book: Shane Hipps “Flickering Pixels”

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.

5 Responses to book: Shane Hipps “Flickering Pixels”

  1. Sha-Gar Roughley says:

    lol, the impact of technology being your mad misapprehension that lots of iCrap wankery=”relevance”= mission? The reality of course is that any Glasgow Catholic Church (say) has a far more socio-economically diverse congregation than SS (similarly, I think you’ll find that the world’s largest Christian denomination uses vestments whereas normal people, by definition, do not like Shine Jesus Shine or shite like Deeper). And did you know that , in the entire Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway in the Scottish Episcopal Church, there are 62 churches and only 2 evangelical ones? And that, in all of Glasgow, there are only 3 pisky churches (including SS) that *don’t* have gay priests? Perhaps you could find a new denomination more reflective of your moral and aesthetic “convictions” (!)

  2. Graham says:

    Hi Ryan,

    Why do you comment anonymously, do you not intend to stand by what you have to say? Why do you use such aggressive and offensive language, can’t you make your point without resorting to a rant?

    Also, I don’t see any actual point that you are raising in the above comment to respond to. However, this time I have chosen not to simply remove your random ravings but rather to address them with some simple questions:

    – you frequently appear to think that I am anti-gay and bring up the gay priest or gay Christian questions as if I am entirely wrong. But you don’t know my opinion on homosexuality. We have never spoken about it personally or discussed the issue, you don’t know where I stand on this or any other issue but have made you own assumptions and decided to attack me for views you don’t know I hold. Why is this?

    – you attack St Silas church and Deeper in the above comment, even though these have nothing to do with the actual book review. Then suggest that I “find a new denomination more reflective of your moral and aesthetic “convictions””. I am very happy with my church and its place within the denomination, and you don’t know anything about my moral convictions, other than what you have assumed. Why then if you rant against St Silas and Deeper so much do you still come along and not “find a new” place to worship? I’m not suggesting you should, just wondering why you come if you disagree with it so much?

    I have to be honest I’m not sure if you did reply to these questions whether I would leave it public or not. Partly this is because of the offensive nature of your comments, both above and previous ones which were removed, and also because you hide behind an anonymous address. But also I’m not sure I should give you a platform for you to argue your hate filled, aggressive opinion. I will think about it.

    But good luck in your crusade against “SS” and all you dislike about it, apparently including me for some reason.

    – G

  3. Rim-Mi Sideways says:

    You’d be surprised at what I know. You’re talking eleven years plus, dude.

    Some points, handily flagged up for your convenience:
    1) c.f. your own blog references and other public statements relating to +Gene Robinson (and I *did* hear about the charming Hitler comparison at a deeper meeting a few years back). And the sentence above.

    2) Wrong. The point about SS/Catholic Churches is a) true and b) not an attack. Reality is always worth identifying, irrespective of how it makes you feel.

    3) Christians should go to churches. If SEC is big & broad enough for SS then SS is big and broad enough for me. No?

    4) Hmm, could have sworn that my real identity and email thereof were unceremoniously banned from here, perfectly analogous to my egroup status? Hence anonymity, or not so much. Blogs are public. If you cant’ stand the heat etc

    5) I’m not on a crusade (although – admitted a bit ad hom but hey – surely your species of Christian ought not to regard “Crusade” as a slur?).

    6) Calling anything you happen to disagree with a “rant” or “hate-filled” is utterly inane. Pseudo-psychological diagnosis as legitimate debating technique? Lol.

    7) Fair dos about “Deeper shite”. Mea Culpa. Obviously I should have said “180 Shite”. I apologise unreservedly! ;)

  4. graham says:

    1) So because I don’t agree with Gene Robinson I must therefore be slotted into your preconception of what someone who disagrees with him must think. I have no idea what the Hitler quote you mention is, and my opinions on things have changed over the years, so talking about 11 years plus is nonsense since we never talked much back then and the only thing I remember you saying to me in person in recent years was to “Fuck off” at a Deeper meeting, not a significant conversation.

    What I object to us that you slot me into a stereotype in your head – you assume that I disagree with a practicing gay bishop in america, I am therefore anti gay priests, homosexuals in general, or what? You appear to assume that I agree with everything done and said at St Silas, I don’t. I am just a member, not staff, not in leadership of any kind at the moment though I am very involved. My main point is, you have no right to assume that you know my opinion on anything.

    2) – not sure what you are talking about here

    3) – not sure what you are talking about

    4) – no, you are not banned, you just think you are being persecuted but you are not, and certainly not by me. For the record I backed out of moderating your posts on the email lists long long before any action was taken but you continue to appear to blame me for your behaviour on that list being checked. I have removed several (if not all) of your ranting comments to my posts on my blog over the years because they have ALL been irrelevant, offensive or probably just baiting for a response. Today I happen to be in the mood for some gentle re-baiting to bring it on.

    5) – ‘crusade against st silas’ if your aim is not to take any opportunity to put down St Silas, why do you attack it in such a way on a simple book review on my blog. This has nothing to do with St Silas yet you take the chance to make random rants
    — “more socio-economically diverse congregation than SS” what’s that got to do with the book?
    — “shite like Deeper” was I talking about Deeper, or referring to St Silas?
    — “gay priests” really… what has a review of Flickering Pixels got to do with gay priests
    you seem to have an agenda that you will post as a comment no matter what the actual post is about in order to get your agenda out there.

    6) – I don’t call your comment a “hate-filled rant” because I disagree with it but because of things like “your mad misapprehension”, “iCrap”, “wankery”, etc. if you don’t want to sound like you are ranting then reign in your language.

    7) – thanks.

    — Have a nice day.

  5. hifalutingtheologicalconversation,ornotsomuch says:

    1) You’re shifting the goalposts. Initially you said that I knew nothing of your attitude so now you’re in the position of arguing that the burden of proof is on me to, what, establish that your attitude HASN’T magically changed and that comments from a mere three years ago are somehow now invalid? Or are you really claiming that blogs can’t reveal the blogger’s opinions and attitudes about certain things? For example, I’m sure “practising gay” sounded fair-and-balanced in your head, but it would rank pretty high in any list of “anti-gay” dogwhistling buzzwords. Pretty sure that, to become an actual bishop, a candidate has to have read all the books on gay and homosexual “practise” and achieved gay “perfection” ;). Or, if we’re talking about sources of information, what about e.g. mutual friends or facebook? You’re assuming that I don’t know your opinions on certain issues because you yourself haven’t communicated them to me personally, which is pretty silly. Lots of people know my opinions on certain things despite my making a point of not talking to them. You not knowing how I know about your opinion on x)hardly means that I’m accusing you of believing x) when I know you believe y), or that I have no way of knowing that you believe x).

    If memory serves, I told you to fuck off after you started shouting at me for moving a curtain (!) to get to a seat, despite the fact that lots of people had done so before me, and I counted over five people who did so *after* me. You didn’t say anything to them. Wonder why. Presumably the Holy Curtains are only allowed to be used by yourself or people you like? Perhaps writing “Graham’s Curtain Do Not Touch!” in magic marker would help? And you really think this incident makes *you* look good? C.f. also the disappearance of the *public* SS photostream (and sorry if you really find the use of initials a slam; take it I also hate the Scottish Episcopal Church as I use “SEC” up there?)

    2) Really? Seriously? It’s pretty simple. You took me pointing out that evangelical churches tend to draw disportionately from particular social groups is an attack. Why? The point is accurate. And it’s hardly a slur. Wouldn’t some people say that the relative high wealth of evangelical churches is a point in their *favour*? You’re seeing insults where they don’t exist.

    3) Again? Really? It was a sensible response to your wondering why I don’t go elsewhere. Your continuing conflation of yourself with SS does crack me up.

    4) Lol, really? like the time you CCd your mate Ali Downes and sent me a stroppy email, referring to the time you were in a huff because I hadn’t replied to one of your emails? If you want to talk specific dates we can talk specific dates, although I am aware that the egroup was going to be changed to a one-way announcement board, although due to other commitments that understandably hasn’t happened yet. And it reads more like masturbating than re-baiting, although I concede the irony in making such a point to a man of your more,er, lady-filled reputation ;). Also, there is no variety of misconduct you can accuse me of in relation to the egroup that I can’t find examples of others doing, and getting away with, presumably because a) those doing so are your mates and b) they were often attacking me, which you’re all in favour of. Searching gmail or the original board (am only banned from *posting*, not other things) is hardly an onerous task. So, if you really wanna do this in public, then please do bring it on.

    5)– “more socio-economically diverse congregation than SS” what’s that got to do with the book?

    Seriously? You don’t think that, due to financial factors, that the link between technology and faith is fundamentally different in evangelical churches than elsewhere? That’s a valid point relating to the books themes (admittedly, as you describe them, so caveat emptor); sorry if it makes you feel “offended” (!)

    6) Now we’re just discussing matter of taste. YMMV etc

    7) And also, unironically, to you.

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