When we get too attached to habits, we risk losing our sense of wonder and our potential for catalytic experience. Courtney Martin's encouragement for the job of being alive: “May I see what I do. May I do it differently. May I make this a way of life.”
A look at some of the best pieces of the week, including nature at work, saying no, and expressions of men and grief.
We crave community and intimacy. But, are we looking for it in the wrong places — in our phones and mobile devices rather than in each others' eyes? With Rumi as his guide, Omid Safi on needing less digital connection and more rejuvenation of heart and soul.
Hibernation restores us to our nourishing, grounding source and in so doing, frees us to become a force of reason, reflection, and kindness. A meditation for the gifts of winter and the blessings of solitude and rest.
In a world of many distractions, the Buddhist sage says, it may be our own cravings that may be most deleterious to our well-being. Watch and listen.
What if an app could track your spiritual health as well as your physical health? A religion reporter wonders what interventions might remind us to pause, pay attention, and shift perspective.
The writer's words from 1955 resonate even more profoundly today in an era of technological ubiquity. A meditation on the gifts of solitude, loneliness, and silence.
Human beings are wired for connection. A commentary on how parallels exist between the “new” seeking in our digital worlds and the ancient seeking via fetish of the Bakongo people of the Congo.
A video that serves as a humorous indictment of our addiction to technology and lack of connection with others.
With disruption comes reinvention, this video from the World Science Festival shows us what's in store for us tech users.
There’s a new flying spaghetti monster in the spiritual marketplace: the Church of Kopimism. The newly “established” religion has become the talk of the internet, in part because of its transparently “unreligious” outlook and in part because of the group’s social perspective. The Church of Kopimism, which received official recognition as a religious denomination in Sweden, objects to what it calls the Copyright Religion and advocates free sharing of information by and for all. Though it lacks any particular resemblance to established religions, Kopimism has “beliefs and rituals,” which are held sufficient to establish it as a legal religious organization.
Image by Charis Tsevis/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
It took me by surprise that I cried when Steve Jobs died. I was surprised to feel so moved by the loss of someone who was essentially a modern industrialist. But of course, his acumen as a businessman was not what I was mourning. Jobs’ work has moved us in ways that the work of his contemporary Bill Gates never has. Gates’s influence on our culture has been just as powerful, but has not touched as profoundly. Why?
The vast digital domain that we think of when we imagine information technology is essentially non-physical in nature. It is, by definition, incorporeal. But like all incorporeal things – our thoughts, our dreams, our faith, our souls – it relies on bodies for manifestation in the physical world. The digital needs the analog to express itself.
Wisdom from Google's senior management that reminds us who drives technology.
(photo: Leandro Pérez/Flickr, cc by-nc-nd 2.0)
I never used to go anywhere without my cell phone. It was not only a means of communication, but my sole timepiece, and not knowing the time made me crazy.
That all changed one afternoon when my oldest son was two years old. After four years of living in the Southwest and its two seasons of hot and hotter, we moved to the upper Midwest. I couldn’t wait to experience the change in seasons, so one crisp October day I packed up my son and a picnic lunch and headed to a nearby state park to see some fall colors.
When we arrived, I unfastened the buckles of his car seat, retrieved our lunch, and instinctively reached for my cell phone. Then I paused.
Sand dunes at Wellfleet. (photo: Joshua Bousel/Flickr, cc by-nc-sa 2.0)
“If you don’t teach your children to be alone, they’ll only always know how to be lonely.”
—Sherry Turkle, from “Alive Enough? Reflections on Our Technology”
The founder of MIT’s Initiative on Technology and Self made this remark in the context of describing the awe she feels when she walks among the magnificent dunes near Provincetown, Massachusetts. I know well those sand dunes and the extensive tidal mudflats that mark the tip of the Cape.
MG Siegler, a blogger at TechCrunch, takes a whack at Mashable and tech blogging in general for their capitalistic opportunism of the Osama Bin Laden news now that advertising dollars are beginning to ramp up online.
Is there some type of competitive rivalry going on here? Perhaps. But his question of business ethics and gaming the news and search engines in order to make money with SEO land grabs is something that is surely not relegated to the tech world.
The national tragedy question aside, do savvy operators undercut their own business in the long run in order to make short-term business gains? What kind of ethical responsibilities, if any, do businesses and news outlets like Mashable have in making sure their results don’t crowd out the most relevant news for quick access? What does Google owe its customer’s when businesses flood the search market with results?
The FOMO factor? Turned into lil' performers? A septuagenarian who is "on his way"?
Our robotic moment? Perhaps we need to be asking better questions of ourselves rather than the more simplistic ones when it comes to thinking about our relationship with technology.
As the world shrinks and technology empowers us, Jennifer Cobb says, we must not forget slavery can take many forms, including abdicating our responsibility of tikkun olam. What do you think of her assessment?
Sometimes reticence becomes a full embrace when circumstances change, especially with your first grandchild.
The Internet Wishlist creates a space for people to share the holes and needs in their complex lives where apps and websites could do them some good.
For 20 years Sherry Turkle has asked unusual questions about the human side of technology. She wants to know how our relationship with devices affects our psychology, and why it is that “we no longer care if we are among life.”