Tonight in our Spirituality and Technology class a lot of subjects were brought up and discussed and while it’s quite hard to follow the conversation everywhere, because I have no clue what they are talking about, a few issues did stand out and I thought I’d ponder them out loud to try and tease out some of the ideas we were talking about.
1. We conversed a bit about open-source and while it works with Wikipedia, Linux and maybe a few pieces of web development, the real question is can it work with the system of our lives. It’s easy to have open source information. The internet prepared us for that and Google made it a reality. People can challenge and say anything nowadays. However when it comes to for instance the way we have morals, or our government structures; is an open source concept really going to help? Can you imagine having open-source morality? Would it work? Could we have a morality section in Wikipedia that was edited and built upon? With all the pig-headed people around, yes mostly Christians, we’d probably get stuck on homosexuality. Democracy is somewhat disguised as open-source government, but whether we like it or not democracy is more like choosing the lesser of two evils every four years or so as opposed to constantly changing and adding to our country to make it better.
2. In class I pointed out the Mac commercials and how they reinforce the idea of technology as culture. The way Mac portrays a Mac is cool, hip, fun and entertaining with no cares in the world while a PC is unattractive, confused, boring and is always worried about what will affect him next. Mac is trying and have been quite successful of making a culture based on their product and they have quite a large following that desires to be in acquaintance with that culture.
3. Does one need to be part of culture to change it? Does in fact being inside our culture automatically make us susceptible to all its weaknesses making us weak? I would argue that to effectively change culture for the better we need to utilize where culture exists now. We can’t simply look in from the outside and critique it without ever experiencing it. Revolutionaries throughout history mastered the culture that they were in and that gave them authority with the people that were around them and authority to change the face of culture. If we don’t understand, if we aren’t living within our culture we are completely irrelevant and unable to make any significant change to it. The Christian message takes a similar stance in that it took God sending himself in Jesus to earth, to live on earth with the same feelings, temptations and desires, and then and only then could he truly save and redeem the culture. A good point was made in class to that those that go into culture alone to try to change it will most likely fail, however if communities take on missions to change culture, and they team together the likelihood of success is a lot more probably. This again, seems similar to the Christian church. The Christian church is called to be that community that unites together as one voice to bring about a new culture (kingdom would be the proper biblical usage).