Friday, March 10, 2017

Spiritual Discipline and Popular Culture

The headline in the paper today was how the  local Roman Catholic Bishop is giving everyone special permission to eat meat on St. Patrick's Day, even though it falls on a Lenten Friday.  I'm not going to argue about the  theology;  I was just thinking that I needed my own exemption...though I think an Episcopal Bishop would tell me to follow my own conscience.

I gave up social media for Lent, and, overall, I am happy to be away from the questionable politics and terrible grammar of Facebook for awhile.  My problem is that I am a college basketball FAN, and I miss the family trash talking.

If I were on Facebook, I'd be sharing this:

And also talking about whether Northwestern can make the tournament this year.  And telling my brother and nephew how sorry I was to see KU out of the Big 12 tournament. 

So, I'm cheating with Blogger, which I didn't give up, because one of my resolutions is to write more.  And with Goodreads because I'm doing a book challenge this year -- it is much harder to get social media out of your life than it might first appear.

We have, collectively, given up a lot of privacy for convenience.  I don't know if it is a fair trade off, or a good one -- what worries me is that we have done it, little by little, without thinking about the consequences.  The combination of Facebook and Google facial recognition software has created a database of personal information beyond the wildest dreams of the spy agencies -- all of them -- and we did it ourselves, for our own amusement, in many cases tagging not only ourselves, but friends, family, and children, usually without their permission.  

This story provides even more food for thought, though of course the discussion of it will be online and in social media --- you see the problem, right?

I know a lot of people are reading or re-reading Brave New World, and I can see why the idea of "alternate facts" brings that title instantly to mind.  I don't feel my extensive reading of dystopian fiction  is helping me sleep well these days, but I would recommend Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451

On to March Madness, even if it has a "bread and circuses" feel.  Go Wildcats!  Go Tar Heels!

#noalternatefacts  #MarchMadness #dystopian_fiction #privacy?

Fortune Cookie

Information is not knowledge.
Knowledge is not wisdom.
Wisdom is not truth.
Truth is not beauty.
Beauty is not love.
Love is not music.
Music is the best.
Frank Zappa