Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"Why Everything is Amazing and Nobody is Happy"

Don't read this article, entitled The Internet is Over, unless you want to spend a day mulling over the miserable state we are being led to by our technological wonders. I know this will happen because I read the comments...and 90% or more of the commentors reflect that feeling. It was extremely interesting to me because I recently read George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, and although the novel was extremely uncomfortable reading, I thought I was somewhat re-assured that at least some of the societal horrors depicted in the book have not materialized.

Then I read this article.  And I realized it is real, and it is here already.  And it will become worse.

Even as I personally come to use email, blogging, twittering, and my professional website more, the distinction between my work time and my personal or family time becomes blurred.  Am I becoming part of the "collective consciousness", or just participating in global gossip? Is there any part of this that enhances my spiritual life?  Or is this process attempting to rip me away from the private, comforting moments of clarity that I have when I am completely "off the grid" and thinking about Christ in my life?

Even as it did in late 1999, it seems useless to flee to the mountains. I'll ride this techno-wave and try to keep God as my co-pilot.

After all, if riots can be triggered in the middle east over cell phones, then why couldn't world-wide revival?


  1. Chuck,

    I tell my three facebook users at home all the time to not live your life on the internet. Although, if my kid's friends knew how much Wendy knew about them through Facebook, they'd never post again.

    And the Christian battles are found everyday on the web too. Check Chuck Colson's Manhattan Declaration fight with Apple computers for an example.


  2. I personally think the internet has one advantage in that it reduces the dependency on organizational machines. It allows the home to once again become a center of human life, and empowers small business. When the same job can be done at home as at the office there is less need to regiment work, education, and human life in general. It also gives governments less control because of the multiplicity of sources available.

    Jason Taylor

  3. To me, technological change is something God allows.

    The eyes of the LORD keep watch over knowledge, but he frustrates the words of the unfaithful.
    Pro 22:12

    Knowledge is empowerment. Like all empowerment, some use it for evil and some use it for good. A car, for example can take one to a place of sin or a church. The choice is up to the driver.

    For example, a few years ago, I would have had to have a whole library of bibles, concordances and commentaries to have the access to what is now easily gained from blueletterbible.org which is only one of many sites that offer such things. Of course, I must be careful to be on the alert for deception, but God helps me with that.

    My feeling is: "With caution, let us accept technological changes and use them to glorify God."

    Sir John,

  4. thanks, guys great comments.

    Jason, not sure about your "government less control" comment. Theoretically, yes. But for instance, the ability of the government to track (through corporate data, if necessary) every movement, comment, and site visit we make, cannot but help increase government control at some point, if not already.

    Don's reference to the Manhattan Declaration gives a great illustration. By accessing and then signing the document, one identifies himself to government analysts (do they exist? My friends in the military say, ooohhh yeah) as a member of a certain group of folks. How they categorize such a group of people, only time will tell. But just the fact that they have that capability, supplemented by the technologies described in the article, doesn't bode well for individual freedom.

    I know that potential and action are two different things, but...

    I think the only real freedom we have anymore is our freedom in Christ. As the article shows, all other "freedom" seem to be an illusion that is rapidly disappearing.

    Well, now they've got me :-)

  5. It just occurred to me, that perhaps the greatest threat from the government is not physical, but psychological. I sounded paranoid in the last comment, and that's want statist governments want.

    In fact, the data collected gives whomever the opportunity to feed disinformation fine-tuned to the specific audience. All the Nazis and Bolsheviks had were corny posters, vaguely worded proclamations, and frenzied speeches on news reels. And limited as that was, they were able to generate sizable numbers of sympathizers in both America and Britain. Imagine if they had the resources described in the article.