Technology

The Power of Distraction (July 14, 2017) - So much for multi-tasking with a smartphone.  Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have found the following: ...that it didn’t matter whether a person’s smartphone was turned on or off, or whether it was lying face up or face down on a desk. Having a smartphone within sight or within easy reach reduces… Continue reading The Power of Distraction
High Anxiety (or, The Race to The Bottom of The Brainstem) (June 17, 2017) - Which of you, by being anxious, can add one moment to his lifespan?  –Matthew 6:27, World English Bible. But we seem to think we can worry ourselves into more likes on our Facebook pages. There is an experiment that is worth the attempt.  Disconnect from all social media and electronic devices for a full day… Continue reading High Anxiety (or, The Race to The Bottom of The Brainstem)
Backyard gene editing risks creating a monster | New Scientist (March 20, 2017) - While we were all being distracted by cat videos and meaningless tweets by celebrities and politicians: “Biohackers have already signalled their intention to use CRISPR, which poses a big problem for the authorities.”  Source: Backyard gene editing risks creating a monster | New Scientist, 15 March 2017.” The US Food and Drug Administration is allowing… Continue reading Backyard gene editing risks creating a monster | New Scientist
Silicon Valley Dystopia (October 9, 2016) - “The new road to serfdom — actually, it’s more like a hyperloop — runs right through Silicon Valley.” via Silicon Valley has our backs This post by Nicholas Carr at Rough Type references a recent New Yorker profile of venture capitalist Sam Altman.  I share Carr’s skepticism and the profile is worth reading.  If I… Continue reading Silicon Valley Dystopia
Loss of Context (April 8, 2015) - Exploring the world in comfort. That’s the theme of a recent commercial for the European travel company, Viking River Cruises. Scenes of Europe flow by to violin strains and a poetic cadence: “Sailing through the heart of cities and landscapes with Viking, you’ll see things differently. You’ll get closer to iconic landmarks, to local life… Continue reading Loss of Context
A High pH (November 21, 2014) - Once upon a time a ring from the wall telephone signified a crisis of some sort if it occurred outside of certain times. We just never thought to call anyone early in the morning, during dinner, or late at night. We stayed outside the boundaries of each other’s private spaces until such time as it… Continue reading A High pH
Pocket Protectors (November 14, 2014) - Technological progress seems to have a certain inevitability. Over the last twenty years large organizations have undergone a transition from the scattered use of mobile phones to wide use of cell phone to blackberries and now to smart phones. We started with typewriters, note pads, pens, and marginally useful green screen email. Now we have… Continue reading Pocket Protectors
Writing Without Spaces (November 11, 2014) - I’ve been reading The Shallows, a book by Nicolas Carr in which he argues that the Internet and devices which provide access to it are essentially rewiring the way we think. What we’ve discovered in the last few decades is that the brain is very malleable and responsive to changes in how we interact with… Continue reading Writing Without Spaces

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