Reading List: December 16

 

Here’s what we picked as our top reads from around the web this week. What were your favorites?

2013: The Year ‘the Stream’ Crested – The Atlantic

“The Stream has been the organizing metaphor for the web for the past several years. In May 2009, a high-ranking editor of TechCrunch identified and summarized this grand shift in the way people used and talked about the web. “Information is increasingly being distributed and presented in real-time streams instead of dedicated Web pages. The shift is palpable, even if it is only in its early stages,” Erick Schonfeld wrote.”

Where Are the People?  – The American Scholar

“The Crystal Cathedral in Orange County, California, is one of America’s largest and most celebrated ecclesiastical buildings. crystal christ cathedral… The equipment facilitating Schuller’s elaborate stagecraft—lights, cameras, below-stage elevators, theater-style seating, an indoor reflecting pool—will be ripped out and replaced with a consecrated altar, bishop’s cathedra, baptismal font, and votive chapels dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe and other saints prominent in immigrant Catholics’ devotional lives. When the building reopens for worship in 2016, it will embody a transformation in the nation’s spiritual landscape that is only now beginning to be felt.”

5 Reasons Why 2013 Was The Best Year In Human History – Think Progress

“Between the brutal civil war in Syria, the government shutdown and all of the deadly dysfunction it represents, the NSA spying revelations, and massive inequality, it’d be easy to for you to enter 2014 thinking the last year has been an awful one. But you’d be wrong. We have every reason to believe that 2013 was, in fact, the best year on the planet for humankind. Contrary to what you might have heard, virtually all of the most important forces that determine what make people’s lives good — the things that determine how long they live, and whether they live happily and freely — are trending in an extremely happy direction.”

Happiness is resisting answering your mobile: People who can ignore texts or calls are likely to be more contented – The Daily Mail

“If you are constantly on your mobile phone, most onlookers might think you have lots of friends and a busy social life. However, those attached to the phone are likely to be less happy than those who can resist a ring or a message alert, says a study. Avid mobile phone users also suffer from higher anxiety while students see their class work suffer with lower marks than those who are able to switch off.”

Benedict Option – The American Conservative

“Are we Rome? The question weighed on the minds of 2,000 libertarians who gathered this summer at FreedomFest in Las Vegas to talk about whether America is headed the way of the Roman empire. Bureaucratic decay, massive public debt, an overstretched military, a political system seemingly incapable of responding to challenges—the late Roman empire suffered these maladies, and so, some fear, does contemporary America.”

And, last but not least, a video ode to solitude:

Enjoy and have a great week.

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About the Contributor

Benjamin Robertson

Benjamin Robertson
Benjamin Robertson is a founding editor at Second Nature. He has worked in advertising for the Chicago Tribune and Gannett, and now is a web developer at Up&Up. He studied Communications and Media Studies under Dr. Read Schuchardt at Wheaton College in Illinois. He has presented papers on Marshall McLuhan, media ecology, and Christianity at the Media Ecology Association, National Communication Association, and the McLuhan's Philosophy of Media Centennial Conference in Brussels. He lives with his wife, Ruth, in Greenville, SC. His personal website is benjamingrobertson.com

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