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    An Age of Spin philosophy rant doxsey.net
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    Not really about technology per se but always interesting to see how religious writing is done nowadays.

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      Mostly not really about religion per se either, by my reading of it. Would you still have flagged this if it had been tagged practices or culture?

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        Yes, because it’s not about computing. If anything, it’s about how the advertising industry uses computing to implement surveillance capitalism, and the effects it has on us as a society.

        You can transpose this article in time and change the meat of the article to reflect the current state of the world backwards until the dawn of organized Christianity and the message would be the same.

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      This took an unexpected turn into sky fairies right at the end :(

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        The solution being offered may not be appealing, but the problem is still worth some contemplation.

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        Ours is an age of spin, of deception, denial, false advertising and broken promises. We lie to customers, to colleagues, to our boss and the people we manage, to regulators and the press. We lie on our resumes and to the people we interview, to panhandlers on the sidewalk and to the barista who fetches us coffee, and for no good reason, to random strangers on Twitter. The organizations we’re a part of spin, cover-up, ignore the facts and rewrite history. It’s systemic dishonesty on a staggering scale.

        I’m with all the folks who see this as off topic. This rant isn’t actually about technology at all, it’s about the crisis of integrity and credibility the author sees happening in modern society.

        I have no problem with such rants per se, and as a matter of fact outside the context of Lobsters I might even enjoy reading this one in a fire and brimstone Cotton Mather light, but I don’t see such laments as having a place here. This is, if you’ll forgive me for straining a metaphor, a place of technological worship.

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          I think technologists have moral obligations too, and Lobsters is a fair venue for discussing them. This piece definitely has some serious flaws, but I would be happy to see more like it here. Rejecting all but the most narrow and neutral topics is a moral choice too.

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            I agree that ethics and moral decisions are important.

            If you search Lobsters on “ethics” you will find myriad posts on just that topic.

            What I and I suspect others are taking issue with here is the lack of technical content in the post.

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              What counts as “technical” is somewhat subjective, and I’ll happily acknowledge that we may draw those lines in different places. I found the entire “Metrics and the Illusion of Objectivity” section to be at least as topical as, say this piece which nobody seems to be objecting to. Also I learned that QA engineers in some places have “bug quotas”. Which is… depressing, but seems like a useful thing to know.

              But I’m not trying to change your opinion, just adding my own to the discussion.

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          Rather than being trapped by the logic of “I have to do this to get ahead”, we can lay down our anxieties before the Lord and trust in his provision. We don’t have to try and bend reality to our will to survive. Instead we can say “not my will but yours, bend me to fit the reality you’re creating”.

          And we can be honest about our own brokenness. Christianity teaches two radical ideas about human beings: that they are desperately wicked, fallen creatures, incapable of pleasing God as they are, but also that God is incomprehensibly gracious and gave his own Son to save them. Without grace how could we possibly admit to our own failings. The weight of it would crush us.


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            Nice article. It’s also very telling how religious content is taken up in here…

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              I’m a Freemason, and there are two things that are verboten in lodge - politics and religion. Why? Because they’re divisive topics that drive a wedge between people who might otherwise collaborate with and learn from each other.

              To my mind, this site is a space in which we should avoid divisive topics that do not promote the greater progress and understanding of technology.

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                I doubt anything can be more divisive than many of the topics that appear in here, at least to those that take computing seriously. If you try to avoid divisive topics, you only get watered down content and perhaps never learn about something that struck you initially as unmentionable. Moreover, technology can not be detangled from politics and is never neutral, Trying so is naive and dangerous.

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                It’s strictly off-topic for this site (and I have flagged it as such), but I have no problem with the content or the professed faith of its author otherwise.

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                Too bad Christianity is yet another lie. If you let yourself be stomped by stupid societies because you believe into a pie lord, the idiocracy will thrive and stomp your grandchildren too.

                Human invented things such as morals, mercy and compassion himself. Religions are there to pretend it didn’t happen.

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                  I enjoyed this essay a lot. I’ve had similar thoughts (though not this well refined) while attending church services.