Are We Using Technology, or Is Technology Using Us? That’s the fall focus of the Sinai and Synapses Discussion Forum. Each week, we’ll gather some of the most interesting articles on the topic from across the online world. We hope they make you think—and share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.
Here’s the news from the week ending November 21, 2014:
How ready are we to be completely replaced? It’s a question that has to be asked because we, as a culture, are rapidly pushing the enabling technologies forward right now. (Adam Frank, NPR’s 13.7 – Cosmos and Culture)
The Mormons might be the most obvious example of a church that has had to deal directly with non-believers using the Internet to get unprecedented abilities to publicize their critiques of religion, but there’s good reason to believe that the feedback religions are getting online is hurting other churches. (Amanda Marcotte, Alternet)
We despise them – yet we imbue them with our hopes and dreams, our dearest memories, our deepest meanings. They unlock much more than our accounts. (Ian Urbina, The New York Times)
Subscribers are prompted periodically via email to make sure they’re still alive. When they fail to respond, Deathswitch starts firing off their predrafted notes to loved ones. The company now has thousands of users and effectively runs itself. Among the perks of a premium Deathswitch account is the ability to schedule emails for delivery far in the future. (Jon Mooallem, Wired)
The last five years have seen the development of a multitude of apps and programs devoted to enhancing well-being by teaching a multitude of happiness techniques: how to increase gratitude, how to breathe better, how to destress, how to meditate and calm down, how to gain wisdom. (Emma Seppälä, The Third Metric, The Huffington Post)
For optimal system performance, update your Bible as often as possible. (Megan Amram, The New Yorker)