Self-Denial in an Age of Distraction

By |2019-06-07T21:16:36-05:00June 7th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Modernity, Science, Technology|

We wonder whether smartphones have somehow fundamentally altered our human nature, but ask why we were so vulnerable to addiction when they arrived on the scene. Technology amplifies, but does not alter, who we are. We are creatures with a deep and abiding desire to avoid the real. We seek to escape awareness of [...]

The Return of Storytelling in a Digital Age

By |2019-04-25T12:01:26-05:00November 13th, 2018|Categories: Dwight Longenecker, Fiction, Literature, Modernity, Senior Contributors, Technology, Writing|

Podcast stories, like reading, have the advantage of engaging the audience’s imagination. And lest the technophobes among us decry the dominance of gadgets, rather than the gadgetry taking us into a brave new world, the technology is actually allowing us to participate in a much older form of literature: storytelling… Some time ago, on [...]

Finding Refreshment in a World of Endless Work

By |2018-10-03T12:20:57-05:00October 3rd, 2018|Categories: Happiness, Information Age, Josef Pieper|

It only took a moment. The smartphone was somewhere in the grass, forgotten. Our hands and jeans were covered in smears of purple and green sidewalk chalk. My two-year-old daughter and I were busy drawing roads and buildings on a square of pavement—here a library, there a post office, with our house around the corner. [...]

Nature, Science, and Civilization

By |2019-06-10T11:19:01-05:00September 26th, 2018|Categories: Civilization, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Leviathan, Mark Malvasi, Nature, Science, Senior Contributors, Technology, Western Civilization|

At its finest, the new conception of nature enabled people to appreciate, and wish to safeguard, the natural environment on which life depends. At its worst, this reverence for the natural world gave rise to a mindless sentimentality that regarded all human activity as harmful and exploitive. I. The English mathematician and philosopher Alfred North [...]

Messages From Outer Space: Man, Contemplation, & Technology

By |2019-05-07T14:40:16-05:00September 21st, 2018|Categories: Books, Christianity, Civil Society, Culture, Science, Technology|

All the minds of all the brilliant thinkers that the world has ever known will still come up pathetically short when compared with the grandeur of the universe. Technology, if it is to soberly measure its own capabilities and power, must approach the questions of the universe with a certain degree of humble modesty... "Until [...]

Is the Human Brain Just Like a Computer?

By |2019-05-09T15:49:02-05:00July 5th, 2018|Categories: Christianity, Nature, Science, Technology|

Some dream of a time when we will achieve immortality by downloading the contents of the brain into a computer. But is this truly possible?… I have just read a fascinating and, to my mind, cheerful article, by the research psychologist Robert Epstein, on why your brain is not a computer—for the simple reason that your brain does [...]

Can Technology Improve How We Read Books?

By |2018-06-15T01:02:05-05:00June 14th, 2018|Categories: Books, Modernity, Science, Technology|

Robin Sloan attempts to show the ways in which technology can improve upon our old and outdated modes of reading. But his novel, Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, demonstrates that though Mr. Sloan knows technology, he misunderstands books and bookstores… Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (288 pages, Picador, 2013) In the wake [...]

CGI Apocalypse: The Veiling of Nature

By |2018-06-07T02:52:00-05:00June 10th, 2018|Categories: Christian Humanism, Culture, Nature, Science, Stratford Caldecott, Technology, Timeless Essays|

The world may ultimately be broken down, not into atoms or elements or quanta of energy, but into something like “pixels” or units of information. These build up into the impressions of things that are the objects of our consciousness, constituting the other half of reality… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords [...]

Prisoners to Our Screens: The Modern Ideology of Images

By |2019-04-25T13:10:01-05:00June 10th, 2018|Categories: Philosophy, Science, St. John's College, Technology, Truth|

Tradition, philosophy, and religion long ago succumbed to science as the sole arbiter of truth, but now science too has been dethroned. What rules today is a different form of ideology—ideas and images replace concrete experience. Can we escape the Screen with its hollow images and counterfeit emotions and experience the human way of life?… [...]

Children Under Siege in the Digital Age

By |2019-03-26T14:36:28-05:00May 28th, 2018|Categories: Culture, Education, Information Age, Science, Technology|

Millions of children today are raised, by default, to be slaves to group-think, addicted to endorphins released from a digital device, burdened with neural pathways so obliterated that nary a logical thought might pass from brain to lips... In The Princess and the Goblin, George MacDonald casts both an unlikely hero and an unlikely weapon [...]

“Black Mirror” and the Soul

By |2018-05-18T16:24:45-05:00May 18th, 2018|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Culture, Science, Technology, Television|

Black Mirror succeeds at making viewers consider the ways humanity is being changed by technology. In its last season, the show considered the idea of uploading consciousness into a computer-generated world. But can the soul be reduced to a collection of data in this way?…… Apparently starved for new ideas, the popular science-fiction television [...]

Patrick Deneen on Why Liberalism… Succeeded?

By |2019-02-26T16:39:59-05:00April 30th, 2018|Categories: Books, Culture, Liberal Arts, Liberalism, Technology, Thomas R. Ascik|

Patrick Deneen has entitled his book Why Liberalism Failed, but by his own analysis, he could have entitled it Why Liberalism Succeeded… Why Liberalism Failed by Patrick Deneen (248 pages, Yale University Press, 2018) In his comprehensive condemnation of three hundred years of modern liberalism, Patrick Deneen at one point speaks of “advanced liberalism,” [...]

Why Young Readers Need Real Books

By |2019-04-23T15:40:59-05:00February 28th, 2018|Categories: Great Books, Technology|

If we want to raise children who can hold a conversation, they need actual people with whom to converse. Likewise, if we want to raise readers, they need, more than anything else, real and worthy books to read… A young lady I know won a Kindle in an academic contest. She is a voracious reader. [...]

My New Year’s Resolution: Keep Sundays Internet-Free

By |2017-12-29T13:13:58-05:00December 28th, 2017|Categories: Christianity, Faith, Information Age, John Horvat, Science, Technology|

An Internet-free Sunday honors the Sabbath and allows us to leave our daily rat-race for at least one day, to ponder and prepare for the week ahead. It is a perfect occasion to visit and converse with others… Last year, I made a New Year’s resolution that I would make my Sundays Internet-free. It [...]