New Pope Confuses Technology Reality And Fiction

from the fixed-that-for-you dept

Slashdot drew our attention to an article about the Pope warning of the dangers of new technologies, that came with the title: New technologies confuse reality and fiction: Pope. However, I’d argue that flipping the words around a bit, as I did in the title to this post, seems a bit more accurate. For years, with pretty much every new media/technology invention there’s been some sort of moral panic about how it’s somehow harming people’s ability to tell truth from fiction. And there never seems to be any sort of evidence to support this. In fact, it seems that the only people still confusing reality and fiction are those who insist that technology has this magical property of ruining people’s ability to tell reality from fiction.

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Comments on “New Pope Confuses Technology Reality And Fiction”

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out_of_the_blue says:

"never seems to be any sort of evidence to support this"

Then you’ll be able to tell me the realities and the fictions of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, just off the top of your head. I guess you could hedge that’s not some technological marvel, nonetheless I think it a good test of your ability to discern reality in the face of old-tech propaganda.

Anonymous Coward says:

I don’t know… but it happened that some young people have had committed suicide a few years ago, when their game account/item was stolen/cheated away. And there’s some evidence that lots of young (well, apparently not so young) people have replaced face-to-face social interaction by online experience. Some people also known to build their self-esteem/status among peers based on how well they do in their favorite games, enough to make you think that there are real concerns about the “dangers”.

Trails (profile) says:

Ahh the irony...

A sermon on keeping reality and fiction separate from a guy who claims opposing condoms in Africa promotes the transmission of life, when in fact this policy promotes the transmission of HIV (i.e. death). The same guy who’s advocated protecting child abusers and hushing up victims to protect the church.

Pope Palpatine has zero credibility. See:

I never get more tempted to scream “STFU” at my monitor than when I read about this horrible man’s most recent moralizing pronouncements.

Brad says:

Come on, Mike

Mike I’m disappointed. You usually do a good job with digging into a story and finding the source, not just blindly trusting the highlights and repeating them. Look at the full story/quote here –

From how I read it, he is talking to the Catholic media, and is encouraging them to report the facts and avoid things like big headlines, playing up stories for appearances, etc. My take is: Hey media, technology is good, but don’t let it detract from the real story. Don’t be indifferent to the truth.

Mike, it seems like you did exactly what he warned against. At least you got in a good headline and some witty commentary!

Trails (profile) says:

Re: Come on, Mike

Well, that is the overarching point of his shtick (thanks for the link, btw, a good read), but he does take a very specific jab at technology. In even in context, the quote in the linked /. article stands as a claim that technology obscures reality. It’s ironic that he closes by telling the press they need to encourage the modern man towards Catholicism after giving a big spiel about reality.

Ben (profile) says:

Insight Community

Seems like Pope + _____ is the formula to devolve our otherwise insightful community.

Yes, we all love technology, but we must remember how it benefits our lives; technology is a means to an end, not an end in and of itself. It cannot replace human interaction, regardless if its conducted over Second Life or coffee at Strabucks. Our current level of technology makes it difficult for tech-mediated communication to equal the real-world experience, but Skype is better than a phone call and cheaper than driving to visit.

As I understand the church’s position, it is not against technologies like the iPad & facetime, but it is against Apple calling them ‘Magical,’ because this implies we can’t and shouldn’t understand how they work.

Ben (profile) says:

Re: Re: �Cannot Replace Human Interaction�


If I guess at your intent, you’re fearful that the church is a brainwashing agent, filling people’s heads with false or limiting views on the world that prevent them from being rational, responsible citizens. We can certainly cherry-pick examples of this from the histories of most major religions, especially when viewed in a contemporary lens. But why jump all over examples to the contrary, the pope’s address being the most recent? You and he are saying the exact same thing: people should take care to not get caught up in the constructs of man to the point that the occupation prevents them from engaging in society.

Anonymous Coward says:

I would like to point out the pope is saying this after a visit by Nicolas Sarkozy, French president, who was talking to him about internet, and how it’s a lawless area.

as leftist Patrick Bloche said “Nicolas Sarkozy did not understand anything of what the internet is.”

If I may tell you this, he called the internet a lawless area, where outlaws are allowed to pillage as they want or even commercialiaze what they pillage on the back of artists.

Anonymous Coward says:

Maybe I’m reading a different article than you all ( ?), but I’m not seeing where he says technology as such is to blame. The story itself is REALLY light on details, but it basically sounds like he’s talking about the sort of stuff that made Avatar possible — new technologies for manufacturing and altering images which can be problematic if not checked and recognized. To stretch a little bit, Eurpe has had a rash of “problematic” advertisements of highly-photoshopped models, and I think it’s more likely that’s the sort of thing the Pope’s warning against, especially as he was addressing media types.

Anonymous Coward says:

The Pope promotes reality? What a farce. A religion born out of blood and suffering with absolutely no proof except some book that what some Kings and Emperors have rewritten to their whims. The Catholic religion is as stupid as Muslims who bow to a rock. All of them have rocks in their heads.

Remember just because a lot of people do a thing doesn’t make the thing right, correct or even true. Fairy tales and myths abound from the distant past.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

To get back to the point

The reality of all of this is that, regardless of where one stands on the insult match between the rationalist atheist crowd and those few folks of religion that even bother to engage them anyone, every time a new technology is introduced there are those who are bound to say something like this about it.

Cast your minds back to the printing press which was such a threat that monarchs all over Europe sought to control it. In the end they couldn’t. That certainly didn’t stop the attempt.

Fast forward to things like the telephone and telegraph both of which alarmed some in authority. People could plan things like stealing someone else’s azaleas on the phone!

Movies could take pictures of naked people doing things naked adult humans often do, say sex, and that wouldn’t be good for anyone so we got censorship. Not official censorship mind you but some MPAA version to avoid legal prescriptions. Que steam train flying into tunnel.

Go back far enough and the post was, no doubt, considered dangerous. People in remote areas could drift off into some sort of virtual reality and become anti-social while exchanging letters!

Radio, television! It doesn’t even take a change in technology just how it’s used. For example comic books! Oh the horror! Rock’n’Roll! Terrible! Rap and hip hop worse!

Now comes the Internet and the Web. Oh my!

We’re social creatures. We’ll use any excuse to talk with one another, write to one another, make pictures for each other and on and on and on. So if a new technology comes along that makes talking to each other easier humans will jump on it.

Another group of humans will jump right back on it to declare how terrible it all is and how it needs to be controlled or how careful we need to be in how we use it.

It can be a religious leader, psychologist, philosopher, cabinet minister, talk radio host, or just someone looking to fill 10 minutes of a newscast on the latest danger to us all.

Then again, because I’m here, I’m obviously an anti-social guy stuck in a virtual world because I can’t handle the real one and fantasy is so much more comforting (boring as all hell after a while, mind you).

Yeah, Benedict is an easy target. Too easy, in fact. That doesn’t make Mike’s point any the less valid. As I pointed out there are many, many others doing and saying exactly the same things.

So carry on arguing about religion and the current holder of the Papacy, if it makes you happy.

Mike’s point is still the same so why are you engaging in a mere sidebar rather than the story itself which is not Benedict but that he’s only saying what so many others are who have as much, if not more, influence on our lives?

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