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Permanent puberty of the mind
Posted By Eric Sammons On May 7, 2009 @ 9:30 am In Technology | Comments Disabled
This interview with Mennonite pastor Shane Hipps, author of Flickering Pixels: How Technology Shapes Your Faith , is quite interesting:
Talk about the telegraph.
The telegraph more than anything broke the historic connection between transportation and communication. Prior to the telegraph, the fastest [that] information could travel was about 60 miles an hour, maybe the speed of a locomotive. Suddenly, with the telegraph, communication is instantaneous. It also divorces context from information…
So the Internet is an extension of the telegraph in that it only accelerates the availability of universal information?
And it creates a permanent puberty of the mind. We get locked in so much information, and the inability to sort that information meaningfully limits our capacity to understand. The last stage of knowledge is wisdom. But we are miles from wisdom because the Internet encourages the opposite of what creates wisdom—stillness, time, and inefficient things like suffering. On the Internet, there is no such thing as waiting; there is no such thing as stillness. There is a constant churning.
As a Catholic technology professional, I am always interested in how technology intersects with our life of faith. I am not a Luddite, but I also do believe that society should be more intentional in its consideration on whether to use a new technology. Just because we can do something does not mean that we should do it. We rarely think of the long-term consequences of a new technology. For example, how many people realized the dramatic impact that automobiles would have on how our neighborhoods would be configured and our personal social networks? Rarely does technology transform our lives in the way its initial proponents think it will (I’m still waiting for the “paperless society” we were promised thirty years ago. And wasn’t TV supposed to bring families together?).
As Catholics, we should embrace new means to spread the Gospel, but we should also recognize the negative spiritual consequences new technologies can have and realize that they can be dangerous tools if used improperly.
Article printed from Divine Life – A Blog by Eric Sammons: http://ericsammons.com/blog
URL to article: http://ericsammons.com/blog/2009/05/07/permanent-puberty-of-the-mind/
URLs in this post:
 Flickering Pixels: How Technology Shapes Your Faith: http://www.amazon.com/Flickering-Pixels-Technology-Shapes-Faith/dp/0310293219/
 From the Printing Press to the iPhone: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2009/may/20.64.html
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