In the most recent issue of Tabletalk, there was an article on the pluses and minuses of technologies like blockchain and a decentralised web. There are many on either side.
As I read through it, I was first reminded again of the fact that the church is usually very late in understanding what is going on in the world. However, in this instance, as these are things that most laypeople will have no real understanding of, I think they got the timing of this right. It isn’t a hot take, but it isn’t ice-cold either.
The second thing I was struck by, and really appreciated, was the thought that went into writing the article. So often, what we read online is entirely one-sided and tries to push things in only one direction. This is understandable because our psyche likes to be told what it likes to hear. One-sided arguments that state the opposing opinion in the worst possible way sells. It creates buzz around a thing. Nuance, however, requires a slow response. The thought going into producing something so well-articulated and balanced shows that there is still a certain… something to pieces of writing that are going to print after going through phases of editing. At least, this is the case with trying to present something well.
In fact, nuance requires not just a slow response but a deliberate delay of response. It requires us to be quick to listen and actually consider things from multiple angles. And this is an action we do too little of.
I won’t rehash the arguments made in the article, it’s well worth a read. But my own personal takeaway is the reminder that nothing is straightforward. We live East of Eden and we await the great culmination of all things. We’re not in the upside-down, but in a jumbled up world. In so much of life, we see the potential for both good and bad. Consider how science and technology can be used to preserve life, through the creation of new medicines, or end life, through the creation of more powerful, more efficient weapons. Consider how the arts are used both to speak truth to power or to mislead and exploit. We can’t necessarily write something off completely. We have to take a slower, more considered approach to things.