Kelly Flanagan on digital detox. NOT A SAFE POST! 🙂
Source: Reading Wars – Philip Yancey
Don’t you love the always candid Philip Yancey? I really do.
This is an article everybody should read. Please find below a few excerpts:
‘ I used to read three books a week. One year I devoted an evening each week to read all of Shakespeare’s plays (OK, due to interruptions it actually took me two years). Another year I read the major works of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. But I am reading many fewer books these days, and even fewer of the kinds of books that require hard work.
The internet and social media have trained my brain to read a paragraph or two, and then start looking around. When I read an online article from The Atlantic or The New Yorker, after a few paragraphs I glance over at the slide bar to judge the article’s length. My mind strays, and I find myself clicking on the sidebars and the underlined links. Soon I’m over at CNN.com reading Donald Trump’s latest Tweets and details of the latest terrorist attack, or perhaps checking tomorrow’s weather.’
‘Neuroscientists have an explanation for this phenomenon. When we learn something quick and new, we get a dopamine rush; functional-MRI brain scans show the brain’s pleasure centers lighting up. In a famous experiment, rats keep pressing a lever to get that dopamine rush, choosing it over food or sex. In humans, emails also satisfy that pleasure center, as do Twitter and Instagram and Snapchat.
Nicholas Carr’s book The Shallows analyzes the phenomenon, and its subtitle says it all: “What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains.” Carr spells out that most Americans, and young people especially, are showing a precipitous decline in the amount of time spent reading. He says, “Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.” A 2016 Nielsen report calculates that the average American devotes more than ten hours per day to consuming media—including radio, TV, and all electronic devices. That constitutes 65 percent of waking hours, leaving little time for the much harder work of focused concentration on reading.’
‘I’ve concluded that a commitment to reading is an ongoing battle, somewhat like the battle against the seduction of internet pornography. We have to build a fortress with walls strong enough to withstand the temptations of that powerful dopamine rush while also providing shelter for an environment that allows deep reading to flourish. Christians especially need that sheltering space, for quiet meditation is one of the most important spiritual disciplines.’
‘Boredom, say the researchers, is when creativity happens. A wandering mind wanders into new, unexpected places. When I retire to the mountains and unplug for a few days, something magical takes place. I’ll go to bed puzzling over a roadblock in my writing, and the next morning wake up with the solution crystal-clear—something that never happens when I spend my spare time cruising social media and the internet.
I find that poetry helps. You can’t zoom through poetry; it forces you to slow down, think, concentrate, relish words and phrases. I now try to begin each day with a selection from George Herbert, Gerard Manley Hopkins, or R. S. Thomas.
For deep reading, I’m searching for an hour a day when mental energy is at a peak, not a scrap of time salvaged from other tasks. I put on headphones and listen to soothing music, shutting out distractions.’
‘We’re engaged in a war, and technology wields the heavy weapons. Rod Dreher published a bestseller called The Benedict Option, in which he urged people of faith to retreat behind monastic walls as the Benedictines did—after all, they preserved literacy and culture during one of the darkest eras of human history. I don’t completely agree with Dreher, though I’m convinced that the preservation of reading will require something akin to the Benedict option.
I’m still working on that fortress of habit, trying to resurrect the rich nourishment that reading has long provided for me.’
We live in a time when fake news proliferate. It is called the ‘post-truth age’.
In this TED talk, Lara Satrakian, a journalist dedicated to ‘building innovative news platforms that stand ready to engage and explain the complexity of our world’ suggests three way to fix the broken media industry. Here they are:
Idea number one: we need news that’s built on deep-domain knowledge. Given the waves and waves of layoffs at newsrooms across the country, we’ve lost the art of specialization. Beat reporting is an endangered thing. When it comes to foreign news, the way we can fix that is by working with more local journalists, treating them like our partners and collaborators, not just fixers who fetch us phone numbers and sound bites.Read More »
Neil Postman’s son, Andrew, writes for The Guardian, an article in which he suggests that, given the mess in which our world is, in the age of Trump and post-truth, we could get more insight about it from his father’s book Amusing Ourselves to Death, than from Orwell’s book 1984, as it was intensely (and effectively – as proven by the sudden increase in the sales of this book) suggested lately.
I share here a few excerpts of this brilliant article, in the hope this will motivate you to read it in its entirety.
* * *
The central argument of Amusing Ourselves is simple: there were two landmark dystopian novels written by brilliant British cultural critics – Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell – and we Americans had mistakenly feared and obsessed over the vision portrayed in the latter book (an information-censoring, movement-restricting, individuality-emaciating state) rather than the former (a technology-sedating, consumption-engorging, instant-gratifying bubble).
“We were keeping our eye on 1984,” my father wrote. “When the year came and the prophecy didn’t, thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves. The roots of liberal democracy had held. Wherever else the terror had happened, we, at least, had not been visited by Orwellian nightmares.”
Unfortunately, there remained a vision we Americans did need to guard against, one that was percolating right then, in the 1980s. The president was a former actor and polished communicator. Our political discourse (if you could call it that) was day by day diminished to soundbites (“Where’s the beef?” and “I’m paying for this microphone” became two “gotcha” moments, apparently testifying to the speaker’s political formidableness).Read More »
Thanks to my friend David Fitzstevens for this link.
Cazul familiei Bodnariu a împărţit opinia publică din România în două tabere. În Norvegia, însă, cazul a fost relatat doar de câteva publicaţii, una dintre ele fiind ziarul naţional creştin „Vårt Land“. Doi jurnalişti, care au publicat informaţii despre familia căreia i-au fost luaţi cei cinci copii în noiembrie, anul trecut, explică de ce sunt sceptici cu privire la acuzaţiile aduse sistemului de Protecţie a Copilului din Norvegia (SPC).
Adevarul publica aici un text de mare bun simt si extrem de bine informat, care demonteaza o multime dintre neadevarurile si deformatile voite vehiculate in ultima vreme in media sociala in legatura cu cazul Bodnariu.
Pentru mine, devine fascinant autismul pe care opinia publică din România începe să-l manifeste, de ceva vreme. Pare că cineva ne-a prăjit creierii şi că mai putem să ne asumăm doar opinia cea mai vizibilă în spaţiul public, nu pe cea mai bună. Iar cel mai bun exemplu în acest sens este cazul Norvegia. În
Bogdan Stoica scrie aici despre rolul manipularii, in forma ei cea mai primitiva, in cazul Bodnariu.
The work of social critics is vital for the health and flourishing of the church, because they remind us of the brokenness of the world and challenge us to imagine new and more healthy ways of sharing life together.
Here are ten social critics whose work has been particularly helpful for me in trying to discern how to live faithfully in the twenty-first century. With each critic, I’ve included an excerpt that will serve as an introduction to that writer’s work.
Here is the list, with a few details about each author:
A Kentucky farmer and writer, Berry’s work challenges us to live peacefully within the created created and to find ways to vitalize our local communities.
Ellul (1915-1994) was a French lawyer and scholar, renowned for his criticisms of technological society. He also wrote a number of insightful theological works.
Coates is a national correspondent for The Atlantic, whose 2015 book Between The World and Me won the National Book Award, among many others.Read More »
In aceasta dupa-amiaza, prietenul si fratele nostru Cristi Tepes, care se indrepta singur cu masina spre Iasi, la o reuniune de familie largita, unde se aflau deja membrii familiei sale, a avut un accident la volan (posibil datorat unui stop cardiac) si si-a pierdut viata.
Dumnezeu sa-l odihneasca in pace!
Rugati-va pentru mingierea familiei, care se afla inca sub impresia puternica a acestei vesti naucitoare.
NOTA: Tocmai am aflat, prin intermediar, de la Ligia, sora lui Cristi, ca in aceasta noapte trupul neinsufletit al lui Cristi va fi depus in sala de cult a Bisericii baptiste din str Sarariei 32. Luni 14 decembrie si marti 15 decembrie va fi priveghi la aceeasi biserica, la ora 18. Slujba de inmormintare va incepe la aceeasi adresa, miercuri 16 decembrie, la ora 12, continuind apoi la cimitir.
Six students from De Montfort University have created a stellar 3D representation of 17th century London, as it existed before The Great Fire of 1666. The three-minute video provides a realistic animation of Tudor London, and particularly a section called Pudding Lane where the fire started. As Londonist notes, “Although most of the buildings are conjectural, the students used a realistic street pattern [taken from historical maps] and even included the hanging signs of genuine inns and businesses” mentioned in diaries from the period. For their efforts, the De Montfort team was awarded first prize in the Off the Map contest, a competition run by The British Library and video game developers GameCity and Crytek. You can find more information about how the animation came together over at the animators’ blog, plus at The British Library’s Digital Scholarship blog.
The Christian blogosphere , including the one in Romania, is full of trolling, a deadly communications disease. Here is a short description, from this article:
‘Trolling is an intentional disruption of online communities. That’s the classic definition, around since the late 1980s, used by The New York Times in its 2008 article “The Trolls Among Us.” It’s done to “make people angry or otherwise disturb them,” one self-described troll told me on Twitter, adding he often targets people “who needs [sic] to see how ridiculous they’re being.”
Trolling is not disagreeing. Disagreement is part of any healthy conversation — social media and website comments at their best.
Trolling, on the other hand, ranges from online raging to harassment’
New York City fashion models came prepared to shoot a sexy commercial. Then we asked them to do the impossible…
A powerful lesson.
Pe Edi Orasanu il stiu, daca nu ma insel, de peste 30 de ani. Am fost impreuna ani de zile la orele de tineret din biserica baptista de pe Sarariei. Este un om care m-a fascinat intotdeauna. Prin sufletul lui mare, si autenticitatea trairii. Nu l-am mai vazut demult, de ani de zile si nu prea ne scriem. Acum traieste in Italia, unde de curind a primit cetatenia, si vine rar in tara.
Asa se face ca am aflat abia acum, de la Teo Stanciu, de noul lui blog. Spun ‘nou’, pentru ca am colaborat ani de zile in ceea ce a constituit prima revista electronica a evanghelicilor romani, Salt Street Journal.Read More »
I have decided to take a break from Facebook and my blog for the time until Easter.
A few more posts are already planned to appear on my blog until 31 March and then there will be a bit of silence, which is good for the soul.
Warning: I am not planning to approve or respond to comments on this blog during this period. Thanks for your understanding.
I wish you all a blessed Lent time.
What is the connection between Social Networks and Being Lonely?
Quoting the words of Sherry Turkle from her TED talk – Connected, But Alone.
Also Based on Dr. Yair Amichai-Hamburgers hebrew article -The Invention of Loneliness.
This is a brilliant article, written by Richard Beck, in response to a question asked on twitter by Rachel Held Evans. It should be read by all Christian bloggers.
This is a very powerful video, addressing a very actual problem many people have in our hyper-connected world. I thank Marko Blankenburgh, from KnowledgeWorkx for this link.
What is the connection between Social Networks and Being Lonely?
Inspired and Based on the wonderful book by Sherry Turkle – Alone Together.
Script, Design & Animation: Shimi Cohen
Final Project at Shenkar College of Engineering and Design.
Nu stiu daca ati citit vreodta blogul Alinei Ilioi. Eu o urmaresc cu interes si cu mare placere de o vreme, dar de data asta, cu ocazia Scolii de vara de la Dragomirna, am avut sansa de a o cunoaste in persoana.
Alina a scrfis acest post inainte de a pleca in tabara. Abia astept sa citesc reflectiile ei despre aceasta experienta.
In fact, this is not Solomon’s Temple, but the reconstruction of Solomon’s Temple unde Herod the Great close to the time of the birth of Christ.
This is a (too) short publicity clip for a product available for $140. As for me, it can wait.
A warning for using wisely modern social media.
Most of us are on the Internet on a daily basis and whether we like it or not, the Internet is affecting us. It changes how we think, how we work, and it even changes our brains.
We interviewed Nicholas Carr, the author of, “The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains,” about how the Internet is influencing us, our creativity, our thought processes, our ideas, and how we think.
CHECK OUT THE BOOK
The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, by Nicholas Carr
he European Initiative for Media Pluralism promotes the idea that European institutions should safeguard the right to independent and pluralistic information as sanctioned by the European Charter on Human Rights.
The situation of media freedom and pluralism in the European Union is worsening. Some countries, notably Hungary, suffer significant interference of political power aiming to control and direct the media. Some, notably the UK, suffer from problems of excessive concentration leading to undue influence of certain economic groups, notably Murdoch’s media empire, over political processes. Others, as the case particularly in Italy, Bulgaria, and to some extent Romania, experience a dangerous overlap of economical, media, and political interests in the hands of the same persons.
But without free, independent, and pluralistic media citizens are deprived of the possibility to keep power accountable. Corruption and maladimistration prosper, personal business and political interest replace the common good of all, minorities face increasing marginalisation. The deterioration of media pluralism and media freedom in Europe is above all a threat to democracy.
European institutions have, so far, refrained from taking a strong stance against individual Member States for such deterioration. This hands-off approach seems to have contributed to a negative domino effect, with worsening of legislation in one country indirectly leading to more restrictive moves in another. A Europe-wide civil society initiative to push for a stronger role for European institutions in safeguarding and protecting the independence and pluralism of the media is long overdue.Read More »
This article by Andrea Palpant Dilley, on children and media, written for the her.meneutics blog of Christianity Today is a MUST READ for all parents with young children in this age of visual media.
I present below just the 9 tips she suggests:
When selecting programming….
1. Disregard labels: Phrases like “educational video” or “kid video” shouldn’t be a green light, necessarily. Pediatricians will tell you that children learn best through tactile experience and interpersonal contact. No matter how many PBS logos you see, videos are a passive medium, not an active one, and an entertainment medium, not an educational one. Videos are a supplement to learning, not a substitute.
More importantly, labels pertain to content (violence or other inappropriate content), not form. Keep in mind that form can be violent for a little developing brain, if the video is excessively fast or frenetic.
2. Watch the cut rate: Pay attention to how fast the video moves. The faster the cut rate—more edits or image changes per minute—the more frenetic the video, and the more frenetic the video, the more difficulty your child will have tracking the story. Generally speaking, the younger the child, the slower the cut rate.
For example, at the risk of criticizing a well-loved icon of Christian entertainment, Veggie Tales videos are often too frenetic for kids under 5. The BBC’s Kipper the Dog is a good example of a slow-tempo alternative, or the vintage Mr. Rogers, which is edited with a painfully slow pace.Read More »
Valentin Nicolau anunta astazi pe Facebook o veste halucinanta:
Credeam ca am reusit sa opresc distrugerea TVR Cultural. Reusisem sa conving cativa membrii din CA sa voteze impotriva proiectului care trimite in amintire postul Cultural. Au fost 6 voturi pentru proiectul care desfiinteaza TVR Cultural, restul de 7 fiind impotriviri si abtineri si parea ca ratiunea a invins. Sedinta fiind incheiata, am plecat urmat si de alti doi membrii ai CA. Ulterior am aflat ca membrii CA, mai putin eu, au fost rechemati, amenintati cu Partidul si Guvernul si votul s-a reluat… Proiectul a fost aprobat cu “amendamente”, in fapt cu concesia de a nu opri si emisia TVR3. TVR Cultural, o constructie de zece ani, singura alternativa de pe piata de televiziune, se demoleaza prin incompetenta si bun plac politic. Trist si absurd, iar lumea tace…
Redau mai jos comentariile mele la acest anunt pe pagina Facebook a doamnei Daniela Zeca Buzura, cea care a condus cu distinctie si competenta postul TVR Cultural in ultimii ani.
Again on the idiocy of general media when reporting on matters of religion.
Social networks have changed our lives. For more than a billion people, platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Skype have become a primary means of interacting. In many respects, the surging popularity of social networks is a positive development. A brave photographer can document evidence of atrocities by the Assad regime in Syria, and then it becomes instantly available around the world. Social media sites have enhanced our democratic system in the United States: many of us follow and participate in online conversations about politics and public policy. The possibilities for churches, synagogues and other religious bodies are also appealing, as members keep abreast of sick persons in their congregation or listen to the latest sermon on a podcast.Read More »
O prietena virtuala remarca nu demult ca in ultima vreme mai degraba rebloghez textele altora decit sa scriu texte originale. Observatie absolut corecta si situatia absolut inevitabila, din pricina calatoriilor mele profesionale fara sfirsit.
Neputind sa scriu eu insumi, incerc sa-mi slujesc prietenii care adasteaza pe aici, sau pe Facebook, cu lucruri interesante prodiuse de altii. Va veni, probabil, si vremea de a scrie mai multe.
Banuiesc ca, in ciuda existentei pe blog a paginii numite Argument, unii dintre cei care viziteaza blogul se intreaba inca de ce scriu aici si cum gasesc timp pentru asta, cu viata mea atit de agitata.
Dincolo de cele spuse deja, vreau sa adaug faptul ca acest blog este unul dintre mijloacele prin care incerc sa-mi pastrez normalitatea (atita cita este), sanatatea mentala (care si ea este ceva relativ) si, mai ales, libertatea de exprimare, care este unul dintre cele mai importante valori personale.
In al doilea rind, blogul este un mijloc de a pastra legatura si de a influenta oameni cu care contactul personal este imposibil, din pricina distantei geografice.
Nu am timp acum sa adaug mai multe. Poate o voi face alta data (eventual la 2.000.000 de accesari 🙂 )
Pina atunci insa, vreau sa pun si eu o intrebare celor care vin din cind aici, daca aveti cumva chef sa raspundeti: