The Best of the Web Lately

Here are a few articles from the last few weeks that I think are worth noting.

Why We haven’t Met Any Aliens – Scientists believe that there are several planets capable of sustaining organic life and that organic life evolves fairly quickly. However, if that’s true, then it’s odd that we haven’t met other life forms. The author of this article says the answer is that at a certain level of technological progress, societies stop desiring to explore the galaxy because they enjoy their video games too much.

There’s a Person on the Other End of that Status Update – Social media consultant Jennifer Fong addresses how the technology of social media can urge us to do things we’d never do in real life: “This has been the problem from the beginning of online communication: the anonymity of hiding behind our computers makes us forget the basics of interpersonal communication.  You would NEVER walk up to someone on the street and begin pitching your products and opportunity without at least making an effort at small talk.  Why do we think it’s OK to do that online?”

Clarity and the Technological Society – Anderson argues, “There really are no arguments against technology.  None.  The best and most persuasive reflections focus on how we think about technology, rather than the tools themselves (or even their effects).  For it is that point, and not the tools themselves, that makes our era truly distinct… the arguments change:  they cease to be about technology and its effects, but rather the anthropology that undergirds our technological development and whether, and how far, we ought to protect anything natural from our technocratic intrusions.”

5 Ways to Reduce Social Media Distractions – from Mashable comes a post with some focusing and productivity techniques. I think it’s interesting because under the hood these kinds of articles are essentially saying, “Sometimes you have to use technology against its design to be human.”

Northland Church Launches Facebook Church – A month in and the first “facebook campus” has over 1700 participants and 300 fans.  I couldn’t find any updates from Northland, but here is their original blog post about the new initiative.

Technology can let parents work at home but distract from family time – USAToday reports that telecommuting doesn’t always work out the way families expect. Instead of spending time in their cars commuting, some workers end up working more and cutting into family time.

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John Dyer

In my day job, I work at Dallas Theological Seminary, and at night I write Bible software for countries whose leaders could be called "overlords." This one time, I wrote a book about technology and Christian faith. You can find out more about what I'm up to at http://j.hn/.

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