Internet

The Sri Lanka Terrorists: Martyrs or Murderers?

More than 290 are dead and 500 wounded in an Easter Sunday jihad massacre in Sri Lanka. The terrorists targeted three Catholic Churches and three luxury hotels frequented by foreigners. Government officials blame the attack on “religious extremists,” though no group has claimed responsibility. The term “religious extremists” implies that the vast majority of Muslims [...]

Internet Censorship By Controlling Elites Will Not End Well

Like any complex functional system, human society involves distinctions, hierarchies, and lasting connections. The Internet, and electronic media generally, disrupt all that. They make everything equally present to everything else, and put all things on the same footing. Relationships become fluid, and sounds and images can be chopped up and reassembled, so that anything can [...]

Breaking the Fourth Wall on Social Media

Just a few years ago, I was arguing in the comment boxes of a gay blog called Slowly Boiled Frog, a site that had gone after me hammer and tongs for years. I joined the combox conversation under my own name. I did it for fun, to sharpen my arguments, and, strange as it may [...]

Google Is Watching You

A new documentary, The Creepy Line, suggests that Google is not living up to its primary motto: “Don’t be Evil.” Instead, it is involved in activities that should be viewed with some concern by anyone who values privacy and freedom of speech. Some facts from the film: Google tracks your location history and keeps a [...]

Taking a Cue from Big Tobacco: Big Tech Introduces the iFilter!

“I’m addicted to the Internet because it’s more interesting than people.”  ~ Dilbert The headline in the Wall Street Journal jumped out at me: “Step Away From the Phone”—as in “step away from the weapon” or “step away from the edge of the cliff.” And here’s the article’s sub-title: “To help screen addicts break the habit, [...]

The Internet: Blessing or Curse?

Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles Robert Barron recently gave a pair of quite interesting talks at Google and Facebook. Now approaching 30 million views, Bishop Barron’s Word on Fire is the most influential Catholic evangelization ministry online. Bishop Barron is the ideal teacher, and this for two reasons: mastery of his subject and a genuine [...]

Do the Bishops Want Us to Continue Subsidizing Porn?

No, the bishops do not want us to subsidize porn usage on the Internet but that is the reality of a position agreed to by a committee of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops on something called “net neutrality.” Bishop Christopher Coyne of Burlington, Vermont (who is chairman of the Communications Committee of the USCCB) [...]

The Problem with Facebook Mommy Groups

The days are long and lonely for millennial moms who are often living outside of Catholic community simply because there are so few of us going to Mass and even fewer having babies. In a society that claims children as the heaviest burden we 20-somethings can undertake, we ache for the companionship of other mothers with [...]

Texting is for Twits

The other day I learned something startlingly new about young people. So startling, in fact, that I was quite blindsided by it. When I say young, by the way, I mean the first generation to come of age in a world surrounded by—indeed, defined by—computers. The generation, that is, of my own children. And most [...]

Catholics Who Drop F-Bombs with Aplomb

At the end of last year, a noted Catholic book publisher offered me a contract to write a book based on four columns I wrote three years ago. The stories were about three children who died young after suffering greatly but also bringing many to the faith through their suffering, their example and their prayers. [...]

Arguing Over Argument in the Internet Age

The Internet means that today anyone can discuss any topic at any time with anyone who is interested in it. When the possibility first appeared it seemed to open up a brave new world. Whatever your interest you could always find people who wanted to discuss it. The innovation also seemed to have political consequences [...]

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