book: Shane Hipps “Flickering Pixels”

May 17, 2011

or “How Technology Shapes Your Faith”.

The synopsis says: “Flickering pixels are the tiny dots of light that make up the screens of life – from TVs to cell phones. They are nearly invisible, but they change us. In this provocative book, author Shane Hipps takes readers beneath the surface of things to see how the technologies we use end up using us. Not all is dire, however, as Hipps shows us that hidden things have far less power to shape us when they aren’t hidden anymore. We are only puppets of our technology if we remain asleep. “Flickering Pixels” will wake us up – and nothing will look the same again”

This book wasn’t what I had expected.  It wasn’t so much anything about modern technology and I do think the title “Flickering Pixels” is misleading since actual computer or video technology is hardly touched on.  In stead the author talks about various ‘technologies’, how they affect people and how their affect might switch in a different direction. The technology in question might be the introduction of writing, the printing press, etc.  Some more modern technology is mentioned but to be honest by then I got bored with the whole thing.

In fact I found the entire thing rather dreary and obvious.  For example, the ‘big idea’ behind this book seems to be that when a technology is introduced it often / always reverses on itself – the technology of a city wall protects those within, until their is a fire when people are trapped by the wall, or CCTV liberates because people are protected but restricts liberty because they are watched, etc.

So in summary, nothing brilliant, certainly didn’t spark any interest in me in how modern technology shapes my faith or the church.