Camden Bucey

Pastor · Scholar · Aspiring Hermit

Author: Camden Bucey (page 1 of 13)

Second Life

Protected: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

There’s never been a better time to be a questioner

There’s never been a better time to be a questioner—because it is so much easier now to begin a journey of inquiry, with so many places you can turn for information, help, ideas, feedback, or even to find possible collaborators who might be interested in the same question. As John Seely Brown notes, a questioner can thrive in these times of exponential change. “If you don’t have that disposition to question,” Brown says, “you’re going to fear change. But if you’re comfortable questioning, experimenting, connecting things—then change is something that becomes an adventure. And if you can see it as an adventure, then you’re off and running.”

—Warren Berger, A More Beautiful Question

Extending the Season

I’m gearing up for the fall hunting season in a big way. I’ve always been frustrated by the short seasons for shotgun hunting in Illinois. That’s compounded for me, since I hunt on private land over six hours away. For several years, I’ve considered getting into archery, which offers much more flexibility (not to mention challenge) to me as a deer hunter. I finally made the move and purchased a bow, a Hoyt Powermax to be specific. I’m enjoying shooting it while learning proper form. If I put in the time, I should be ready for a responsible hunt come October 1.

Stimulating Neuroactivity with Electricity

Transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS, is an interesting idea. Groups are studying how electrical currents affect cognitive ability and control over fine motor skills. For years, the military has applied the technology to various tasks. I wonder how long it might be until we have “reading hats.” I wouldn’t mind working through Bavinck or Vos with an extra jolt.

Read more: Does Zapping Your Brain Actually Help You Learn Faster?

 

Developing the Selfie

The Cyber Effect by Mary Aiken is an engaging—though at times frightening—study of the effects of technology and Internet culture on persons. She addresses issues such as raising children in a digital environment, the addictive qualities of certain technologies, romance, “cyberchondria,” and the ethics of anonymity. I’ve found it thorough and current. She hits the mark. Aiken writes a challenging and sobering book without resorting to condescension. I encountered this thoughtful section this morning:

Humanistic psychologist Carl Rogers’s work is valuable in terms of illustrating how a young person develops identity. He described self-concept as having three components:

  1. The view you have of yourself—or “self-image.”
  2. How much value you place on your worth—or “self-esteem.”
  3. What you wish you were like—or the “ideal self.”

I think we should consider adding a fourth aspect of “self” to Rogers’s list. In the age of technology, identity appears to be increasingly developed through the gateway of a different self, a less tangible one, a digital creation.

Let’s call this the “cyber self”—or who you are in a digital context. This is the idealized self, the person you wish to be, and therefore an important aspect of self-concept. It is a potential new you that now manifests in a new environment, cyberspace. To an increasing extent, it is the virtual self that today’s teenager is busy assembling, creating, and experimenting with. Each year, as technology becomes a more dominant fact in the lives of teens, the cyber self is what interacts with others, needs a bigger time investment, and has the promise of becoming an overnight viral celebrity. The selfie is the frontline cyber self, a highly manipulated artifact that has been created and curated for public consumption.

But how do we explain that weird, vacant, unmistakable expression on the faces of many selfie subjects? They eyes look out but the mind is elsewhere.

The virtual mirror could be socially isolating, except for one thing. The selfie can’t exist in a vacuum. The selfie needs feedback. A cyber-psychologist might say that’s the whole point of a selfie.

Selfies ask a question of their audience: Like me like this? (Aiken, The Cyber Effect, pp. 171–172)

There’s a $500 billion remittance market, and Bitcoin startups want in on it

I thought this was an interesting phenomenon in the use of cryptocurrency.

At just over six years old, Seoul-based KakaoTalk has more than 170 million registered users on its flagship chat app, and enjoys nearly 93% market penetration in South Korea.

Read more

The Terms of the Game

In his book Changing the Subject: Art and Attention in the Internet AgeSven Birkerts shares an astute observation,

The explosion of cell phone use changed the terms of the game. That more people were able to call while not tethered to the landline meant more calls, and more calls meant a growing likelihood that those who had not gone portable would be missing calls. Along with this—again, by degrees—emerged the expectation of reachability. Responses that before could have waited for the receipt of the call or message acquired a new urgency factor. The margin of acceptable time for response began to shrink and it has not stopped shrinking—for if there is a reluctance about making an actual voice call, there is no excuse for not texting a reply. There has followed a profound (and ongoing) revision of etiquette assumptions. I am the same person in 2015 as I was in 2000—at least in terms of my calling habits—but in that interval i have grown a devil’s horns. The same hours-later or day-later response that had been perfectly acceptable is now often seen as rude. And, in a neat inversion of the former situation, the delay is now seen as a kind of preening, an assumption of exceptionality (pp. 33–34).

The Book You Need: Deep Work by Cal Newport

I absolutely loved Cal Newport’s Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World. From beginning to end, Newport cuts through the mess and offers a genuine way to engage in “deep work,” through penetrating and sustained thought. If you feel crippled by incessant emails, text messages, and social media, which cultivate low-value “shallow work” done in a state of distraction, you need this book.

Prayer is the breath of the soul.

Our breathing is a constant source of renewal to our bodies. We eat three or four times a day. But we breathe all day long, all night too.

As impossible as it is for us to take a breath in the morning large enough to last us until noon, so impossible is it to pray in the morning in such a way as to last us until noon. Therefore, too, the apostle says, “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Let your prayers ascend to Him constantly, audibly or silently, as circumstances throughout the day permit.

—O. Hallesby, Prayer (pp. 147–148)

Older posts

© 2017 Camden Bucey

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑