In an article that examines the root cause of the problem with most of all of social media, but particularly about Facebook, Nichil Sonnad makes the following observation: Arendt [the Israeli psychologist who analyzed Nazi Adolf Eichman] concludes that it was neither sadism nor hatred that drove Eichmann to commit these historic crimes. It was a failure to think about other people as people at all. A “decisive” flaw in his character, writes Arendt, was […]
Our hyper-networked world has given us super-human powers. Sometimes this has been beneficial. But of late, there is a dangerous side to being able to communicate quickly and without the need to reflect. At least two dozen people have been killed in mob lynchings in India since the start of the year, their deaths fueled by rumors that spread on WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned messaging service. In Brazil, messages on WhatsApp falsely claimed a government-mandated yellow-fever […]
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” […]
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 […]
Here in Rhode Island, those of us working in communications ministry are trying to gather quarterly to talk about our work, share tips and see how we can do things better. At the first of our gatherings I was given the task of presenting on “the theology of church communications”. This is the video of that presentation. It’s not… horrible. Actually, it’s rather entertaining to watch me fling the microphone cable around as I flail […]
Benedict Evans asks us to consider the full implications of the coming revolution in automobiles: the self-driving car. If you think Uber is a disruptive force in transportation, just think about the implications of these sorts of vehicles on something as mundane as parking your car in the city: [I]f your car doesn’t need to wait for you where you got out, then city-centre car parks disappear and retail gets remade (such of it as […]
Saw this over on Pastor Adam Copeland’s blog: Luther, centuries before, wrote about the tools of the day as articles through which we should show love to our neighbors. In this light, my iPhone becomes a tool for faithful living. It’s unusual for me to go more than a few hours without using my phone. I use it for directions, and daily to search for information about our world. I my phone to text message […]
The way a preacher builds a personal working library has changed. Here's a free tool to introduce you to electronic bible study.
One of the common sources of exasperation for clergy (at least in my conversations with my peers) is that they feel overwhelmed by the amount of email they receive during the day. Truth be told our email load isn’t anything like what people in large corporations get, but unlike theirs which is filled with massive numbers of cya ‘cc’s, clergy email often comes from parishioners, is not an fyi, and has to be acted upon. […]
I just came across an announcement on Twitter that an online education company (2tor - "tutor") has announced partnerships with institutions like Georgetown University and USC to provide for credit graduate degrees through online work. Can this work for seminaries?