Reading List: Snowden in Russia, Tech Cultists, and the Lottocracy

Happy Monday! If you enjoyed our brief treatment of tech cultism last week, you’ll love the Verge’s long read on fanboys. We’ve also got some updates on Snowden staying in Russia, social media guidelines from the Church of England, and a proposal that we replace our elections with a lottery.

Fanboys – The Verge

“I’m a missionary,” says Thorne. “For me, it’s about being super passionate and super knowledgeable about their products, and not leaving that passion at the door when you leave work. You preach it all the time.” Thorne has been a preacher, so to speak, for decades. He feels a deep, personal connection to Bill Gates, who, like Thorne, is a “true believer in the power of technology and how it can change everything,” and has an “unabashed way of approaching his foes or detractors.”


The Lottocracy – Aeon

“The celebrity comic Russell Brand is gesticulating wildly, urgently, in a hotel room, under the bright lights of a television interview. ‘Stop voting, stop pretending, wake up. Be in reality now. Why vote? We know it’s not going to make any difference. We know that already.’”

Thou shalt tweet responsibly, Church urges clergy and staff – BBC

“A Church of England diocese has issued a list of social media rules to its staff and clergy, urging them to consider God when tweeting the masses. The guidelines range from practical security advice to more faith-based instructions, including a warning that updates are “transient yet permanent.”

Here are the guidelines.

Why Americans Got Bored of the NSA Story – National Journal

“When President Obama announced his long-awaited reforms to the National Security Agency’s controversial surveillance program, it was met by a collective yawn. It was the Friday before a holiday weekend, and not many Americans were listening. Those who were were finding it difficult.”

Russia to Snowden: Stay as Long as You Like – National Journal

“Russia just made Edward Snowden’s life a lot easier. The fugitive doesn’t want to return to the U.S., and now it looks like he won’t have to anytime soon, as a senior Russian official opened the door to Snowden staying there indefinitely.”


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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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