Wednesday, September 21, 2011


"Facebook solved this problem of getting all your friends in one place and created the problem of having all your friends in one place." VP of Product at Facebook, Chris Cox.

In his book "From the Garden to the City," John Dyer uses his personal experience, studies previously published and other sources of information to discuss the redeeming and corrupting power of technology. Although at times he got a bit technical for the average reader at home, I found myself fascinated by his thoughts and realizations. Through wit and humor, he brings up many points I hadn't thought about as our generation has grown up with much of the technology we take for granted today.

I laughed out loud at the truth in a quote he uses on page 26 from author Douglas Adams. "Everything that's already in the world when you're born is just normal. Anything that gets invented between then and before you turn thirty is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career out of it. Finally, anything that gets invented after you're thirty is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilization as we know it until it's been around for about ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright really." Now that I fall into the later bracket, I am often teased about my hesitation to new things . . . I still have my old flip phone from a few years ago and don't plan on parting with it. I think you should read books by holding a book . . . not a portable computer screen. And as cool as the I-Pad is, I don't need one or see myself wanting one for quite a while . . . or at least until it's been around for ten years . . .

John Dyer's ultimate goal in writing this book (as far as I can tell) is to challenge what we think and use thechnology for and how it affects our lives as people, friends, Christians, churches, communities, and the world at large. On page 165 he says, "We cannot read deeply when we spend all of our time scanning or when we allow distraction to rule our minds."

The irony of blogging on the internet for readers to scan and be distracted for a while is not lost on me. I also laughed to myself that when I tried to read part of this book during gymnastics this past week, I was unable to concentrate as two other parents were comparing their apps and goodies on their I-Phone and I-Pad . . .  I appreciate a lot of the advancements that have been made. . . Dyer does not propose we should throw in the towel, become Amish and never use a bit of technology again. (Not that there is anything wrong with being Amish . . . there are days the simpler life sounds quite appealing.) He does however, challenge our thinking of what we use and why.

If you'd like a free copy of this book, put your name in the comments box or send me an email and I will notify the winner.

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