Watching and Being Watched: An Interview on Theology and Surveillance Technology with Dr. Eric Stoddart

surveillance camera

“We trust in God and make preparations, yes, but we sort of turn a blind eye to surveillance. I think it was Dietrich Bonhoeffer who talked about having others get dirty hands—and there’s a grave danger, I think in Christian circles, that we turn a blind eye to surveillance, because we know that it’s messy and its murky but we want it, we want it for the safety of our children and our families and our communities, but we don’t want to ask too many questions. We want others (the security services, other public officials) to get dirty hands doing the surveillance that we wouldn’t actually like to be associated with as citizens.”Read More

The Shallows: What The Internet Is Doing To Our Brain

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Marshall McLuhan once observed that in assessing the effect of new technologies, we invariably get caught up in an analysis of the content coming through the medium. In doing so, we tend to neglect a more fundamental question: how is the form of this medium altering our reception of the content being conveyed through it?

Building on McLuhan’s oft-quoted dictum that “the medium is the message,” Nicholas Carr asks how the internet is changing the way our brains receive, process and store information.

By availing himself of the latest laboratory research, Carr shows that the internet is doing more than merely providing us with the means to transmit and receive information: it is actually altering the neurocircuitry in our brains, changing the way we think.Read More

Don’t Know

Diamond ring

She often felt like the only thing she really loved was sounds. She collected them like seashells. She wore heels so she could hear them click on the tile floor of the bank Matthew worked at. Chemistry class was her favorite in school because she liked the clink of the glass beakers. She liked the hum of whispers in the library. The only thing she liked about Jane Eyre was the crinkle of pages the water-stained book made. Sometimes she shushed people when they weren’t even saying anything, worried they would interrupt a sound she was gathering.Read More

Towards A New Agriculture

Farmland

If the Babylonians had pesticides, I’m sure they would’ve used them. Persia, Rome, Medieval Europe, and Modern America all display basically the same mind-set: exploitation of the land. The only difference is that Pre-Industrial Agriculture was built on the backs of slaves and serfs, whereas Industrial Agriculture is built on the backs of tractors and poison. There are no “good ol’ days” to return to. We’re doing the same thing we’ve always done; the only difference is that now we do it with more power. The first step towards a solution is admitting we have a problem. There is a natural order, and it doesn’t bode well to fight against it. Read More

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