WeeklyTech #140

How reading widely can strengthen your beliefs

Amidst the constant distractions and shallowness on social media, reading a book can serve as a reprieve from the onslaught of information and as a way to challenge yourself to go deeper than 280 characters. Social media draws us in because it leads us to think we are staying connected with others, keeping up with what is going on around the world, and often takes less concentration than picking up a book. But these tools are constantly discipling us to seek expediency over the long process of learning and variety over sustained concentration. And with each click, scroll, or flick of the thumb, we are usually only being exposed to ideas that fit our preconceived beliefs about the world.

However, picking up a book that you know you will disagree with can help you understand another’s perspective and clarify why you hold to another position. This doesn’t mean that you run to just any book, but as you grow more comfortable with ideas, you can expose yourself to contrary positions in order to strengthen your own.

The Rundown

5 Screen Narratives Reckoning with Technology – Brett McCracken | TGC

There’s no shortage of thought-provoking reflections on the moral dimensions and ethical questions arising in a world where technological development often outpaces the cultivation of wisdom.

The Bookshelf: A Reader’s Discrimination – Matthew J. Franck | The Public Discourse

No reader can read all there is, but there is more to the reading life than a duty to edify ourselves. Even the ephemera of our reading will give us something of value if we experience the pleasure of a well-told tale.

Elon Musk can’t save us – Samuel D. James | WORLD

The dominant narrative about public discourse and the internet says that Silicon Valley’s ideological hegemony is downstream from higher education. This explains why online liberalism—in its journalistic, activist, or celebrity forms—is so powerful and widespread on our feeds.

You Are Not a Server – Alan Jacobs | The Hedgehog Review

I believe that we have been trained by social media to use our brains as servers—as machines designed to receive requests and respond to them according to strict instructions.

The Constitution does not allow government-sanctioned censorship – Erin Hawley | WORLD

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently announced it would roll out a Disinformation Governance Board. It was so widely condemned that DHS decided to downgrade it to a so-called “working group.”