The next CODEC Research Seminar (www.durham.ac.uk/codec) will take place this Friday 4th November, 12noon - 1.00pm, in the Tristram Room at St John’s College, Durham. The speaker is Dr Lynne Blair, Senior Lecturer in Computing at Lancaster University. Lynne will speak on 'Values in social media' and writes the following synopsis for her seminar:
C.S. Lewis wrote: "It is the magician’s bargain: give up our soul, get power in return. But once our souls, that is, our selves, have been given up, the power thus conferred will not belong to us. We shall in fact be the slaves and puppets of that to which we have given our souls." Every generation sees new technologies emerge, promising lives changed for the better. All spheres of life are embraced: from the basic way we communicate, to the way we do business, banking, shopping, education, leisure, entertainment and even friendships. There is no sacred/ secular divide regarding technology’s sphere of influence: our spiritual lives and the way we ‘do’ community are also impacted. Some of technology’s promises do indeed transform lives for the better. Others may be of more questionable benefit, or even lead to enslavement, or a destruction of core values. C.S. Lewis' quote provides one cautionary take on this, through ‘the magician’s bargain’. Might those who are responsible for designing and developing our technologies actually be our modern day ‘magicians’? In return for the freedom, power and opportunity being offered by such abundant modern technology, is there a magician’s bargain involved? This talk will consider if and how, through the emergence of the technology-rich world in which we live, people and communities of faith are being changed, and whether we are in danger of forgetting some of our oldest and best values.
It would be helpful to know numbers for the seminar in advance so please drop me an email if you are able to attend. Future CODEC Research Seminars are booked for Friday 2nd December, 12noon – 1pm in the Tristram Room at St John’s College when Rev David Wood will speak on CODEC's North Yorkshire Dales Biblical Literacy Project. Please put this dates in your diary. Further details of the seminar will be sent nearer the time.