Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Opus 2011-308, Discernment Watch: Big Brother, 2011

I finally broke down and registered for a Panera Card.  You may not have a Panera in your area but it is a restaurant/bakery with quiet background music and a menu based in breads and coffee.  They have this card that promises free stuff. 

I am a part of the TANSTAAFL crowd.  Nothing is free.  I am on enough mailing lists, I don’t need to be on one more.  They finally convinced me I could register with just my name.  No dice.  Then they told me I could give phoney data.  That I could live with but it still took several tries.  The card worked out pretty much as I thought.  The first couple of weeks I got something free every two visits.  Then they began to be spaced out.  It has now been a week and a half since any award showed up.  Since they have no info on me in their data base, I at least got a few free items.  TANSTAAFL.  Actually, nothing is free.  They just raised the price of my coffee to cover the cost.

The purpose of these type cards is to build a data base and market to people based on that data base.  If I had given them what they wanted they would have my name, address, phone number and e-mail.  Does the phrase “identity theft” resonate in your life?

Many people have a library of these cards.  Grocery stores, office supply, hardware stores.  What people don’t seem to realize is that every time they use those cards the results go into that Great Data Base in the sky and Big Brother knows more about you.  He knows what you like to eat and wear.  He knows what days of the week you shop.  He knows if you buy on sale or impulsively.  He might even know the color of your underwear because he certainly knows what colors you like. 

This is used to tailor advertising and marketing.  You will get things mailed, snail mail and electronic, that is tailored to entice you into an action.  If you are tired of junk mail and spam, ask yourself, “How many contests have I entered?”  In this struggle we are our own worst enemy.

I don’t want laws against it.  Let the business go for the gold.  That doesn’t mean I must cooperate of be their patsy. 

I expect to get less and less from my Panera Card.  I can live with that.  I don’t have a major problem with spam because I am willing to live with that.

Enjoy your “free lunch.”  Some one is paying for it.

homo unius libri

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