Category: Gadgets

Wealth in light of the Apple Watch

The announcement this month of the Apple Watch raises a number of perplexing challenges for Christians. A dominant theme of much commentary has had to do with the top-tier Apple Watch Edition, with options ranging from $10,000 to $17,000. These models feature rare crystal screens and precious metal cases. Apple products have never been cheap, but this new level of luxury represents the company’s recognition of…  [more]

“Missed connections” and a love worth pursuing

As Valentine’s Day approaches, we find ourselves in a season of American life with competing paradigms of romantic love. From films, music and even the card aisle of your local pharmacy, February is always a month dedicated to the exploration of one of our most mysterious of virtues. In the spirit of exploration, I want to present two tales, which represent two vastly different views of love in the modern…  [more]

Craig Detweiler on Apple, Google and other “iGods”

Calvin College's January Series is still underway, but organizers were kind enough to share this video of one of the more intriguing talks so far: Craig Detweiler's discussion of "iGods." Based on his book, iGods: How Technology Shapes Our Spiritual and Social Lives, Detweiler's presentation explored the "big four" entities that dominate our digital existence - Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google - and…  [more]

Wiring the wild: animal exploitation or creation care?

While on a recent trip to India’s Periyar Tiger Reserve, my wife and I were told by our guides that approximately 48 tigers lived in or near the preserve, although sightings are quite rare. How then did they arrive at the number 48? Trail cameras snap motion-activated photos of the cats during their nighttime prowls. We’re getting used to being perpetually on-camera in the human realm. Now we’re…  [more]

Why “normal Barbie” might not be the answer

Who knew a bunch of second-graders could make me so defensive about Barbie? You’d think I’d be past this. After all, I’ve had a lifetime of concerns about the plastic blonde. I’ve worried her famously out-of-proportion physique could lead to body image problems. I’ve recoiled when a talking Barbie declared that “math class was tough.” (Even though, honestly, I agreed with…  [more]

Outsourcing our memories to Instagram

The advent of instantly posting photos online has revolutionized our documentation of our lives, especially the lives of our children. It's not uncommon now for us to take a picture a day, filling up Instagram and Facebook feeds with our everyday activities. NPR recently reported on a study of this phenomenon by Maryanne Garry, who investigates the effect of photography on childhood memory at the Victoria…  [more]

Bye-bye Flappy Bird

The hugely popular mobile game Flappy Bird was unceremoniously removed from the market last week and the ensuing outcry made me think of Ecclesiastes – only partly because banging into the game’s first pipe for the fifth time in a row will make anyone cry “meaningless, meaningless!” The abrupt manner in which Vietnamese game designer Dong Nguyen took the game down mirrors the experience many…  [more]

Snapchat and digital dualism

Snapchat, which allows users to share photos that will be automatically deleted after a selected number of seconds, is out to do much more than just provide a good laugh for teenagers. Instead, founder Evan Spiegel contends that Snapchat is transforming the very way we communicate by breaking down the barriers between online and offline experience, a distinction that's come to be called digital dualism. This…  [more]

What the Tikker death watch reveals about modern mortality

Rather than telling the hour and minute, a new watch counts down the years, months, days, hours, minutes and seconds of a person’s life. As Olga Khazan of The Atlantic explains, Tikker projects the wearer’s time of death based on a medical history questionnaire. Then the countdown begins. By motivating wearers to “make every second count,” the creators of the death watch aim for no less than…  [more]

Louis C.K.’s ‘forever empty’

Comedian Louis C.K. went on a rant on Conan last week that began with cell phones but spiraled into some harshly honest observations about the way we deal with sadness and loneliness in contemporary society. Video of the interview has been widely shared, but we have it below in case you haven’t seen it yet. Perhaps this video felt so refreshing because we rarely talk about these kinds of mundane, bad…  [more]

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