Too Much Tech?

Some discussions just don't fit into a well defined box. Use this forum to discuss general topics and issues revolving around the Church and the technology offerings we use and share.
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garylm-p40
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Too Much Tech?

Postby garylm-p40 » Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:04 pm

I recently noticed that the media presentation at one of our places of worship is now in surround sound. I think they have been fiddling with the settings now for several months. Most people probably don't notice or care, but I did.

Sometimes I am not looking for a totally immersive media experience. Trying so hard with the tech seems to me to be a denial of the fact that the Spirit is fully capable of providing an immersive experience, even with paper cone speakers and monaural tube amps, or with an non-amplified human voice.

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Postby JamesAnderson » Wed Apr 25, 2007 5:16 am

Surround sound is not that hard to do, so that is probably why they may have done that.

In fact, two media items available through Distribution are in 5:1 surround sound, 'The Restoration', and a 5-minute video just recently made available to US members that has been used in Asia for some time.

5:1 is most common, but I've heard of 7:1 and some others.

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Postby WelchTC » Wed Apr 25, 2007 5:19 am

My I remind everyone that these forums or not for discussing or debating anything spiritual or religious. We encourage you to share your feelings with your family, friends and neighbors, but just not on these forums. ;)

Thanks for understanding.

Tom

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garylm-p40
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Postby garylm-p40 » Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:05 am

Maybe us techies have an added challenge when it comes to the tech world crossing over into the domain of spiritual things. Many folks can sit through a presentation blissfully unaware that tech is going on, but if you're like me, you're wondering what model of projector they're using or where they've hidden the subwoofer, and if you're like my HVAC friend, you're listening to the ventilation system.

I think one of our goals in the tech world should be to create a flawless experience and make the technology disappear for the majority of people, whether they are sitting at a keyboard in the clerk's office or sitting in a worship service.

But our talents for tech don't shut off when we ourselves sit down at a keyboard or sit in a worship service. And our awareness of tech during our own experiences often pays off in the form of quieter ventilation systems, less obvious sound reinforcement, and more user-friendly screens for everyone else.

I don't think we need a therapist to help us find a way to turn off our tech-mindedness in circumstances that call for a focus on spiritual things. I don't think there is a dividing line between temporal and spiritual. We've probably all had experiences in the tech world that illustrate this point. At the same time, it's probably good to feel uneasy or uncertain about being tech-minded in spiritual settings. There might be such a thing as "too much tech."

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Postby mkmurray » Wed Apr 25, 2007 11:58 am

I don't think having surround sound is a distracting technology at all, including in a spiritual service. This kind of an enhancement obviously went through the proper channels before being installed. It really isn't up to us to debate this policy on these forums, especially when it has to do with how a worship service as this one is presented.

Also, just because you are more tech-minded than others, doesn't mean everyone is as distracted as you are.

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Postby garylm-p40 » Wed Apr 25, 2007 12:28 pm

mkmurray wrote:Also, just because you are more tech-minded than others, doesn't mean everyone is as distracted as you are.


Exactly. That was one of the points I was trying make in the second post.

Is it possible to be tech-minded to the degree that you can make constructive changes or suggestions but not to the degree that you become too distracted? Can you say to yourself "there's not enough air circulating in this room", and then put that thought on the shelf for future reference while you focus on your real purpose? And then knowing that few people are going to have the expertise to notice what you noticed, are you sufficiently motivated to follow through with your observations?

In the old chapel where we used to meet, the microphone at the podium would frequently cut out, which was a distraction for everybody, myself more than most, because I sat there and tried to figure it out. It became clear to me that the microphone only cut out when the motorized podium was lowered to a certain height, suggesting a short or break in the microphone cable at the point where the cable flexed during podium movement. I went to the building maintenance coordinator, who was already aware of the problem, and suggested to him where the problem might be found. They finally got around to calling an A/V tech, who was able to go straight to the broken cable without wasting time swapping out amps and microphones.

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Postby thedqs » Wed Apr 25, 2007 5:24 pm

Well your story pointed out your technical observation was effective, though everyone has something that can distract them during any meeting (including sleep) so it just takes self-disipline to stay on topic and listen to the meeting.
- David

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Postby russellhltn » Sat Apr 28, 2007 1:19 pm

garylm wrote:Many folks can sit through a presentation blissfully unaware that tech is going on, but if you're like me, you're wondering what model of projector they're using or where they've hidden the subwoofer, and if you're like my HVAC friend, you're listening to the ventilation system.

I think one of our goals in the tech world should be to create a flawless experience and make the technology disappear for the majority of people, whether they are sitting at a keyboard in the clerk's office or sitting in a worship service.

But our talents for tech don't shut off when we ourselves sit down at a keyboard or sit in a worship service.


I think Gary has said everything I was going to say on the subject. Done right, technology disappears. But us magicians, still like to watch the art of how it does that. (It must be worse for film students, watching the camera angles, lighting, framing, etc. :D )

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Postby skiptaylor » Sat May 12, 2007 2:46 pm

I don't go to Church for a tech display.

However, what I do want is to be able to hear those speaking, view presentations and broadcasts and be able to hear/see them easily.

Skip

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Postby thedqs » Sat May 12, 2007 10:25 pm

avskip wrote:I don't go to Church for a tech display.

However, what I do want is to be able to hear those speaking, view presentations and broadcasts and be able to hear/see them easily.

Skip


There are theatrical shows at the stake center (put on by the stake or BYU Young Ambassadors) that does require some high tech stuff and might seem as a tech display but it is just trying to get the best presentation possible.
- David


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