computer idols

Perhaps the computer room in Belfast Central library is like a temple, with men bowing and praying to these gods of silicon and glass?
I’ve always imagined temples with idols, carved from wood and stone and human prostrating themselves before them in prayer and meditation, hoping to appease the gods by saying the right words and be blessed by them.

Yet here we sit typing words into a god of circuitry and processors hoping for love or relationship, for the right job or connections.
Just because the PC doesn’t l0ok like an idol in the traditional sense, does that mean that it isn’t?
Do we worship our machines and think that they offer us salvation?

And we become like the idols we worship don’t we?
We become passive….

 their idols are plastic and silicon,
   made by human hands. (perhaps in some factory in the Far East with cheap labour)
5 They have speakers, but cannot speak,  
   webcams, but cannot see.
6 They have microphones, but can’t hear, 
   fans, but can’t smell.
7 They have keys, but cannot type, 
   are mopile, but cannot walk,
   nor can they utter a sound with their speakers.
8 Those who make them will be like them,
   and so will all who trust in them.

 Even messing around with Psalm 115 a bit makes me feel uneasy because computers do seem so powerful. It appears they can see, they can hear, they aren’t like the passive idols of old that didn’t. They really seem like gods, like something different and more dangerous than the idols that sat on an alter and did nothing. There seems to be some type of magic in the web and networks that humans have constructed, that they are their own stand alone beings, something that was always destined to be and we must respect.

Yet, we can’t lose sight of the fact that they are man made objects, they’re not God. They’re not the gods that will bless me in life. Giving cheap laptops to kids in Africa won’t heal that land, being able to manipulate the computer won’t make us rich.

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace

Tonight I caught up with the first two episodes of  ‘All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace‘ on BBCiPlayer, with the thought that I would have to watch episodes 1 and 2 again a few times and take notes.
There is so much in there to think about, and ideas that I’ve never heard before that I want to watch again to see if there is truth in it all.

But one think for sure – it’s great to see something that makes you think on TV for once and doesn’t have Alan Sugar, Simon Cowell or Piers Morgan.