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The Way We Live Now – a parent of a home schooler imparts some excellent principles about technology. [HT: Alan Jacobs]

  • Every new technology will bite back. The more powerful its gifts, the more powerfully it can be abused. Look for its costs.
  • Technologies improve so fast you should postpone getting anything you need until the last second. Get comfortable with the fact that anything you buy is already obsolete.
  • Be suspicious of any technology that requires walls. If you can fix it, modify it or hack it yourself, that is a good sign.
  • The proper response to a stupid technology is to make a better one, just as the proper response to a stupid idea is not to outlaw it but to replace it with a better idea.
  • Every technology is biased by its embedded defaults: what does it assume?
  • Nobody has any idea of what a new invention will really be good for. The crucial question is, what happens when everyone has one?
  • The older the technology, the more likely it will continue to be useful.
  • Find the minimum amount of technology that will maximize your options.

Creatures are not Machines – Wes Daniels takes a look at what happens when we start to see ourselves as machines. [HT: Rhett Smith]

Our technology is changing our practices and patterns of daily life. It is affecting our understanding, practice and shape of faith. It rejects church time for it’s own kind of time. It prefers efficiency and speed over organic material. And it forms our ethics, what we value and what we do not value. There are many things this reading evokes within me, such as challenges to carefully consider how I use my machines and how they shape me, and to continue to work at taking technology sabbaths.

Sex Isn’t Selling – Tim Challies, whose book on technology will undoubtedly be better than mine, writes about how sales of pornography have been dropping in recent years in large part because it’s no longer shocking. Yet, this is far from good news:

It’s not that as a culture we are objecting to pornography on the grounds that it objectifies women or hardens the hearts of men. Rather, the culture has decided that it won’t pay for what it consumes and that it will take whatever it desires. And even worse, the culture has become so hardened to what used to be shocking, that no allure remains. “Sexual content has gone from scandalous to stale. It’s become the background noise of the culture.” Against the backdrop of all the smut around us, the mainstreaming of what used to be shocking, few consumers can muster outrage at much of anything.

In other words, pornography has succeeded so well that it has forced itself into decline. It has made sex so pervasive that it has become boring, so omnipresent that it no longer entices. It has no one but itself to blame.

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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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