Things We're Thinking About

Choruses from "The Rock" | T.S. Elliot

II

[…]

Of all that was done in the past, you eat the fruit, either rotten
or ripe.
And the Church must be forever building, and always decaying,
and always being restored.
For every ill deed in the past we suffer the consequence:
For sloth, for avarice, gluttony, neglect of the Word of God,
For pride, for lechery, treachery, for every act of sin.
And of all that was done that was good, you have the inheritance.
For good and ill deeds belong to a man alone, when he stands
alone on the other side of death,
But here upon earth you have the reward of the good and ill that
was done by those who have gone before you.
And all that is ill you may repair if you walk together in humble
repentance, expiating the sins of your fathers;
And all that was good you must fight to keep with hearts as
devoted as those of your fathers who fought to gain it.
The Church must be forever building, for it is forever decaying
within and attacked from without;
For this is the law of life; and you must remember that while there
is time of prosperity
The people will neglect the Temple, and in time of adversity they
will decry it.

What life have you if you have not life together?
There is no life that is not in community,
And no community not lived in praise of God.
Even the anchorite who meditates alone,
For whom the days and nights repeat the praise of God,
Prays for the Church, the Body of Christ incarnate.
And now you live dispersed on ribbon roads,
And no man knows or cares who is his neighbour
Unless his neighbour makes too much disturbance,
But all dash to and fro in motor cars,
Familiar with the roads and settled nowhere.
Nor does the family even move about together,
But every son would have his motor cycle,
And daughters ride away on casual pillions.

Much to cast down, much to build, much to restore;
Let the work not delay, time and the arm not waste;
Let the clay be dug from the pit, let the saw cut the stone,
Let the fire not be quenched in the forge.

Posted by: Christian

A Pressing Question of our time

We now live in an age of information superabundance. It is often noted that more information has been produced in the last thirty years than in the previous five thousand. Around 1,000 books are published internationally every day, and the total of all printed knowledge doubles every five years. Yet printed documents only make up .003 percent of total information. The world has produced 300 exabytes (300,000,000,000,000,000,000 pieces) of information—and produces between 1 and 2 exabytes of unique information per year, which is roughly 250 megabytes for every man, woman, and child on earth. To make this a little more concrete, 300 billion emails, 200 million Tweets, and 2.5 billion text messages course through our digital networks every day. Add to this the 85,000 hours of original programming produced every day by over 21,000 television stations and the 6,000 hours of YouTube video produced every hour. The weekday edition of the New York Times contains more information than the average person in seventeenth-century England was likely to come across in a lifetime.

We are overcome by a tsunami of information. Is there clarity, wisdom, or truth to be had in the midst of this complexity? If so, how do we sort through it all? The puzzles posed by difference and complexity are built into the modern world. Given the conflict, disorder, confusion, and human suffering that follow in the wake of our deepest differences, and given the massive complexity of modern knowledge and information, questions arise: What is Justice? Fairness? Equity? How do we live together at peace with our deepest moral differences? And if we can’t agree on shared principles or ideals and their application, on what grounds do we adjudicate our disagreements?

From Science and The Good by James Davison Hunter and Paul Nedelisky

Posted by: Christina