Author: Nicholas Knisely

If Jesus comes back now, what should we expect?

SOSc

Cara Rockhill, a priest here in Rhode Island (and a member of my staff) just posted a wonderful piece on her blog that’s an extended reflection on the easy to foresee violence that has erupted in the Holy Land. Her piece centers on what it would mean for all us right now if Jesus were to return to the Earth – a thing greatly to be desired, and my regular fervent prayer… If Jesus comes […]

The deeper we go, the less we understand.

SOSc

This: The modern-day theoretical physicist faces a taxing uphill climb. “As we learn more, reality becomes ever more subtle; the absolute becomes relative, the fixed becomes dynamical, the definite is laden with uncertainty,” writes physicist Yasha Neiman. via New math bridges holography and twistor theory

The problem of Facebook is only a small part of a much larger issue

Current Affairs / Web/Tech

The Original Sin of the Internet is that it pays its bills by selling our attention to the highest bidder. We’ve been focusing on Facebook at the moment, but as Ethan Zuckerman points out in an essay on the Atlantic.com site, Facebook is a symptom, not the problem. I’ve referred to this bargain, in which people get content and services for free in exchange for having persuasive messages psychographically targeted to them, as the “original sin” […]

Digital conversion: Church of England rolls out cashless donations

Current Affairs

Well, it’s been obvious that this has been coming. We have congregations here in the Diocese of Rhode Island that already offer this option. It’s been warmly received here particularly at festival events with many visitors attending like a Solemn Evensong or Christmas Eve. Churchgoers will no longer have to fumble in their pockets and purses for loose change or notes as the Church of England introduces contactless payment terminals in more than 16,000 churches, […]

Join Bishop Knisely and other Episcopalians at the Providence March For Our Lives Rally

Current Affairs

Clergy and young people from the Diocese of Rhode Island are joining others from New England in traveling to the event this weekend in Washington DC. Others, including Bishop Knisely, will be attending the simultaneous event held in Providence on Saturday (March 24th) at 1:00 PM. If you are interested in walking to the event together, a number of Episcopalians from across the state, both lay and clergy, are planning on meeting at the Cathedral […]

Stephen Hawking – a life that pointed to something beyond.

Current Affairs / Science

I woke up to the news this morning that Prof. Hawking had died. It’s hard to express the deep admiration people had for his work and the way he surmounted challenges in a way that few others have managed. There will be plenty of articles written about his scientific legacy. But I found this quote at the end of an article by Robert Barr to be the most evocative: Lucy Hawking said her father had […]

Together we must act to end this senseless carnage of our children in their school classrooms.

Current Affairs

“Forgive us, Lord, when our leaders fail to take action to protect the most vulnerable from the dangers of gun violence,” Hollerith says. “Forgive us, Lord, for the times when we lack the courage and political will to work together. Open our eyes and our hearts to work across our divisions to end the plague of gun violence.” via Church leaders express grief, call for action after Florida high school mass shooting – Episcopal News […]

The high cost of the Opioid Crisis

Current Affairs

According to a recently released study from the consulting group Altarum, the Opioid Crisis’ cost to the US economy is already north of a trillion dollars and ballooning. More: Economic cost of the opioid crisis: $1 trillion and growing faster. https://t.co/lhjb6zqeez — CNBC (@CNBC) February 13, 2018   In initial conversations with the Rhode Island Department of Health, there’s an important role for faith-based organizations to play in a coordinated response. At the simplest level, […]

Turning moral decisions into computer code

Current Affairs / SOSc

Nicholas Evans, a philosophy professor in Massachusetts, is part of a group tackling the classic moral dilemma called the “Trolley Problem” as part of the development of autonomous cars. Evans is not currently taking a stand on which moral theory is right. Instead, he hopes the results from his algorithms will allow others to make an informed decision, whether that’s by car consumers or manufacturers. Evans isn’t currently collaborating with any of the companies working […]

If it can go wrong, it will. Facebook, privacy and Murphy’s Law.

Religion / Web/Tech

Human experience is that technology is born filled with promise and usually quickly subverted to less than honorable ends. Wired reports on the way big tech, specifically Facebook, recognized what it had done, and what it thinks it can do to respond: This is the story of those two years [before and after the 2016 election], as they played out inside and around the company. WIRED spoke with 51 current or former Facebook employees for […]