Monday, August 9, 2010

Commo Idol?

Tim Challies has an excellent reflection on The Idol of Communication at his blog.

I think he is onto something with regard to our cultural view of "communication" as it is being defined by social media (facebook, blogs, cellphones, etc). And I also think that our redefined view of communication is evidenced by almost every job description written in the past 10 years. Invariably included: “excellent communicator”. In the world of office politics, (whatever is meant by) effective communication is more highly esteemed and rewarded than work ethic, project accomplishments, dependability, problem solving, or any other traditional measure of success. In some settings, "effective communication" means keeping things light, fluffy and irritatingly superficial. In some settings, it could mean not saying anything unless asked to respond. Each office culture has its own parameters for what determines "effective communication."

I’d like to work out the application of his last sentence a bit more: “words have the ability to draw people to what matters most.” I'd like that to be my goal in all of life - at home, work, church, and in the neighborhood.

A nice addition to this train of thought, I think, is JT's post on Magic and Technology

He quotes C.S. Lewis:

There is something which unites magic and applied science [=technology] while separating both from the “wisdom” of earlier ages.

For the wise men of old the cardinal problem had been how to conform the soul to reality, and the solution had been knowledge, self-discipline, and virtue.

For magic and applied science alike the problem is how to subdue reality to the wishes of men; the solution is a technique.
—The Abolition of Man (reprint: New York: HarperOne, 2001), p. 77; my emphasis.

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