In a world increasingly shaped by technology, people encounter few opportunities to have the unexpected waylay them. A quick click of a button provides access to materials for specifically tailored searches, eliminating the need to look through titles not necessarily related to one's research. Professor Alan Jacobs (a guest on several issues of the Journal) notes and laments the lack of opportunity for serendipity in a technological society in a new essay online. "Serendipity: In Praise of Accidental Sagacity" is available through the website of Books and Culture. In the article Jacobs describes serendipity and what it conveys to people about life and the cosmos. He writes: "The cultivation of serendipity is at once a self-abnegation, a disciplining of technological power, a form of trust in God, and an expression of solidarity with the vast multitudes of Christians from all generations whose poverty and powerlessness made it impossible for them to think even for a moment that they could control their own lives."
Several other MARS HILL AUDIO guests have commented on the pros and cons of technology, along with the need for discerning engagement with it. Lists of interviews are available here and here. [Posted April 2007, ALG]