The long-term effects of the Internet…

The jury is still out on the long-term effects of the Internet on a whole host of public perceptions. While we have quicker access to a vast array of information, the Internet provides no framework or grid for filtering information, ranking its importance or trustworthiness, or evaluating the credibility of the sources it enables us to find. It builds networks of data-sharers and generates some virtual relationships, but the kinds of relationships developed with time across age groups and ethnicities within the context of a thriving and well-ordered local church are simply out of reach. Perhaps Nicholas Carr is a tad too skeptical when he asks, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” but it is easy to understand his concerns. While the digital world loves images, the Bible’s message is heavily word-centered; while many people hide behind computer screens, the gospel emphasizes relationships between God and people and among people; while many are certain that it is wrong to be certain about very much, Jesus promises certain salvation and pledges a certain hope; while leaders resort to endless self-promotion and marketing strategies, Christians follow a condemned criminal whose most significant hours were spent in agony on a Roman cross.

D. A. Carson, from The God Who is There – Leaders Guide, p. 15

Computers are not minds…

Now you should recall … that if A is identical to B, then there is no possible situation where you can have A without B or vice versa. If we can find a case where all of the artificial intelligence operations are present (the reception of certain inputs, syntactical manipulation of symbols, and the production of certain outputs), but we do not have real intelligence (the semantic understanding necessary for real thinking), then we will have shown that intelligence, which the dualist claims to be a feature of mind, cannot be reduced to and identified with artificial intelligence. Is there such a case? Yes, there is. Continue reading

What does Google deliver?..

The founders of Google, one of the leading Internet search engines, took their name from googol (the numeral 1 followed by 100 zeros), signifying how much information they initially hoped to catalog. So one can “Google” God and come up with millions of “hits”—but what does this deliver? How do we wade through such vast amounts of information? What is right, what is wrong, what is reputable, what is without merit?

James Emery White, from A Mind for God, kindle location 354

They “sleep walk through history”…

Many Americans assimilate and advance new communication technologies without a second (or perhaps first) thought. To invoke Marshall McLuhan, they “sleep walk through history.” Those who Jesus called “salt and light” (Matthew 5:13-16) should rather wake up and assess the nature, strengths and weaknesses of the plethora of technologies that assail us daily and hourly. Continue reading

An illusion of the internet age…

One of the most disastrous illusions of the internet age is that an amateur plus Google is equivalent to a scholar. A search engine offers information, more or less relevant according to the skill of the searcher. But it does not sift that information; it does not sort fact from fancy, wheat from chaff. Continue reading

Knowledge is on the decline…

In our world, knowledge is on the decline, with wisdom on an even more rapid descent. What is taking its place is information, virtually unlimited amounts coupled with immediate access.

James Emery White, from A Mind for God, kindle location 353