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January 02, 2006

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otherendup

Hi Kester,
i live in Perth, Western Australia and have been following along your blog for a few months now.

My wife and I were watching the ABC on the box last night and saw a program entitled "Guns, Germs and Steel", based on the Pulitzer Prize winning book of the same name by professor of physiology at the UCLA School of Medicine - Jared Diamond.

reflecting on these musings of yours, if not already, you might find the research and finished work something of interest to you. here is a link to a review...

http://www.wwnorton.com/catalog/spring99/gunsgerms.htm

peace, matt

Dana Ames

You comments in the first part remind me of what little I understood of "2001: A Space Odyssey" :) I think Clarke was inviting us to think about the same thing.

I think God made humans tremendously powerful- part of being created in God's image. The problem comes with what we do with that power- as grabbing unto ourselves, using and manipulating to turn all into _me_ (or else obliterating), overstepping others' boundaries and colonizing them, singly or by nation- or else as gift, as node, 'working better for the others'... This is different than emptying ourselves, which I'm not sure we are able to do anyway. It's more like Transformation, or the EO concept of Deification. One of my favorite quotes is from Dallas Willard in 'Divine Conspiracy': God wants to be able to set us free in the universe to do good.

BTW Kester, I finished the book last week. It was rather wonderful reading it during Advent and Christmastide... Did not disappoint. Lots to think about, esp how to live it in my local context. Hard to put words on it. I'll be going back to it for sure. Makes me want to fall down on my face and worship, and jump up and down at the same time- my qualifications for a Good Book!

Only part I think you missed was the 'Matrix' thing- ultimate resolution did not come with fighting/violence, but when Neo was integrated/joined into the 'machine'- which actually speaks to me for conjunctivity rather than against it. (My best friend says Neo was a program rather than a person, but I can't wrap my brain around that concept...)

I read the part about punk giving permission then blazing out to my children ages 19, 18 and 16 one evening around the dinner table, and 18yo daughter was in fairly complete agreement.

Thanks, and warmest wishes for a blessed new year.

Dana

DAMNFLANDRZ

Like any sane person, I have always feared technology. And being the very height of technological marvelousness, I have naturally loathed and despised computers.

Computers are expensive, time-consuming and will only ever do what they are told!
But, computers represent some very powerful themes: knowledge, communication, education, leisure, control. It is these factors that allow us to develop relationships with people from all over the world; develop our own skills and knowledge; allow us to question more deeply and independently; enjoy more vividly and broadly; control more confidently and securely.

I am a better, more rounded person for the skills I learn through computing; for the friends and contacts I have; for the contribution I am able to make. My on-line world is varied, challenging and valuable. But it only remains so because I have such a varied off-line world.

I could walk away from my on-line world forever and not be the worse for it. If I neglect the off-line (real) world, I suffer.
And this is the great tension. To enjoy and learn without becoming obsessive and reclusive.



Joseph

I'd recommend Albert Borgmann's book, Power Failure, which offers an interesting critique of the 'culture of technology.'

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