Jul 25, 2011

Technology's Design Guides It's Use

This BBC article talks about the open structure of the internet. One point that struck me is that the way we build a technology determines how it will be used, and so puts our values into it. The internet is open, in that one node can talk to another without the system caring what is said - it just transfres it. If we don't believe in such openness, we could have built a highly managed system that only allows certain types of files or information.

I argue that technology is not neutral, but will have the values (or theology) of the designer built-in for good or bad.

Jul 21, 2011

Good Bye Space Shuttle

And so ends the final Space Shuttle mission. I remember when school would stop and we would all go in to the auditorium to watch a shuttle launch. I certainly remember the Challenger explosion. Some technology can become an assumed part of the background of life, like indoor plumbing. But the Shuttle never was that for me.

Jul 18, 2011

Technology Impacts Our Perspective

Take a look at this article by R. C. Sproul Jr. He argues that our news and communication technology make us feel like we're a neighbor to people and situations when we're really not. This works out in the media attention on the death of one little girl and ignoring the thousands upon thousands of aborted children.

Jul 14, 2011

Wordle From My Technology in the Bible Notes

As a personal project, I've been reading through the Bible and taking notes on references to technology. I took my raw, unedited notes and pasted them into Wordle. Here's what I got.

Wordle: Bible Technology Notes

Jul 11, 2011

Review: The Pencil

The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance by Henry Petroski is just what it says: a history of how the pencil came to be what it is today. When you think of technology, the pencil is hardly the first item that comes to mind. They're cheap, bought by the dozen (or gross), are given away for advertising, are of no consequence if lost, and are hardly thought of. But consider for a minute: how would you make a pencil?

Jul 8, 2011

Virtues of Books

How to Survive in the Age of Distraction by Johann Hari talks about books. Hari's thesis is that books are good and necessary, even if ebooks pass them by. Why? They force us to read in a particular way. Books do not facilitate multitasking, link to other sources, or play background music. They are just there, requiring you to be patient and take the text as it comes. Their permanence is also a virtue; if taken care of they will exist decades from now.

Go have a read.

Jul 6, 2011

Source of Stability and Salvation

Isaiah 33:5-6 stood out to me recently when I read it. These verses point out some things we pursue nearly universally as humans: stability, salvation, wisdom, and knowledge. Certainly a great many Americans value our relative stability. 9/11 was a blow to that, but we've gone back to our lives quickly. I wonder how often we think of the wars going on overseas that now work to maintain that stability. Whether we call it salvation or something else, we value being rescued from trouble and freedom from guilt. Our God-given curiosity has pushed us to pursue wisdom and knowledge.