Digital Age

Why Satanism Is Now on the Center Stage in the Culture War

The religious right has often been looked down upon by many Americans involved in the political scene. For them, it shouldn’t exist. According to the secular liberal tradition, the public square is supposed to be value-neutral. Any religious intrusion into political matters is to be discouraged. The secular left is especially fearful of mixing politics [...]

In Memoriam: Letter Writing

On a Sunday evening in the mid-1990s, some friends and I had gathered for coffee after Mass at the Newman Center and the conversation turned to what was then the latest technological advance into our daily lives: e-mail. Alone among my peers, I did not welcome e-mail. I believed it signaled the death of a [...]

The Future of Ownership

Two recent articles take a look at the effect of technology on our consumerist society and reach startlingly different conclusions. One laments that we don’t own as much stuff as we used to, while the other talks about how online shopping has created a nation of hoarders. Can both be true, at the same time? [...]

Overcoming Our Smartphone Addiction

No artifact shapes our daily lives so much as the smartphone. Most of us are ashamed by our dependence on them, but we don’t consider tossing them out—for that seems impossible to do. Nor apparently, do many parents consider withholding them from teenagers, so necessary they seem to the new shape of social life. So [...]

The Three Books I’m Going to Read Next

"The medium is the message."  ~ Marshall McLuhan I toss that McLuhan quotation up there as if I understood what it means, but I’m no better off than the poor schlemiel in Woody Allen’s Annie Hall that receives a severe public drubbing from McLuhan himself. “You know nothing of my work,” McLuhan tells the pedantic [...]

The Papal Pencil

With online availability of education, business, government, and church communications, we wonder what we have begotten. Unprecedented information is available to us at all times, day and night. Every possible cultural, philosophical, religious, or economic source is there. We live in a neighborhood, but we buy our clothing and tickets on the internet. We read [...]

The Catholic Press Warily Enters the Digital Age

As I write, there is a Catholic Press Conference being held at the Vatican, sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. Three representatives were invited from each country, and one of them was Greg Erlandson, president of Our Sunday Visitor. Erlandson is an astute and experienced observer of Catholic media, and his comments to [...]

Listening to Music in the Digital Age

I recently stumbled across a most interesting piece from a website called PopMatters that occasionally happens across my radar. The article, entitled "Mental Machine Music: The Musical Mind in the Digital Age," is a bit long, but the questions is raises have been haunting me for some time now: I want to discern how, precisely, [...]

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