Social / community features in Logos 5 and beyond

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 5 2012 6:15 AM

Fr. Charles R. Matheny:
Every lexicon is another persons thoughts, research, work on particular words, every commentary is chock full of the sociological trends/thinking patterns of the time from which it comes.

But I usually know who wrote those comments and can therefore more easily analyze the value of those comments. Popular Highlights, on the other hand, are anonymous, so I cannot evaluate their value.

I could imagine this scenario:

Popular Highlights indicate that 10 users highlighted this paragraph, but is does not tell us why or what highlight they used. I can imagine that 4 people marked that it is very useful, but 4 others marked it as garbage, and 2 really intended to highlight the previous paragraph Geeked.

HOWEVER, having said all that, you have given me reason to reexamine my position in regard to turning the Visual Filters off Geeked.

*********************

The responses of the privacy seekers intrigue me, for we had a very similar discussion 3 years ago. Many of these same objectors then cried foul that Logos would dare to store then very private Bible Study notes and Prayer Lists on their servers. Now, it seems that they have allowed Logos to store their data on the Logos servers, but object to Logos using that data for statistical purposes. Those protestors will have to forgive me for not taking their objections seriously, for it does not appear to me that they are very serious in their propositions.

Since I have voluntarily chosen to place my usage information on the Logos servers, I have no problem with anonymous data mining. 

Posts 113
Samuel | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 5 2012 6:23 AM

Fr. Charles R. Matheny:
Yet, I still find these comments very odd.Don't care or want to know what others are thinking? Then why do you own Biblical software which has a plethora of others thoughts, writings intwined within it and that presents these thoughts at a single click.

Well because there are certain opinions and information that are valuable. There is a lot that is not. The early church was "open" but the apostles didn't do Facebook "community style" study. They valued the Scriptures. They listened to each other. They didn't get the opinions of everyone else, they stuck with trusted ones. In the same way, they instructed in doctrine. Yes, there is a place for open discussions in the church, but gaining information from a social and communal is not the same. There are reasons why we trust certain information or consider it valuable from the Scripture all the way down. It's always been that way in the church.

Likewise, I don't think there's a valid comparison between some of us asking Logos to not track our keystrokes and "openness" in the early church. They would have cringed at the type of surveillance that has become normal in our society. The arguments for "openness" and "nothing to hide" tend to be a little utopian and often enable information gathering that ultimately becomes enslaving. Obviously I'm not accusing Logos of that, just addressing the overall bigger issue.

Posts 2964
tom | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 5 2012 6:27 AM

Jack Caviness:
Many of these same objectors then cried foul that Logos would dare to store then very private Bible Study notes and Prayer Lists on their servers. Now, it seems that they have allowed Logos to store their data on the Logos servers, but object to Logos using that data for statistical purposes. Those protestors will have to forgive me for not taking their objections seriously, for it does not appear to me that they are very serious in their propositions.

Excuse me Jack, but how in the h - e - double hockey sticks do you know if I am storing my prayers on Logos' servers?  Here is a hint: I am not!  Please do not make assumptions on what I am doing and then make blanket statement based on your assumptions.

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Fr Devin Roza | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 5 2012 6:49 AM

Bob, thank you for your forward looking vision. I think you are taking Logos in the right direction.Like it or not, almost all products are heading in the same direction (many in a far more radical way than Logos), and as you say we just have to adapt to avoid possible pitfalls and enjoy the benefits.

I also think Mark Barnes suggestions as far as how to configure the opt-in opt-out aspects are reasonable.

On a day to day basis, the only aspect of the "connected" Logos that I find disappointing is the start-up time hit of 10-20 seconds (or more). I hope that can be optimized. Apart from that I have occasionally found it to be surprisingly useful, especially with things like Faithlife Groups that can specialize in certain topics (e.g. the Logos Syntax Searching group), etc.

Posts 757
Fr. Charles R. Matheny | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 5 2012 6:49 AM

Understood Samuel and, we understand the Apostles were using the Old Testament as far as Scriptural writing, some Jewish commentary and of course, the teaching of Christ.

On one hand, I agree with what you are saying about the "mining" of today.

On the other hand, as you point out, things are very different.

Society used to be much more open and did not have some of these "privacy" issues because of the openness .

Air conditioning, the Television drove people "inside" and away from community life.

By "drove" i mean pulled them in and these new mediums changed the way people viewed each other, interacted with each other and trusted each other.

We are now seeing another "driver" much like the Television/Air conditioning systems that is having , perhaps, just as profound an effect. This one is mobile technology and texting. The sociological ramifications are just starting to show up with enough "proofs" to be pretty startling and we will not know the total impact for another 20 years, but the data so far-is not good.

At any rate, just 50 to 60 years ago, everyone was much more "social" than they are now and "privacy" was an altogether different conversation.

Privacy conversations changed drastically after the widespread acceptance of the television, and, air conditioning which allowed people to spend more time inside, separated from the community around them. Architecture followed the new "privacy/television/air conditioning" trend and Large front porches were replaced with "entry points" that were simpler a covered area to stand and get your keys out.

The porch was no longer needed, the local community meeting places on every street-were gone.

With that loss was the loss of "safe" on the street, next to go were "sidewalks" because people don't want others walking close to their house and invading their "privacy ".

Thus, while we used to play in the front yard in the evenings, while everyone sat on the porches and watched, talked, communicated, we raced on the sidewalks, people stopped and talked on the sidewalks and the whole area was "ours" , our common life, our safe place, our community, this was quickly replaced with with no trust, no sharing, no community life. It was replaced with "privacy fences" , no sidewalks , no porches, no conversations and no trust.

Everyone stays in the house, private life.

All I am saying is that this is a bigger subject than "just what I want" which can be very unhealthy thinking.

Yes, again, we do want options on what we see and use.

Yes, we need options on what we participate in.

Yet, the more we isolate, the more difficult it becomes to be a society. 

Posts 10324
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 5 2012 7:07 AM

Interesting such perceptions of the past. I guess it depends on where you live. Here distance is the issue.

But I think it's funny that the primary issue at our church is 'gossip' ... sharing what you know about other people, to impress others (good or bad, though mostly the latter).

Sometimes our pastor really cuts his words short, he's so frustrated. 'Stop it!'  That seems to work for a while.


Posts 757
Fr. Charles R. Matheny | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 5 2012 7:20 AM

Yes, DMB, ares/locations do make a difference.

However, Sociological shifts/trends etc. are easily indentified over time.

McDonalds changed business and community , Air Conditioning and Television did, Computers and Internet did, mobile devices/texting are causing shifts.

Funny thing is: The more "private/isolationist" we become, the more data mining gets done. Well, perhaps it's not funny at all-smile. 

Posts 1674
Paul Golder | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 5 2012 7:36 AM

You know, if Christianity was like the Logos user base we would end up with thousands of churches in this world, having hundreds of denominations, with hundreds of differing practices within each denomination, and many differing beliefs among the members of each church.

Good thing that Christianity isn't like that...

"As any translator will attest, a literal translation is no translation at all."

Posts 757
Fr. Charles R. Matheny | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 5 2012 7:55 AM

hahahahaha, made me belly laugh Paul!

Well played, well played indeed.

Posts 4625
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Milford Charles Murray | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 5 2012 8:13 AM

Fr. Charles R. Matheny:

I have to say : I find this thread one of the most fascinating examples of Christian community thought I have ever read.

In it I find:

The difficulty of defining "privacy".

This whole , very strong idea of "private" studies of scriptures written primarily for communities and for communities to respond too.

The idea of not caring what others in the Christian Community thinks, believes, needs.

The last one is extremely  interesting as well as disturbing . Every Pastor/teacher should be concerned about all these areas. Shepherds need to know sheep well enough to know their needs: when they need water, food and when they are ill, it is through knowing sheep and their needs that they can be led properly, tended too properly, led away from what is evil and to/towards good health.

( Granted being able to turn these things on and off is needed).

Yet, I still find these comments very odd.Don't care or want to know what others are thinking? Then why do you own Biblical software which has a plethora of others thoughts, writings intwined within it and that presents these thoughts at a single click.

Everything in the software is just that, pure and simple. Every lexicon is another persons thoughts, research, work on particular words, every commentary is chock full of the sociological trends/thinking patterns of the time from which it comes.

Logos is trying to give you more of that which you are already buying, and trying to give Pastors a better idea of the Christian theological and sociological directions.( which might actually help us provide better correctives within a devolving society).

I really do find this a most interesting conversation, a very revealing "snippet " of Christian thinking in America and how we embrace life, the gospel etc.

One one hand we have the Life of Christ and the apostles who laid themselves open and bare for all, forever and spoke of everyone having the same hearts and minds, of trying to live life with an attitude to where the needs of others were of more value to us than our own. 

On the other, here we are, saying we do not care what others think/believe, wanting to protect our "privacy", wanting our biblical studies of community documents to be "private".

This is very interesting.

I love M.J.Smith thoughts on some of this and think they should be expanded on a bit more.

Reason? Christianity is based on the living example of Christ who gave up "HIMSELF" for the Mission of the Father which was the salvation of the many.

Separatism, narcissism and many other negatives are growing within our society, we are of course, not immune to these influences.

Are these sociological trends affecting our thinking on this and many other subjects?

I find it a good question for myself, perhaps others will as well.

I only post this here because this is a different "type" of thread than we usually have have on the Logos Forums. I mean no offense, simply stating my observations and interest.

Blessings all.

My Dear Brother in Christ!                      I thank God for your very helpful - refreshing! - and very positive and encouraging post!       *smile*

              Peace to you     ...........                  and to all!                                                 and ..            .......    Always Joy in the Lord!

Philippians 4:  4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand..........

Posts 762
Patrick S. | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 5 2012 8:33 AM

Sigh... all this endless discussion.

Who was it who said "You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time."?? Some guy called Abe Lincoln...

This is the bottom line:

a) Logos will never please everyone

b) The discussion pro & con is moot with respect to the European Union, because (and I don't have chapter and verse, and am not going to waste time looking for it) the EU has privacy laws protecting citizens. And it doesn't matter two hoots if the Logos EULA is "governed by the laws of the State of Washington, USA".  So what. Sorry guys, but the USA is not the center of the world. If Logos sells a product to EU citizens without privacy controls — and, worse, states that it is going to do so regardless — then good luck with that. I don't believe that Logos is bigger than companies like.... oh what's their names.... Google, Facebook, Apple. And stating in an EULA that Logos intends to do data mining, and thinking that because it is written in an EULA that will excuse them from not providing privacy controls, and therefore they will be free from any legal risk won't wash either — because EU laws (as I understand) don't allow companies to 'EULA away' end users' rights.

 

So clearly the only practical and sensible option is to:

a) put a big red switch in Preferences along the lines of 'Share information' - YES / NO (and no, M.J., it's no big deal to code it)

b) the setting would have to be, by default, "NO". Again the guideline rule in the EU is people have to 'opt in', not be tricked into being opted in by default and having to explicitly 'opt out'.

c) there should be something clearly stated during installation etc. about data mining and privacy.

and then move on — please!  There are enough issues/problems etc. with the software that are much more important for everyone to be investing time in — like having a stable product that we don't have to worry about blowing up and losing hours of work.

And again.. can I clearly state, for the record, that I can see benefits in there being feedback on product usage and/or data mining for 'social features', who wouldn't want to see a good tool like Logos get better?  But that does not change the reality of the requirement of user choice privacy controls. So I'm not being a Neo-Luddite or technophobe (ha, that'll be the day) and I don't wear a tinfoil hat — I just want to see things settled so other pressing issues with the platform can be dealt with.

 

p.s. and I am still waiting to be informed as to what is the difference between these settings:

and will the 'Data Mining' settings be part of, or extra to, the 'Send Feedback' selector.

Also Logos cannot tell users to just turn off 'Use Internet' to avoid data mining because Internet access (for getting things from Logos, not to Logos) is a necessary function for full use of the software that people have paid for. So 'Use Internet' cannot be used as a pseudo privacy switch, won't be allowed.

"I want to know all God's thoughts; the rest are just details." - Albert Einstein

Posts 103
Mark O'Hearn | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 5 2012 8:38 AM

What I find most ironic in all this is that the same company that keeps an understandably strict policy at its forums about theological discussion and debate is now embarking on having its same users collaborate within its program.  Surely theology will then be an issue, right?

For me the Logos community is not the Church, though that is not to suggest that I believe many users are not Christians.  Like the Christian assemblies in the first century, even among true believers there were carnal and spiritual (mature) members (and heretics).  Hence all the divisions that Paul mentioned earlier in this thread.

Jack's comment concerning trusted authors is sound.  Authors can earn our trust in the books they write by allowing us the opportunity to examine their theology.  We cannot do the same without knowing the theology of others. 

Ultimately this is why Christians have placed themselves into separate camps - the desire to protect themselves from error.  Of course we all think (myself included) our camp is the perfect one, or at least the best one available until He returns and gets rid of all these man-made divisions.  The church of Corinth is a classic example, and I have always been amazed that Paul did not praise those "with Christ" from the other mentioned groups.  Seems clear to me that there should be no divisions whatsoever.

To that end this direction Logos seems to be headed is again noble, but it is flawed, and could prove destructive to new believers in feeding on false doctrine by others they won't even know.  Today we are just talking about highlighting, ratings, reviews, etc., but where does tomorrow take us?

Regards

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 5 2012 8:45 AM

tom:

Jack Caviness:
Many of these same objectors then cried foul that Logos would dare to store then very private Bible Study notes and Prayer Lists on their servers. Now, it seems that they have allowed Logos to store their data on the Logos servers, but object to Logos using that data for statistical purposes. Those protestors will have to forgive me for not taking their objections seriously, for it does not appear to me that they are very serious in their propositions.

Excuse me Jack, but how in the h - e - double hockey sticks do you know if I am storing my prayers on Logos' servers?  Here is a hint: I am not!  Please do not make assumptions on what I am doing and then make blanket statement based on your assumptions.

You missed the point, and I am done with this thread

Posts 298
Michael Parry-Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 5 2012 9:26 AM

hi

all this sounds very interesting,

how can you even think about doing this sort of thing when you can't even get

 video resources to stream correctly ,.  I still cannot get the videos to work, 

 the product.  I am trying to get to work correctly is called The Greatest Book Series

why can't logos 5  use the videos from my dvd  why do I have to streamer them?

mick

 

 

 

Mick
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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 5 2012 9:34 AM

Hi Mick

Michael Parry -Thomas:

I still cannot get the videos to work, 

 the product.  I am trying to get to work correctly is called The Greatest Book Serie

Didn't the process which Bradley outlined at http://community.logos.com/forums/p/55400/400829.aspx#400829 get this working for you?

If not, I suggest you post back in that thread

Graham

 

Posts 190
EmileB | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 5 2012 11:03 AM

Fr. Charles R. Matheny:

At any rate, just 50 to 60 years ago, everyone was much more "social" than they are now and "privacy" was an altogether different conversation.

And do you know what is interesting, Charles? For all of our present day trends towards "community", for all of our social networking, for all of our Internet "relationships"... every study out there has indicated that people are more and more fragmented, more and more isolated, less and less connected, and more and more lonely and depressed. That's because all of this so called "community" isn't biblical "community" at all. It isn't true Christian koinonia. Online "relationships" aren't "real" relationships. People are substituting a two-dimensional imitation of community and relationship  -- a caricature -- for the real thing. It's tragic. It actually creates a greater hunger than it satisfies. 

That's one of the reasons why many of us are very uncomfortable with the whole "community" and social networking approach... It promises something it does not deliver, and provides the illusion of intimacy rather than its substance. And one of the more alarming things is to see that being promoted so much in the church. People have their heads in their iPads or phones (often pursuing their own interesting and personal rabbit trails than really tuning in to what the pastor is trying to communicate from God to the "community" of the Body at large), or are connecting to "virtual" Bible studies, "virtual" Life Groups and "virtual" prayer circles rather than taking the time and effort to become involved face to face in the real thing with live human beings, where real relationship, with all of its challenges, are worked out. If a relationship gets challenging in the virtual "community", one can simply dismiss the other person.

And just like "virtual sex", they are trading real intimacy by engaging in the illusion of the real thing. True "fellowship" and intimacy in most churches today is a joke... and in my experience, the more into tech the congregation is, the less they actually relate to one another in deep ways.... and conversely, the more that they discover real, meaningful fellowship and relationships and community with their brothers and sisters in the body of Christ, the more often they turn off their "devices"... or start leaving them at home.

And some of us "reactionaries" are trying to provide a voice of discernment in this barren technological wilderness. So yes, for this and other reasons, I'm not really excited to see my Bible software being taken over with community and social networking features.

Posts 190
EmileB | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 5 2012 11:11 AM

Just as a follow up to clarify my last post... in any event, those of us who feel that way aren't saying that others have to feel the same or agree with us. If this form of community blesses you and you want to engage in it, then God bless you! I just as strongly advocate your right and opportunity to avail yourself of it if you so choose. Those of us who have scruples about it, however, are simply asking for the same courtesy in return. Allow us the right to opt out if it makes us uncomfortable. Consider us as the weaker brother if you like. Smile

Posts 2278
Andy | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 5 2012 11:15 AM

Patrick S.:
The discussion pro & con is moot with respect to the European Union, because (and I don't have chapter and verse, and am not going to waste time looking for it) the EU has privacy laws protecting citizens.

I am confident that Logos has nothing to worry about on this count.

Part of the confusion pertains to the way in which this thread refers to 'privacy' in broad and imprecise terms. The Data Protection Act (the primary legislative framework pertaining to information governance within the UK which, in turn, reflects EU directives), is particularly concerned in respect of the safeguarding of personal identifiable information (broadly speaking). The issue, therefore, is whether Logos' data mining activities violate the protections regarding personal identifiable information. It seems that Bob has been very clear that the information thus analysed does not contain, nor is associated with, personal identifiable information.

The utilisation of the cloud to synchronise documents might be a concern (as Logos, by its own admission, do not apply the highest level of safeguards to this information) except that the legislation allows for a differentiation in respect of degrees of confidentiality. The information governance controls required in respect of medical records are, therefore, very different from that required in respect of, say, a prayer list.

Consent is also a factor. Agreement to the EULA constitutes consent (in the context of sensitive personal identifiable information, a more rigorous test, in law, may be required).

I cannot comment as to how this might relate to US law.

This is not intended to placate or reassure those who are unhappy with regards to the practice of data mining. It is intended, however, to bring clarity to the notion that Logos is invading or violating the privacy of its users (in a legal sense). From an UK/EU perspective, this notion is not supported by the current legislative framework.

You refer to violation by Google, Facebook, et al. I see no benefit in rehearsing the specific controversies here, except to say that I am unaware of any correlation between those specific scenarios and the activity of data mining (particularly where this is stipulated in the EULA).

Posts 1674
Paul Golder | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 5 2012 11:19 AM

EmileB:
For all of our present day trends towards "community", for all of our social networking, for all of our Internet "relationships"... every study out there has indicated that people are more and more fragmented, more and more isolated, less and less connected, and more and more lonely and depressed.

I thought that we were not suppose to talk about the Emperor's Clothes? 

Wink

"As any translator will attest, a literal translation is no translation at all."

Posts 2278
Andy | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 5 2012 11:26 AM

EmileB:
Allow us the right to opt out if it makes us uncomfortable.

Hi Emile,

You, and Donovan, have compellingly (and generously) articulated the need for such controls for those ministering on the mission field. For what it is worth, I not only support your request, but would willingly forgo any benefits universal data mining, synchronisation of documents, etc., might yield, if it ensured that those who most need the software are able to continue to use it.

I thank the Lord for the astonishing tools and resources made available through Logos Bible Software. However, when viewed in the clear light of the day, it is a luxury. I can access libraries and order books for next day delivery. I appreciate that, on the mission field, this may not be possible and, as such, for those on the front line, Logos is considerably more than a luxury and perhaps approaches something close to a necessity.

Blessings Big Smile

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