WeeklyTech #182

Book Review: The Wolf in Their Pockets

In the last few years, a considerable shift has occurred in how we think about the role of social media in our lives.

We were once deluded by promises of rich online connections and access to more information than ever before, but most have realized that technology is not a neutral tool that will usher in a more utopian society. In truth, social media has always been a tool that shapes us in distinct ways, often toward self-promotion, tribalism, anxiety, and even our own versions of the truth.

Chris Martin’s The Wolf in Their Pockets joins the chorus exposing the false promises of social media, but does so with an eye toward equipping church leaders to wisely combat its corrosive effects in our churches, businesses, and families. As Martin rightly points out, “Social media likely shapes the people you love and disciple more than you do” (11). The question church leaders must ask today is not if our social media and technology habits are shaping our view of God, ourselves, and the world around us, but how they’re doing so and what to do about it.

The Wolf in Their Pockets is not intended to be a robust, academic account of the role social media plays in our lives but a crucial on-ramp to an intentional conversation that must take place among the people we lead today (12).

The Rundown

The Visionaries review – seers who were shaped by the shadow of war by Stuart Jeffries | The Guardian

“But she is mad!” said General de Gaulle. It was the autumn of 1942 and the leader of the Free French movement in London had just received a proposal from a fearfully weak and emaciated woman, practically blind without her glasses, to head a special mission of French nurses to provide first aid at the front.

People are becoming more robotic — and AI could make it worse by Scott Rosenberg | Axios

As AI makes computers better at talking and behaving like human beings, humans are choosing — or being forced — to behave more like machines.

Why This AI Moment May Be the Real Deal by Ari Schulman | The New Atlantis

For many years, those in the know in the tech world have known that “artificial intelligence” is a scam. It’s been true for so long in Silicon Valley that it was true before there even was a Silicon Valley.

‘A certain danger lurks there’: how the inventor of the first chatbot turned against AI by Ben Tarnoff | The Guardian

In 1966, an MIT professor named Joseph Weizenbaum created the first chatbot. He cast it in the role of a psychotherapist. A user would type a message on an electric typewriter connected to a mainframe. After a moment, the “psychotherapist” would reply.

Free Speech Villain or Hero? Framing the Fight Between X Corp. and the Center for Countering Digital Hate by Clay Calvert | AEI

Can a righteous battle to quell online hate speech simultaneously be a noble fight to preserve free expression for diverse internet voices? The answer is yes, depending on how one frames the latest headline-grabbing lawsuit involving a social media platform.

A Simple Law Is Doing the Impossible. It’s Making the Online Porn Industry Retreat. by Marc Novicoff | Politico

On June 15, 2022, a freshman legislator in Louisiana’s House of Representatives accomplished something no other lawmaker or activist in the country could claim: She passed a law that is changing the online porn industry.