Category: Technology

Pope Francis Graces TED to Talk Technology

For more than 30 years now, TED talks have inspired millions of listeners with over 1,000 presentations from world leaders in technology, music, education, the arts, and philosophy. With few exceptions, including speakers such as Billy Graham and Rick Warren, TED talks rarely touch on the topic of religion and spirituality. One rare instance was the recent talk delivered by Pope Francis last month on the topic of…  [more]

What Transhumanism Misunderstands About Being Human

Talk of cyborgs isn’t only for fans of science fiction anymore. A recent National Geographic article by D. T. Max highlights the ways in which advocates and practitioners of transhumanism are merging our bodies with technology. Perhaps we are well on our way to what the magazine’s cover describes as “the next human.” How should Christians think about the technological optimism of…  [more]

When the Bible is No Longer a Book

“A new kind of mutated Christianity for a digital age is appearing.” Rev. Dr. Pete Phillips I still remember the first time I preached a sermon with an iPad. Fearing my congregation’s response, I walked to the pulpit with notes and a Bible concealing the glowing screen. I continued the practice of bait and switch for several years until I sensed people growing less nervous. While there are still…  [more]

I Digitally Assist, Therefore I Am?

What happens when two digital assistants begin talking to one another? We recently found out on the Twitch channel seebotschat, where two Google Home devices have been having an extended conversation. The digital assistants—who first named themselves Vladimir and Estragon (and have since changed their names multiple times)—oscillate between professions of undying love, musings on the nature of existence,…  [more]

Black Mirror’s Christian Suspicion of Technology

Despite society’s near-universal embrace of personal technology, a 2014 Pew Research poll suggested that a significant number of Americans have reservations about its place in our lives. Only 59 percent of those polled were confident that technological developments will lead to a better future, while 30 percent feared that the world will be in a worse place because of technological changes. This tension in the…  [more]

Is Apple Designing Your Future?

On the eve of Apple’s rollout of the iPhone 7, in which the earphone port has been replaced with wireless AirPods, a design firm unveiled a spoof product of its own: the Apple Plug, meant to cover the headphone jack on your old iPhone. The parody led Atlantic tech writer Ian Bogost to wonder whether Apple wants to forcibly dictate the future, or simply gently lead us there. Bogost’s verdict is mixed, but…  [more]

Blair Witch, Snowden and What it Means to be Seen

I happened to catch two movies on the same day that seemingly had nothing in common: Blair Witch, a horror sequel to 1999’s The Blair Witch Project, and Snowden, a biopic about the NSA whistleblower who revealed the United States government was spying on its own citizens. Both films, I realized afterwards, employ the idea of the omnipresent camera—as something to be desired in the one case, and something…  [more]

Do you hear what I hear? Audio reality and public perception

I recently read this fascinating piece on Medium about how changes in audio technology have altered perceptions of live events, including political conventions. Mack Hagood, a professor of sound and media, says that the quality and variety of microphones and mixing technology allows sound engineers to use “huge digital mixers and signal compression to combine these many sources into a detailed surround-sound…  [more]

Surveillance and revelation in the Bourne movies

Were you to hurtle through The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum movies preparing for next week’s release of the series’ latest installment, Jason Bourne, your 2016 self would surely notice what your 2000s self might have only barely apprehended: Bourne’s search for his identity is increasingly subject to the gaze of a camera. The Bourne movies, in this way, track…  [more]

Pokémon Go and our longing for the world to be transformed

To say Pokémon Go has taken over the world would be an exaggeration, but perhaps only a slight one. Only two days after its release, the app was installed on 5 percent of Android devices in the United States, surpassing Tinder. Though the game is free to play, its popularity has caused Nintendo’s shares to jump 10 percent overnight. So what’s all the buzz about? A Vox explainer describes it this…  [more]

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