Trappists, Technology, and the Dictatorship of Relativism

trappists, technology, and dictatorship of relativism

Part seven in our Lenten series on technology and spirituality. This past weekend, I had the opportunity of leaving home for a retreat at a Trappist monastery, Mepkin Abbey. The monks, though they haven’t taken a vow of silence, speak only when necessary. They spend their time praying the liturgy of the hours, practicing lectio divina, [...]

Atheism, Distributism, Digital Humanities, and Slow Reading

Atheism, Distributism, Digital Humanities, and Slow Reading

This week’s reading list is a little varied. We’ve got a look at the conflation of atheism and intellectual sophistication from the Atlantic, a piece on reading from the excellent new blog, “The Infernal Machine,” and a review of a ‘slow-reading’ manifesto from the Times Literary Supplement. Also, editorial board member Arthur Hunt has a [...]

God’s Grandeur in the Media Environment

god's gandeur hopkins media environment benjamin robertson

Part six in our Lenten series on technology and spirituality. At the beginning of Lent, we examined how time-saving technology often has the tendency to help us do more work in less time and then fill up our extra time with new kinds of work. I think we intuitively realize this and commit ourselves to media [...]

Atheism and Transhumanism, Ethics and Automation

transhumanism and religion

We’ve got a couple articles on ethics and automation this morning, with Aeon Magazine giving an large overview and Singularity Hub looking at robots writing news stories. Michael Sacasas covered this topic for us several weeks ago in his Conscience of a Machine. We’ve also got an article on the ethics of Twitter with a [...]

What do you think of my prayer?

what do you think of my prayer pharisee

Part five in our Lenten series on technology and spirituality. “Let us boldly become citizens of the digital world.  The Church needs to be concerned for, and present in, the world of communication, in order to dialogue with people today and to help them encounter Christ,” wrote Pope Francis in his first message for World [...]

Press Release: ‘Second Nature’ Celebrates 1st Year, IISTC Announced


April 1st, 2014 – With pride for our first year and big plans for the future, today we celebrate the one year anniversary of Second Nature, an online journal for critical thinking about technology and new media in light of the Christian tradition. To mark the occasion, Second Nature published two articles this week: “Passion [...]

McLuhan and Lent

passion and precision the faith of marshall mcluhan

This is a very special week for us. Here’s the tweet that started it all: Press Release: Introducing the new online journal, Second Nature #newmedia #christian #tech — SecondNature Journal (@SecondNatureJrn) April 1, 2013 We launched with five articles and a vision to become a place to encourage critical thinking about technology and new [...]

On Noise and Meaning

giving up the radio for lent benjamin robertson

Part four in our Lenten series on technology and spirituality. This year, I gave up the radio for Lent. It’s not the first time I’ve given it up, but I always find it to be a beneficial experience. Like most Americans, I spend a decent amount of time in my car alone and most of [...]

Surveillance, Wearables, and Confirming Mediocrity

daft punk jay-z computerized

Yesterday morning, one of my favorite twitter acquaintances tweeted a quote from an article on the future of web publishing: “You are what you measure” — Will the sunset of the pageview change what we create for the web? — Christopher Mims (@mims) March 23, 2014 “You are what you measure.” And while the [...]

Facebook and the False Self

facebook and the false self

Part 3 of our Lenten reflections on technology and spirituality. I think it’s time for Christians to give up giving Facebook up for Lent. While I realize that the intention behind giving up Facebook–or any other digital social network–for Lent is good, I think that just deactivating or uninstalling Facebook for 40 days can be [...]