WeeklyTech #151

Expanding Our View Of Technology

My wife and I love our video doorbell, especially when we are traveling or someone comes to our door unexpectedly. Not only can we see who is there or when packages arrive (especially when I order more books to my wife’s disdain), but we can also turn off the ringer when our kids are napping and even check in our house when we are out of town. But stepping back and viewing this common technology through a broad understanding of technology, we can see that this innovation is much more than a simple isolated gadget. It was developed to meet a need brought on by another innovation that came before it. So what’s the innovation that came before the smart doorbell invention? Online shopping. Particularly through popular services such as Amazon, Walmart, and Target.

Think about it—we live in a day where more and more of our household needs are delivered right to our front doors through online shopping. Innovators sought new solutions like the doorbell camera to overcome the fallout of issues spawning from the previous innovation. After all, that’s a lot of delivery people at your house on any given day—people you don’t know. And the delivery people aren’t the only thing to think about; what about those “porch pirates” who steal packages from doorsteps (especially during the holidays)? Clearly, the smart doorbell wasn’t created in a vacuum. It was created to meet a growing concern over home safety from our modern-day package-delivery phenomenon. Doorbell technologies also helped to address the fear of homeowners from break-ins and satisfied the curiosity of homeowners about who is around their homes even if they live in relatively safe areas. And, in turn, these same cameras also brought about a number of new concerns over neighborhood surveillance and personal privacy. And that’s just one example. Most innovations you and I enjoy today are built to solve problems with the innovations that came before them.

The Rundown

Brent Leatherwood elected ERLC president – Elizabeth Bristow | ERLC

Brent Leatherwood has been elected to fill the role as the next president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission by the organization’s trustees. 

California’s new age rules for sites and apps raise a ruckus – Margaret Harding McGill | Axios

California’s new law aimed at improving online privacy and safety for children has the industry on edge and critics warning of disruptions to the internet — but advocates say most users won’t see big changes.

Administering “Search” After “Reasonable Expectations” Privacy Doctrine – Jim Harper | AEI

If your horizon is long enough, it’s clear that the “reasonable expectation of privacy” doctrine, which courts use to administer the Fourth Amendment, is on the way out. It bizarrely answers the factual question of whether a search occurred through the sociological question of whether someone’s reasonable expectations of privacy were upset.

The ethics of ABBAtars – Amy Lewis | WORLD

The Swedish superband ABBA broke up in 1982. Until recently, they have resisted getting together. This summer, the four members went back on stage virtually in London as ABBAtars—computer generated images onstage.