decision. But, I've also learned in life that many things are not black and white or right and wrong. There is grey and differences of opinion. This decision is up to them and I pray that they will make the best one possible given all the facts.

Francis:
(4) Would Jesus as we can know Him from the Scriptures say 'yes' or 'no'? And does this matter to you?

I must confess that I don't know what He would do. Jesus never owned a business or ran a company like Faithlife so we can only try to apply principles of Scripture to imagine what He would do. From Scripture we also know that Jesus was often misunderstood by others who encountered Him. As I said above, life is filled with grey issues that do not have simple answers. I believe that this is one of those areas. I think Bob knew this too and thus he started this thread and that's why he wanted our feedback.

I hope that my response is helpful.

Using adventure and community to challenge young people to continually say "yes" to God

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 6:49 AM

Well, now, Bruce. Since you have some appreciation for humor ...

1. Jesus was a businessman originally. Operated a home improvement service (or maybe his earth-dad depending on the manuscript).

2. When he went on sabbatical for almost 7 weeks, he met a guy who was offering a wide range of wares, hoping Jesus would buy at least one.  Jesus said his Dad trained him better than that, and the guy shouldn't be selling those wares.

3. It was likely a guy. Women weren't impressed with kingdoms.


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Reuben Helmuth | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 6:53 AM

Francis:
I am intrigued by the motivations of those posters who just keep on repeating ad nauseum the same things
Agreed, but I thought you were talking about one side of the fence until I read further and discovered it was the opposite side you were referring to! Wink

You claim to not have received any response "to the most basic questions." While I have to say that the "questions" of some on this thread seem more like polemics than sincere questions, I will provide a surface response to your surface questions:

Francis:
(1) Do you think it right for a Christian to encourage another party to undertake distribution of materials such as erotica?

No.

Francis:
(2) Do you think that finding such materials in the webstore of a company that presents itself as having for mission statement to serve the Church results in a good/pure testimony to the world?

No.

Francis:
(3) Do you care about whether this is morally/ethically right for Bob and other FL people to do this or when you say the benefits outweigh, you mean that the educational benefits are of greater import to you than the spiritual liabilities?

Of course I/we care whether it's morally right.

Francis:
(4) Would Jesus as we can know Him from the Scriptures say 'yes' or 'no'? And does this matter to you?

Of course this matters to us as well.

A couple quick thoughts...

Very few who have actually engaged in the conversation have given an UNCONDITIONAL "yes."

Those who have voted "no" have generally done so in absolute or even irrationally impassioned terms.

Just because A+B=C does not automatically mean that A=C! I would say that this is the main underlying logical fallacy that is giving birth to the "questions" that are used as polemics.

I considered providing a rational response to each question that you asked, addressing what I see as the key term that is fundamentally flawed in its logic (underlined in the quotes), but I'm sick of the dispute and wish that an administrator would lock it!

I think I speak for the majority of the "yes" group when I say:

I'd like to see Faithlife exploring this option with an eye to eliminating the possibilities of bringing reproach to the name of Christ, both directly or indirectly. The reason I believe the questions above are "flawed" is because I believe that it would be possible to achieve this.

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 7:30 AM

Unix:
I barely use search engines, also in order to not to cause unnecessary load on them.

Oh how generous of you. Thanks to your restraint, Google is probably inifinitessimally faster for all the rest of us. Wink Seriously, I don't think concern about load on the search engines is a reason to refrain from using them. They've got loads of bandwidth.

Unix:
It's unclear to me how others afford internet all their life?

Do you mean "afford" as in financial cost or time? It's not that expensive for most people, relative to their income. And people budget their time differently depending on their priorities. For many people, being able to use the internet for searching and staying on top of the news and topical blogs is important for their jobs, and staying connected socially is important for their emotional health, so they prioritize internet over other things.

Unix:
I don't read blogs or journals:

But you read the Logos forums, and that can be just as much of a time sink. Smile

Posts 176
Paul Chatfield | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 7:45 AM

I haven't read all of the preceding posts so I confess my views may have been expressed by others.  But I wondered if Logos did start providing other books, is there not a danger that, with time, the majority of Logos users would one day be non-Christians and that the focus of Logos be shifted from providing Christian books to catering for the most profitable market aka non-Christians?

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Lew Worthington | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 7:51 AM

Paul Chatfield:

I haven't read all of the preceding posts so I confess my views may have been expressed by others.  But I wondered if Logos did start providing other books, is there not a danger that, with time, the majority of Logos users would one day be non-Christians....

And how cool would that be, providing Scripture and Christian literature to those who may not have it!

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 8:05 AM

Lew Worthington:

Paul Chatfield:

I haven't read all of the preceding posts so I confess my views may have been expressed by others.  But I wondered if Logos did start providing other books, is there not a danger that, with time, the majority of Logos users would one day be non-Christians....

And how cool would that be, providing Scripture and Christian literature to those who may not have it!

Do you really think that is what would happen?  Is there not scripture and Christian literature on Amazon?  How much attention do they give it?   While I don't object to Logos carrying non-scripture related works (indeed, I want them to carry such things as histories, language tools, philosophers, great literature, etc), I don't think we should get too far astray.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Lew Worthington | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 9:35 AM

George Somsel:

Do you really think that is what would happen?

Of course.

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 9:43 AM

Lew Worthington:

George Somsel:

Do you really think that is what would happen?

Of course.

Dream on.  Faith related books would be but a single drop in the ocean of other offerings.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Lynden Williams | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 9:59 AM

George Somsel:

Lew Worthington:

George Somsel:

Do you really think that is what would happen?

Of course.

Dream on.  Faith related books would be but a single drop in the ocean of other offerings.

As long as Logos Bible Software and its related content continue to develop and the price comes down, I am not too concerned about the direction that Faithlife heads. Logos Bible Software just needs to continue on its present trajectory, operate as a separate entity and I am good with that.

Everything ever written in Religion and Theology formatted for Logos Bible Software.Logos Youtube Channel

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SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 10:19 AM

Paul Chatfield:

I haven't read all of the preceding posts so I confess my views may have been expressed by others.  But I wondered if Logos did start providing other books, is there not a danger that, with time, the majority of Logos users would one day be non-Christians and that the focus of Logos be shifted from providing Christian books to catering for the most profitable market aka non-Christians?

Yes, in the long term that is a very real danger.

Posts 3691
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 11:33 AM

A post from Bob in 2022. 

Well, here I am again seeking your feedback. As you know, seven years ago we have made a major transition to full distribution of large catalogs from numerous publishers. Thanks to this decision we have since welcomed many of you who are reading me now to the Research Systems family of products. And of course, this has also meant that we have been to offer more to those who have supported us during the Libronix/Logos/Faithlife phases of development. It has been an exciting journey! We must also recognize that these wonderful developments have brought about important changes to our customer base and we now need to make further decisions for the benefit of the greater community of users and the future of our company. For a number of years, our market was pretty much limited to the Christian niche and the discipline of biblical studies/divinity. Ninety-five percent of our research and development and one hundred percent of our holdings reflected this. At this point in our history however, it is no longer justifiable to invest so many resources and mobilize so much staff toward what is now a minority portion of our customer base. It is not fair to the eighty percent plus customers who are asking us for more innovative tools to exploit their resources in multiple mainstream educational disciplines. From a business standpoint, the present situation does not make sense either: what used to be Logos Bible Software has now dropped to 14% of our revenues. It looks like we might have to downsize the staff and reduce the resources of Logos Bible Software. We will need to acknowledge what has been a great phase of our company history and, with many thanks to those who supported us through all these years, also recognize that it makes sense for us to continue in the logic of our trajectory to deliver the best products for the most people. Of course, there will continue to be new offerings of Christian books though over time most of them would probably be available on Vyrso. What do you think?

[ You can guess what the "majority" answer would be ]

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 11:44 AM

Francis:
A post from Bob in 2022. 

I find this post to be insulting and way over the top. Your implication that Bob is dishonest and morally corrupt is uncalled for.

No one on this thread has advocated that FL sell erotica, and frankly I am getting tired of the holier-than-thou attitude of those who keep claiming that those saying "yes" to Bob's original—and revised—question are advocating this.

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 11:58 AM

Well, at least Francis gave Logos 7 more years. In corporate land such a large jump in strategy is preening the company for a merger.  As Bob already pointed out Amazon already owns the customers under discussion.


Posts 623
JAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 12:02 PM

Jack Caviness:

Francis:
A post from Bob in 2022. 

I find this post to be insulting and way over the top.

     Agreed. Broken Heart

"The Christian mind is the prerequisite of Christian thinking. And Christian thinking is the prerequisite of Christian action." - Harry Blamires, 1963

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JAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 12:14 PM

Denise:
In corporate land such a large jump in strategy is preening the company for a merger.

Denise I usually find your skeptical remarks a much needed breath of fresh air. In this case it seems as if you are gratuitously fanning the flames.

"The Christian mind is the prerequisite of Christian thinking. And Christian thinking is the prerequisite of Christian action." - Harry Blamires, 1963

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 12:17 PM

JAL:

Denise:
In corporate land such a large jump in strategy is preening the company for a merger.

Denise I usually find your skeptical remarks to be a breath of fresh air. In this case it seems as if you are gratuitously fanning the flames.

Perhaps — but on the other hand …  So long as Logos remains in its current hands I feel confident, but if not …

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 3691
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 24 2015 12:28 PM

Jack Caviness:
Your implication that Bob is dishonest and morally corrupt

I did not imply such a thing. I described a scenario that is in line with a business-oriented trajectory. It is only a fiction that is intended to stimulate reflection about what could be longer term results of that trajectory.

Jack Caviness:
No one on this thread has advocated that FL sell erotica

When Bob asks whether he should make a decision that might result in FL selling erotica and you say yes, you are advocating something that can have the same end result. Why is there any debate here otherwise? Has Bob committed to never selling any if it came through the catalog? Has he? No, he asked precisely about the possibility that this could happen!!! What of the 90-10 possibility: do you know that this will work with all publishers? Do you know that this will eliminate all erotica? No, you can't and you don't. Yet, you are still saying yes. In a court of law I don't think any jury would accept that someone is not liable who recommended a course of action that they knew could lead to injury and it did, just because they hoped it wouldn't.

As for calling me someone with a holier-than-thou attitude, I am a bit disappointed that you say this and will assume that this is just an uncharacteristic response in the heat of the moment. I do not think that I am holier than you because I don't even think that I am holy, if you must know. But I express real fears that are based on real experiences of what I have seen happening in organizations that started with a clearer sense of Christian vocation and went more and more the secular business route. My comments regard the potential decision. I do not know you, or Bob, nor any other posters in this thread. 

JAL, I am sad that I saddened you. I hope that what I wrote above makes more sense, but if not, enlighten me as to what in what I wrote implies that Bob is dishonest and morally corrupt (Jack too if you'd like). I will give it due consideration as I did not and do not intend to take shots.

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