Re: [asa] The Daily Me

From: Douglas Hayworth <haythere.doug@gmail.com>
Date: Sat Mar 21 2009 - 09:05:52 EDT

Randy,

You should definitely read the book called "The Big Switch: Rewiring the
World, from Edison to Google" by Nicholas Carr.
Here's the Amazon link:
http://www.amazon.com/Big-Switch-Rewiring-Edison-Google/dp/0393333949/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1237639992&sr=8-1

The book is about the change landscape of the web, how computing is becoming
a utility that is done more and more on the cloud computer or world wide
computer (as opposed to using your personal computer software, etc.). He
talks a lot about how the transhumanists promote these changes as utopian
(no single authority, information freely available to everyone), but how in
fact people subconsciously self-select their information. The result is
greater segregation and less tolerance and understanding of opposing
viewpoints, etc.

It's scary, really. I think this explains why the Christian theological,
apologetic, and politcal landscape and community is becoming more divided
rather than unified.

The book is about technology rather than science, per se. However, I think
it would be worth discussing this list.

Doug

On Sat, Mar 21, 2009 at 6:35 AM, Randy Isaac <randyisaac@comcast.net> wrote:

> I hope this link will work:
>
> http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/19/opinion/19kristof.html?_r=1&scp=6&sq=march+19+2009&st=nyt
> It's an editorial by Nicholas Kristof in the March 19 NYTimes called The
> Daily Me.
>
> A couple of paragrahs caught my eye in particular:
>
> "...there’s pretty good evidence that we generally don’t truly want good
> information — but rather information that confirms our prejudices. We may
> believe intellectually in the clash of opinions, but in practice we like to
> embed ourselves in the reassuring womb of an echo chamber.
>
> One classic study sent mailings to Republicans and Democrats...ostensibly
> from a neutral source. Both groups were most eager to receive intelligent
> arguments that strongly corroborated their pre-existing views.
>
> There was also modest interest in receiving manifestly silly arguments for
> the other party’s views (we feel good when we can caricature the other guys
> as dunces). But there was little interest in encountering solid arguments
> that might undermine one’s own position."
>
> I wonder if this isn't often reflected in the way blogs migrate to a
> dominant view over time. Yes, the occasional spat livens it up but in the
> long run it's hard to maintain a lively and intellectually sound spectrum of
> opinions. We then seek those that usually conform to our view. No wonder it
> is so hard for the ASA to thrive with a culture of diverse opinions. The
> tendency is for people to prefer to congregate with those who are
> like-minded. Yes, we all signed the statement of faith, but often we yearn
> for more like-mindedness, hence the appeal to form sub-groups.
>
>
>
> Randy
>

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Received on Sat Mar 21 09:06:07 2009

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