Reading List: November 25


Each week, we put together a reading list of the best articles on technology, new media, and religion from across the web.

Here’s what we’re reading this week. Happy Thanksgiving!

Redeeming Technologies – The New Atlantis

“For the secularization hypothesis, the evidence of history is decidedly mixed. It is, in spite of Nietzsche’s astute observation, not necessarily the case that the evolution of human societies in the modern era renders their faiths doubtful and then unnecessary and then irrelevant. Religious life languishes in some advanced societies and flourishes in others, and where it flourishes, it is often through the technification of God’s work and God’s service. At least in the case of Christianity, religious communities that grow and predominate tend to be those that adopt and leverage the technologies of their time. Call it survival of the savviest.”

Ad Nauseam – Aeon Magazine

“These ads want to be our friends — to empathise with us against the tyranny of the corporate world they inhabit. Just when we thought we’d cottoned on to subliminal advertising, personalised sidebars on web pages, advertorials and infomercials, products started echoing our contempt for them. ‘Shut up!’ we shout at the TV, and the TV gets behind the sofa and shouts along with us.”

The Embodiment of God and the Disembodied AgeThe Other Journal

“Embodied life can seem terribly inconvenient.1 Our organic mix of blood, hair, skin, gland tissue, and marrow can strike us as a distasteful burden. Throughout the ages, our bodies have often been understood as prisons from which to escape rather than as sanctuaries in which to dwell. Lofty narratives have been proposed in which our disembodied souls migrate to celestial heights more suitable for human existence than the baseness of corporeal life.”

No More Digitally Challenged Liberal-Arts Majors – The Chronicle of Higher Education

“What we really want right now is someone who can build and maintain our website and publicize our work appropriately using social media. We want graduates who can generate content, of course, but they also need some technical skills. And most of the time we can only hire one person. Do you have anyone like that?”

“We want liberal-arts graduates who are not digitally challenged,” one museum director said.

They’re Watching You at WorkThe Atlantic

“The application of predictive analytics to people’s careers—an emerging field sometimes called “people analytics”—is enormously challenging, not to mention ethically fraught. And it can’t help but feel a little creepy. It requires the creation of a vastly larger box score of human performance than one would ever encounter in the sports pages, or that has ever been dreamed up before. To some degree, the endeavor touches on the deepest of human mysteries: how we grow, whether we flourish, what we become. Most companies are just beginning to explore the possibilities. But make no mistake: during the next five to 10 years, new models will be created, and new experiments run, on a very large scale.”


Other articles

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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 Mediacurrent. 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

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