Things are all a buzz about the new iPhone X and other new phones in the Apple stable. The same problem I have with Coke, I have with Apple. On the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone, we are introduced to its most proficient heir even as we face the fact that the smartphone has brought a host of changes that are not all positive. Our children's lives are defined by their phones. Our face to face conversations have been replaced by texts, tweets, and instagrams. Apple has changed our lives but is it for the better?
Apple is less a brand than a way of thinking. Those who use its computers march to the tune of a different drummer in more ways than one. “Apple retail,” said CEO Tim Cook, “has always been about more than selling. It’s about learning, inspiring and connecting with people.” Apple is not selling a phone or even a smart phone but a device to frame your life differently, to make it all prettier, to guarantee your life will be better, and to ensure that you will have more fun because of your iPhone. A thousand dollars is nothing in comparison to all the improvements to your daily life this device promises. At least that is what they hope folks will think. Facial recognition software and emojiis that follow your own head movements would be cheap at twice the price.
As none other than the New York Times put it, "Apple is selling us a better vision of ourselves." Therein lies the problem. We worship our technology and there is no technology more godly than Apple's slightly quirky and almost idyllic promise of a new and better world if we pay a grand and hold its device in our hands. The sun is dawning over us and it is bringing us a new sense of our own identity, a new confidence in our progressive future, and a new idea of what a better life ought to be. In other words, Apple has become one of the leading deities of a new religion in which technology is front and center. Strange. Because Steven Jobs was raised in a Lutheran home, baptized in a Lutheran church, and confirmed in a Lutheran congregation. Yes, he ended up following Zen Buddhism and long ago traded his Lutheranism for a desire to make a dent in the world. Yes, he eschewed dogma and has his own ideas of freedom. But the world has followed him and we have reshaped our lives to mirror what Jobs and his cohort have decided that life ought to be. Sounds like a religion in which I am at the center of things, or, more accurately, the me that Apple and others have decided ought to be.
Full disclosure. I have an old version of the iPhone. I will not buy the X. Not even the 8 or 8+. I have enough trouble getting my fingerprint recognized to unlock the phone. I don't get my email on the phone nor do I spend my day on it. It spends most of its time in my pocket waiting for the occasional phone call. And one other thing. I use it to carry photos of my first grandchild, a beautiful little girl. Lots of photos. My world is not about me. It is becoming about her. But that is a grandfatherly prerogative.
"... the beverage as a caustic chemical."
Should be "... the beverage as a corrosive chemical."
"caustic" refers to chemicals that are strongly basic or alkaline (such as sodium or potassium hydroxide), and not to acids such as Coke, which is a flavored solution of carbonic acid (carbonated water) and a small amount of phosphoric acid.
Steve Jobs was raised in an LCMS congregation in California
"Because Steven Jobs was raised in a Lutheran home, baptized in a Lutheran church, and confirmed in a Lutheran congregation. Yes, he ended up following Zen Buddhism and long ago traded his Lutheranism for a desire to make a dent in the world."
In 1817, Heinrich Marx was converted to Lutheranism, and in 1824 his six-year-old son, Karl, was baptized in the Lutheran church in Trier, Germany. Karl attended a Lutheran elementary school and was confirmed in 1834. Karl wrote a paper about the Gospel of John while at the Trier Gymnasium. Then Karl went off to the Universities of Bonn and Berlin. The rest is history.
In 1824 CFW Walther was 13 and attending a Gymnasium in Schneeberg, Saxony, an historically Lutheran area of Germany. Walther in later life recalled that all the teachers, save one, at Schneeberg were rationalists. I suspect a protestant gymnasium at Trier, an historically Catholic area of Germany and the seat of the Archbishop of Trier, would still have been a beacon of rationalism. One would be curious about Marx' paper on John to see if magisterial reason and philology (treatment of Bible texts as literature) are evident in it. One would, wouldn't one! ;-)
You can read an English translation of Karl Marx's paper, "The Union of the Faithful with Christ," based on John 15. Marx wrote the paper on August 17, 1835, when he was seventeen years old.
“Apple retail,” said CEO Tim Cook, “has always been about more than selling. It’s about learning, inspiring and connecting with people.”
Marketing gobbledygook. Apple is imitating Nike in this regard. Embrace the "Apple lifestyle." Meh. Can young people afford to do so?
We have reached "peak Apple." Apple does not offer anything that cannot be matched by cheaper competitors, who are catching up. Who has $1000 for a phone? Thanks to facial recognition technology, a thief with your picture or a cop without a warrant could easily point and unlock your new iPhone 11.
I use my iPhone 7 for taking pictures and videos. Sometimes I will text or make a phone call. I will download KFUO podcasts to the iPhone for offline listening. I refuse to use any "apps" nor any of Apple's "cloud services." Who uses all of the "features?" No thanks.
Hi Pastor Peters,
My name is Anuj Agarwal. I'm Founder of Feedspot.
I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog Pastoral Meanderings has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 100 Lutheran Blogs on the web.
I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 100 Lutheran Blogs on the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of this!
Also, you have the honor of displaying the badge on your blog.
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