Ok, the title doesn’t make sense, but I wanted to follow up my last post on technology with a few useful links. Check out the following if you are interested in thinking more about the impact of technology on how we think, how we live and how we understand ourselves:
Some book reviews of Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows:
A mixed review from The New Republic, click here.
An interview with Nicholas Carr for NPR, click here.
Another recent book getting much attention is Jaron Lanier’s reassuringly titled You Are Not a Gadget. Again, this isn’t a book I have read, but I picked it up in an airport book store a few weeks back and have been haunted by its opening words ever since:
“It’s early in the twenty-first century, and that means that these words will mostly be read by nonpersons-automatons or numb mobs composed of people who are no longer acting as individuals. The words will be minced into atomised search-engine keywords within industrial cloud computing facilities located in remote, often secret locations around the world. The vast fanning out of the fates of these words will take place almost entirely in the lifeless world of pure information. Real human eyes will read these words in only a tiny minority of cases.”
Lanier was one of the early pioneers of the web, but in recent years has begun to seriously question its culture impact. For Lanier, Web 2.0 has become a threat to human creativity and individualism. Lanier’s book has caused a huge amount of debate, as a simple google search will illustrate. But here are a few good links:
A book review in the New York Times, click here.
A book review in The Independent, click here.
A book review in Slate magazine, click here.
And finally, the Washington Post, click here.
A few more general articles on the impact of technology on our ways of thinking can be found here and here. The first link is to a New York Times article not so reassuringly called, “Hooked on Gadgets and Paying a Mental Price”.
Finally, an excellent blog I have recently come across is John Dyer’s Don’t Eat the Fruit. The subtitle of the blog is quotable: “Technology is Fast, Redemption is Slow”. John is a web developer and writes insightfully on issues of theology and technology. His blog description nicely summarises a balanced view of technology:
This blog is about the the role of technology in the redemptive movement from the Garden to the City. I believe technology is an amazing testament to the creativity embedded in the imago dei, but instead of assuming technology is always a neutral tool, I believe it – like culture in general – profoundly influences us.
He also has an excellent recommended reading list. Check out his site here.
Absolutely finally, this video needs to be watched.