News and Links

Elizabeth hospital.jpgIt’s been awhile since my last post, indeed writing has been generally sporadic here for some time. Not sure that it will get any better, although I would like it to. It’s been challenging to find the time to write with a toddler running about. Some of you will remember that my wife and I welcomed our first child into the world a little over nineteen months ago. A week ago tomorrow, we welcomed our second. That’s the news. Mom and baby girl are doing very well. Dad and big sister are grateful and delighted.

Perhaps it’s wishful thinking, but despite the newborn and toddler I do hope to write a bit more regularly, especially during the forthcoming summer months. I’ve had half a dozen or so posts partially composed in my mind for some time now; hopefully those will find their way to your screen some time soon. Maybe.

For what it’s worth, a few months ago I gave a some talks in the Pittsburgh area under the auspices of CSET and the Greystone Theological Institute. The topics of the talks will be familiar to readers:  thinking about technology and its obstacles, tech criticism, ethics of technology, memory and digital documentation, etc. They were offered as a mini-course introducing students to a variety of issues regarding technology, the self, and society. If you’re interested you can download the course here. It’s not free, but neither is it very pricey and yours truly will see a good bit of the proceeds.

Finally, as I’ve finally been able to do some reading of late, here are a few links that may be of interest.

Ghost in the Cloud: Transhumanism’s simulation theology.

Nostalgia For Now: How digital and social media blur the lines of memory, history, and reality (Some of you will remember that nostalgia was a recurring theme here a while ago.)

The Distracted Mind: Multitasking, task switching, and continuous partial attention

Will Democracy Survive Big Data and Artificial Intelligence?

The next three links have a common theme: narrative. Narrative and the unconscious, narrative and information, narrative and the work of science.

The Kekulé Problem: Where did language come from?

The Limits of Information

Science and the Story That We Need

That last one, by the way, is an older essay (1997) by the late Neil Postman. I’ll leave you with the opening of Postman’s essay:

The principal spiritual problem confronting those of us who live in a technological age was spoken of some years ago in a prophetic poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay, in her collection Huntsman, What Quarry?

Upon this gifted age, in its dark hour,
Rains from the sky a meteoric shower
Of facts . . . they lie unquestioned, uncombined.
Wisdom enough to leech us of our ill
Is daily spun, but there exists no loom
To weave it into fabric.

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