Information Needs a Compass, Not a Clock

For the March/April issue of COLLIDE Magazine, I wrote an article called “Information Needs a Compass, Not a Clock.”

The thesis is that too often we value information on the basis of how new it is rather than on its capacity to shape our souls for good. We have dozens of ways to access “real time” information, but in reality there are very few cases (other than entertainment) where real time data is truly helpful. In other words,

Even firemen only use fire hoses when it’s really, really necessary.

Go check it out: Information Needs a Compass, Not a Clock

Published by

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

4 thoughts on “Information Needs a Compass, Not a Clock”

  1. I’ve been living overseas for a while. I get quick bites of news via the internet but get my more indepth news magazines a few months later, and by the time I get around to reading them sometimes they are six months old.

    I’ve found reading old news gives a fascinating view of the world. I read articles about whether we should invade Iraq, after we had invaded, and articles about political candidates knowing which one won and which one lost. I’ve gotten so used to living life in the slow lane that I now back away from reading fresh news, preferring the longer range perspective on events.

  2. Love this one John. Makes me wonder. We put so much emphasis on reading the latest trendy theology book. I spent 2 years attending a theology book study in a pub with people from a local trendy church. We should have been reading a 2000 year old book rather than the latest from cool authors X, Y & Z.

  3. In some ways, the timeliness of “news” is like children. Though they can be entertaining, they just haven’t lived long enough yet to have mature judgment about what’s really important. It’s only further down the road that we can really know what “news” matters. Books and other long-form writing are often much more reliable sources for this.

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