Finding Refreshment in a World of Endless Work

By |2018-10-03T12:20:57-05:00October 3rd, 2018|

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. [...]

Children Under Siege in the Digital Age

By |2019-03-26T14:36:28-05:00May 28th, 2018|

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 [...]

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

By |2017-12-29T13:13:58-05:00December 28th, 2017|

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 [...]

What Has Facebook Done to Political Discourse?

By |2018-03-15T16:59:13-05:00September 26th, 2017|

When Facebook came on the scene, I immediately saw this new online forum as a platform from which to express my opinion about current events like I did as a newspaper editorialist. It was all just so easy and convenient. Except for one thing… For about a decade before joining Facebook, I wrote weekly [...]

From Myths to Fact and Back Again

By |2019-03-28T11:44:20-05:00August 13th, 2017|

A democratic society requires an informed base of voters making political judgments on the basis of commonly accepted information. When reliable authorities no longer hold sway, unscrupulous authoritarians can step in to fill the void… “We have a risk of getting to a place where we don’t have shared public facts. A republic will [...]

Fake News, Truth, and the Digital Age

By |2017-09-19T09:31:35-05:00June 18th, 2017|

It might be too early to say, but the present recoil from fake news might prove that we are not quite ready to abandon the values we once thought so completely debunked. Truth might still stand a chance… Over the last few months, a number of publications have been running articles about what may [...]

Three Reasons To Do an Internet Detox

By |2019-01-15T15:44:33-05:00April 25th, 2017|

The important thing is to control technology since it becomes abusive when it starts controlling us. Thus, if email overload is causing concern, it is time to implement some version of detox. There is life beyond the Internet…. On January 1, 2017, I made a New Year’s resolution to make my Sundays Internet free. [...]

Must Digital Technology Make Enemies of Us All?

By |2017-04-23T19:29:43-05:00March 7th, 2017|

Given the choice, people would rather watch flat-out conflict and crosstalk rather than a more plodding format of elevated discourse and sober deliberation… The documentary film Best of Enemies (2015) is not just a compelling chronicle and contextualization of the famous 1968 television debates between William F. Buckley, Jr., and Gore Vidal. As the [...]

The Balkanization of a Boutique World

By |2017-03-14T10:07:05-05:00December 30th, 2016|

As we retreat into our respective corners to enjoy the things we enjoy, we enjoy less and less in common with one another. The bonds that hold us together are loosening… Few things have changed day-to-day American life as much as the free flow of digital entertainment and information from producers to consumers over [...]

Our Age of Anxiety: Surviving Political Realignment

By |2016-12-28T07:45:18-05:00October 17th, 2016|

In 2016 Americans are feeling anxious. It’s not that we are experiencing crises—we are neither in total war nor economic depression. Yet 2016 has forced us to rethink all we thought we knew. A Socialist made a credible run for the Democratic nomination and succeeded in moving the Democratic Party platform farther left than [...]

Stranger Things Have Happened: The Civil War among Media Forms

By |2016-11-23T20:19:57-05:00September 23rd, 2016|

“There’s Nothing Like a Best Seller to Set Hollywood a-Tingle” —The New York Times Book Review (Sep 16, 1962) “I’d willingly start my next novel—about a small town—right now, but I need the diversion of a play.” —John O’Hara, The New York Times Book Review (Nov 27, 1955) “For most of our lifetime civil [...]

Life in the Image-World

By |2018-12-12T17:59:44-05:00August 23rd, 2016|

Recently, I went with a group of friends to a concert of American choral music based on black spirituals. At the intermission, my friends and I spoke excitedly about what we experienced. The sole musician amongst us praised the balance of the ensemble and the conductor’s energy. One woman noticed how nervous the lead [...]

Informing Ourselves to Death

By |2018-08-13T10:15:44-05:00May 16th, 2014|

The great English playwright and social philosopher George Bernard Shaw once remarked that all professions are conspiracies against the common folk. He meant that those who belong to elite trades—physicians, lawyers, teachers, and scientists—protect their special status by creating vocabularies that are incomprehensible to the general public. This process prevents outsiders from understanding what [...]

New Year’s Resolution: Imagination & Digital Detox

By |2016-07-26T15:36:08-05:00January 1st, 2014|

The average person checks their (sic) phone every six-and-a-half minutes a day. One in four of us admits to spending longer online each day than we do asleep, while 73 percent say that we would struggle to go the whole day without our phones or computers… By the age of seven, the average British [...]