The Second Eclectic

Technology changes how we relate to God and each other

Warp and Woof 06.07.13

Apparently this is a week for maps, with two articles centering on Google Maps but taking somewhat opposing viewpoints. On one side Forbes says it will close us into a mypopic mirror; on the other side Cyborgology says that it may show us the most complete map yet. 

"The New Google Maps Is a Social Network in Disguise" from Forbes 

A look at how Google Maps and Google+ are being integrated so that you will be provided personalized results. But with this comes risks of "filter bubbles" and astigmatisms and myopia. 

Most interesting in the article is a comment about Google Glass: Instead of entering a search query in a box, you are now passively querying Google simply through your behavior. This is a brilliant insight.

"The Church and Building Community in the Digital Age" from Christian Today 

This article looks at how the Church of England is connecting with Internet users via social media like Facebook and Twitter. What I wonder is what parts of "the church" and "discipleship" does social media leave out? Are these parts essential? If our church habits and priorities are shaped by the biases of the Internet, what practices of church and discipleship will be overlooked or marginalized?

"The Prodigal with 128,000 Followers" from Christianity Today 

Some interesting notes about the positive and negative practices that arise from using Twitter: the increased vulnerability permitted by a sense of anonymity, and a distant engagement that allows for followers to connect without entering in.

"Google Maps Can’t Kill Public Spaces (A Belated Reply to Evgeny Morozov)" at Cyborgology 

A good article looking at how maps reflect the priorities of the mapmaker, and how that shapes how users use and misuse them. He then applies this to the new personalized Google Maps, and overall, offers a positive analysis of what Google (as mapmakers) will offer, and how users will use and misuse it.

"Philosophy isn't dead yet" at The Guardian

This articles attacks the reductionisms that physics and mathematics are leveling against metaphysical philosophy. The author however points out a number of problems that physics and mathematics can't sufficiently resolve, including time, space, and the origins of the universe. These are definitely problems into which Christianity should speak. Science simply can't get to the bottom of them.