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From the Magazine: Our Interview with Nicholas Carr

From the Magazine: Our Interview with Nicholas Carr

A teaser edition of our interview with Nicholas Carr, the entirety of which can be read in the Technology Issue! You can subscribe to our magazine here.

In his book, The Shallows, which was a 2011 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Nicholas Carr talks about the internet’s re-wiring of the human mind. Like a number of well-regarded tech skeptics (Marshall McLuhan, Neil Postman, Sherry Turkle), Carr argues that the way the internet presents information to us is changing the way we think everywhere else—in our jobs, in our free time, in our inner lives. Towards the end of his book, he…

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Five Golden…Themes! What We Loved Writing about in 2015

Five Golden…Themes! What We Loved Writing about in 2015

As we blanket our house with nic-nacs and expensive toys, it’s the perfect time to look back at the things that matter—or the things that mattered—or the things that at least we thought mattered at the time—to us this year. Here are Five Golden Themes for 2015—repeated stories and obsessions that didn’t just creep into the collective cultural psyche, but seemed to define it, for better or worse.

Performancism and Suicide. I had to check and make sure this hadn’t been on one of our previous year-end roundups. I thought surely, with all the times we’ve written about “the epidemic,” this…

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What 1,792 Blogposts Have Taught Me About the Internet

What 1,792 Blogposts Have Taught Me About the Internet

Our Buy One, Give One Free deal is up and running on the magazine site, if you’re still looking for last-minute gifts. Simply order a subscription, and add your second recipient’s address in the memo box of your order. 

Here’s one of our features from the Technology Issue, David Zahl’s state of the digital union from the particular vantage point of this website. To order this issue, either in electronic version or print, click here.

Copyright Gabriela Herman

The guy knew enough not to argue. He had clearly seen my kind before. The kind who approached the counter with purpose, maybe a…

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Instagram Husband

From the Magazine: Mixed Messages

From the Magazine: Mixed Messages

As a short glimpse into the Technology Issue, here’s The Sermon, which came to us this time from the Rev. Aaron Zimmerman. 

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty…No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day (Jn 6:35, 44)

Do you ever feel like you’re getting mixed messages? The classic ones are around gender roles: men are supposed to be tough…yet tender. Women should wear makeup…but…

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Me, Myself and iPod

Me, Myself and iPod

We’re kneedeep in magazine shipments today at Mbird HQ, so thought we’d whet appetites with another preview of the new issue. To order click here. This one comes to us from ur-Mockingbird Jady Koch:

“Jady, here, listen to this.”

I remember it like it was yesterday; I was sitting in the back row of a late 80s conversion van, complete with shag carpeting and an old-school TV up in the headrest above the driver’s seat. We were heading to Houston, to go to (the now defunct) Astro World as part of a sixth grade band trip, and as our chaperone was turning…

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Issue 6 of The Mockingbird – Now Available!!

Talk about a happy accident: The Technology Issue hits at pretty much the exact same time as our snazzy new magazine website – one where digital versions of all the past issues are now available. This time around, we’ve got writing on distracted parents and religious bloggers, smartphone addictions and spiritual search functions, pornographic confusion and nostalgic Walkmen, and much, much more. You can preview the insides (and some of the incredible artwork) on the new site. Could not be more proud of this one!

 Contents

  • kQISpnj1TbLk2ewYTOjR0xm9agl0Icsi2s2mJcKMJBsoAGa_ifMbysAueanr23V1Ci9os9r3lsUURp7X-xZxNn0JE9bcaSKeA228qXWviAd4h_S_XIHHcC6SuBMDEwOr0iWU=s0-d-e1-ftOpener: Delete History
  • What 1,792 Blogposts Have Taught Me about the Internet by David Zahl
  • The Confessional
  • Automatic for the People: A Conversation with Nicholas Carr
  • Me, Myself and iPod by Jady Koch
  • Glossary Time: Incurvatus in Se
  • Sending Morse Code, a poem by Dick Allen
  • Is Google Searching Me? Knowledge and Discovery in the Internet Age by Ethan Richardson
  • For the Record
  • All in All: Childhood, Security Objects, and Grace in the Digital Age by Stephanie Phillips
  • Revisiting the Second Grade Classroom, a poem by Dick Allen
  • Distracted Parents and the Media of Our Discontent by Ian Olson
  • Unreconciled and Disembodied: Why Sex on the Internet Sucks by Sarah Condon
  • Surfing the Net, a poem by Dick Allen
  • Time to Pull Over: Algorithms, Self-Driving Cars, and an Unkind Word about Fear by Bryan Jarrell
  • Mixed Messages: A Sermon by Aaron Zimmerman

To be sure you don’t miss an issue, subscribe today. Please note – all print versions now come with free digital copies. Prices are as follows:

  • $44 (plus shipping) for 4 issues
  • $120 for 10 issues, shipping included
  • A la carte for $13/issue (past ones for less) and $8/digital only.

All monthly donors to the organization automatically receive a complimentary subscription to The Mockingbird–You can sign up here. It’s a huge help.

Bonus Track: DZ previewed a bit of his article in a video for the Diocese of Texas:

David Zahl: Technology, Distraction and the Soul from The Episcopal Diocese of Texas on Vimeo.

Instagramming the Sin of Omission

Instagramming the Sin of Omission

This past week, 18-year-old social media star Essena O’Neill announced that she was done with the internet. From all accounts she has everything that we expect teenage girls to want: fame, fortune, and a well-documented thigh gap. And with over half a million followers on Instagram and hundreds of thousands of subscribers to her YouTube channel, O’Neill should be killing it at life right now. Only, she’s not. She appears to have grown tired of acting like her life is a well-documented journey to golden perfection.

Study after study tells us that it is emotionally harmful for us to see other…

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The Areopagus and The Woodshed: Re-imagining Abuse in Social Media

The Areopagus and The Woodshed: Re-imagining Abuse in Social Media

In the world of social media, Twitter’s hard times have caused much hand wringing and head scratching. Once hailed as a global marketplace for the exchange of ideas, a modern Areopagus of sorts, the social network has seen its growth achieving ever flattening levels of stagnation. And as resident social media watchman, I’m beginning to see some of these patterns affect the Mockingbird twitterverse as well.

So when we received this essay in the email about Twitter’s struggles and realistic anthropology (ht. GP), the light bulbs clicked on. Umair Haque gives a thoughtful, if somewhat emotional, critique about the nature of…

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Introducing the Technology Issue!

Introducing the Technology Issue!

Below find the Table of Contents and Opener of our forthcoming (sixth!) issue, which will be heading to mailboxes by month’s end. You can either subscribe directly, or sign up to be a monthly giver to Mbird, which includes a complimentary subscription to the magazine. The issue will be available individually soon.

Opener

What if your entire life was recorded? Like instant-replay on Monday Night Football, what if you had playback for every minute of every day? And what if everybody else did, too? Think of all the problems that would suddenly disappear: forgotten names now remembered, favorite stories always accessible, mysterious crimes…

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Not Much of a Technology Person?

Not Much of a Technology Person?

We were heading in the same direction, an awkward number of steps apart, close enough that we might as well have been walking together. He was maybe ten years older than me, well put-together, kind face and a slightly outdoorsy demeanor. I think I’d seen him around the conference, family in tow, but we hadn’t spoken.

I was about to fall back and let him go ahead when he asked, “You heading to a session?” I was, I replied, the one on technology. It was just up ahead. “Hmm… Not much of technology guy myself – do you know where the Bible one is?”…

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Empathy Lessons for the App Generation

Empathy Lessons for the App Generation

This week, Sherry Turkle picked up where she left off in her NYT article a few years ago, “The Flight from Conversation.” This time, Turkle, who has a new book out, is talking about the lack of conversation skills in today’s young people, but more importantly, how their lack of face-to-face interaction has deeper consequences for learning the lessons of empathy.

It’s almost yawn-worthy to hear yet one more scare-piece about the waning of human attention, or the prospect of a monstrous grown-up millennial generation, but it continues to be on our radars. As we discuss in the upcoming Technology Issue, we simply do not have the…

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