Reading List: Reading and Death, Is WhatsApp Kosher?

If you’ve been wondering what the ultra-orthodox Jewish community thinks about WhatsApp or what advice Google is passing along to Google Glass owners on how not to be creepy, this week’s reading list is just for you.

The UNICEF Tap Project

UNICEF Tap Project

UNICEF’s Tap Project is raising money for clean water and discouraging smart phone use all at once. If you accept their challenge, every ten minutes you don’t touch your phone will send one day of clean water for a child in need. Giorgio Armani Fragrances is the corporate sponsor and they will pay $.025 for every ten minutes you don’t touch your phone, up to $75,000. If my math is right, Giorgio Armani is paying for 30,000,000 minutes of quiet reflection. How about that?

WhatsApp Spreads Fast Among Ultra-Orthodox — and Rabbis Cry Foul – Forward

“The rabbis overseeing divorces say WhatsApp is the No. 1 cause of destruction of Jewish homes and business,” read the headline of a January article in Der Blatt, the Yiddish-language newspaper published by members of the Satmar Hasidic group.

Related: Kosher Smart Phone Arrives as Ultra-Orthodox Tech Taboo Shifts

Google releases a guide on how not to be creepy while using Google Glass

“Don’t: Be creepy or rude (aka, a “Glasshole”). Respect others and if they have questions about Glass don’t get snappy. Be polite and explain what Glass does and remember, a quick demo can go a long way. In places where cell phone cameras aren’t allowed, the same rules will apply to Glass. If you’re asked to turn your phone off, turn Glass off as well. Breaking the rules or being rude will not get businesses excited about Glass and will ruin it for other Explorers.”

Read quickly, for tomorrow you die – The Infernal Machine

“Slate‘s decision to estimate how long it will take to read an article is certainly an acknowledgment of our digital culture in which readers more often than not skim and scan, but rarely make it through an entire article. But, as Brett Beasley notesSlate is also acknowledging, however implicitly, our finitude.”

The Brave New World of Same-Sex Marriage – The Federalist

“Why, after all, should a heterosexual woman be entitled to unlimited prenatal and neonatal benefits—when pregnancy is essentially a choice—while same-sex couples are denied access to the technology necessary to conceive children of their own?”

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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