Something to Chew on a Wednesday Afternoon

Youth and TechonolgyThis, from an interview with Kevin Vanhoozer on Technology (Discipleship in the Age of Spectacle), [April 2, 2016]

. . . image-making technologies contribute to what the Peruvian novelist and Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa calls a ‘culture of spectacle.’ Llosa observes that, in the past, the purpose of culture was edification: building society by civilizing one person at a time, teaching them character and values of good citizenship. In contrast, the culture of spectacle serves mainly to cure boredom: to distract and entertain. The problem with cultures of spectacle is that they fall prey to the law of diminishing returns. One has to find an ever-faster, steeper rollercoaster to keep the thrill alive. The dinosaurs have to be bigger; the destruction has to be on a grander scale. Eventually the spectacular special effects dull our senses to the marvels of the everyday. In addition, all these special effects make the ministry of the word — speaking into air — appear weak and uninteresting.”

This entire interview is filled with insightful language and phrases that jump off the page and into a happy place called “new ideas to meditate upon”.  Examples follow:

  • “the tragedy of a starved imagination”
  • “culture of spectacle”
  • “malnutrition is a kind of starvation”
  • “disembodied communication”
  • “embodied, face-to-face fellowship”
  • “displacedness” (the cost of modernity and technology)
  • “being alone together”
  • “disciples cannot afford to sleepwalk through life.”
  • “the empire of the entertainment-industrial complex”

You can read the entire article here.


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