|By Shelly Palmer||
|December 13, 2012 08:58 PM EST||
On December 12, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI tweeted. The spiritual leader of the Catholic religion sent out this message:
Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.
— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) December 12, 2012
In the wake of the Pontiff’s 140-character message, it seemed fitting to look at the future of religion in our technological world.
Religion is a tricky thing. It is something that is uniquely human, and no matter if you are a follower of Judaism, Christianity, Islam or any other of the world’s faiths, I find it to be a fascinating window into who we are as people. Even if you don’t believe in a god at all, it’s telling about who we are as humans and it’s a fascinating lens through which to think about our technological future.
The Pope’s presence on Twitter is a big deal because the Pope is a big deal, and because the Pope is a big deal the media went a little crazy:
- “Pope’s first tweet.” (Fox News)
- ”Pope blesses his Internet followers in first tweet.” (AP)
- “Pope Takes First Cautious Step On Twitter” (TechCrunch)
- “Was the pope’s first tweet worth the wait?” (The Guardian).
It seems so odd to hear, “The Pope tweeted.” It’s a phrase that would have sounded like Dadaist poetry if you’d heard someone say it a decade ago, and still improbable if you’d heard it when Twitter first launched in 2006.
In less than 24 hours, the Pope had over 1 million followers. This also seems an odd thing to say. According to the Catholic Church, there are over 1 billion practicing Catholics around the world. Saying that @Pontifex only has 1 million followers when Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) has almost 32 million followers feels odd.
“It’s a sign of the times,” my friend Byrd said to me when I read him the numbers. But what is it a sign of? What is the future of religion?
Cell Phones that Point to Mecca
When commenting on the Pope’s tweet, it would have sounded less exotic if we’d said, “The Pope used technology to connect with his followers.” That’s not so strange. Religions have been using technology almost as long as there religion and technology have been around. Innovations and advance have been tightly linked to religious practices.
In the 1450s, German printer Johannes Guttenberg made 48 copies of the Bible using a radically new process that would change the future of the world. The Gutenberg Bible was the first book created in the West using the movable type technique, which kicked off a publishing revolution that would bring information and knowledge to people who had never had access to it before.
A colleague of mine, Dr. Genevieve Bell (@feraldata), has spent years exploring the intersection of people, technology and religion. Genevieve is a cultural anthropologist and uses her research to understand people so that she can develop better technologies to make their lives better. She is a social scientist at a technology company and sees religious practices as a powerful and important part of who we are, and is fascinated about how we express this through technology. One of the interesting things she told me was how cell phones not only remind Islamic worshipers when it is time to pray, but also use its GPS system to point the person towards Mecca during prayer.
Live from the Internet, It’s Yom Kippur!
Rachael, a friend of mine who lives in Los Angeles, watched her Yom Kippur services this year live streaming from the Central Synagogue at Lexington and 55th street in New York City because she prefers the Cantor Angela Warnick Buchdahl. (Buchdahl is the first Asian-American ordained as a rabbi and cantor.)
“You can also follow them on Twitter,” Rachael told me with pride. “They’ve been doing these things for years. I remember years ago you could call in for services if you couldn’t make it in person. They’re great. They’ve always embraced technology.”
How Holy Can a Tweet Be?
Religious use of technology is nothing new. It expresses who we are as humans though our technology. The thing that feels strange about the Pope’s tweet is the apparent frivolity of it. Is a tweet important? In a world where @justinbieber has thirty-two times more followers than @Pontifex (granted it’s only been 24 hours since the Pontiff’s first tweet), it can feel like the communication has been cheapened. Is a tweet as important as an email or a written note? If the Pope tweets a prayer, is it any less holy?
Like Byrd said, “It’s just a sign of the times.” Just as Twitter became a credible and incredibly human way to track the devastating impact of the Hurricane Sandy Catastrophe, so too has the social media arena become platform for our faith. What’s the future of religion?
The future of the religion looks pretty good. It’s been around for quite a long time, and I think we can bet on the fact that it’s going to be around for a good bit longer. Religion is just one expression of our humanity.
Whether it’s the Gutenberg Bible or @Pontifex sending 140 character blessings, we will always use technology as an extension of our faith. Technology is not something separate from us. Technology is a tool and, as such, it’s an extension of who we are and an extension of our own humanity.
The mingling of technology and religion will only continue. That means having the Pope in your Twitter stream is, in reality, having the actual Pope that much closer to you as an individual. If you’re Catholic, that’s pretty awesome.
DISCLAIMER: I am Intel’s futurist. I am currently on sabbatical from Intel. My thoughts, observations and analyses are mine personally and I am not speaking on behalf of Intel.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
Dec. 1, 2015 04:00 PM EST Reads: 503
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
Dec. 1, 2015 03:00 PM EST Reads: 385
Most of the IoT Gateway scenarios involve collecting data from machines/processing and pushing data upstream to cloud for further analytics. The gateway hardware varies from Raspberry Pi to Industrial PCs. The document states the process of allowing deploying polyglot data pipelining software with the clear notion of supporting immutability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Shashank Jain, a development architect for SAP Labs, discussed the objective, which is to automate the IoT deployment process from development to production scenarios using Docker containers.
Dec. 1, 2015 03:00 PM EST Reads: 145
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, demonstrated examples of com...
Dec. 1, 2015 02:45 PM EST Reads: 448
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningful and actionable insights. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Paul Turner, Chief Marketing Officer at...
Dec. 1, 2015 02:15 PM EST Reads: 451
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Dec. 1, 2015 02:00 PM EST Reads: 549
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
Dec. 1, 2015 01:45 PM EST Reads: 358
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now all corporate assets – people, objects, and spaces – can share information about themselves and thei...
Dec. 1, 2015 12:00 PM EST Reads: 311
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
Dec. 1, 2015 11:45 AM EST Reads: 476
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessions, I wanted to share some of my observations on emerging trends. As cyber security serves as a fou...
Dec. 1, 2015 11:45 AM EST Reads: 375
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Yet a closer inspection at the data reveals less than half of these cloud projects involve production...
Dec. 1, 2015 11:00 AM EST Reads: 515
Countless business models have spawned from the IaaS industry – resell Web hosting, blogs, public cloud, and on and on. With the overwhelming amount of tools available to us, it's sometimes easy to overlook that many of them are just new skins of resources we've had for a long time. In his general session at 17th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, an IBM Company, broke down what we have to work with, discussed the benefits and pitfalls and how we can best use them to design hosted applications.
Dec. 1, 2015 10:45 AM EST Reads: 136
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true change and transformation possible.
Dec. 1, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 581
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" in this scenario: microservice A (releases daily) depends on a couple of additions to backend B (re...
Dec. 1, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 485
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at Built.io, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application delivery by allowing increasingly popular Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (mBaaS) platforms to quickly crea...
Dec. 1, 2015 08:00 AM EST Reads: 398
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Dec. 1, 2015 08:00 AM EST Reads: 397
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
Dec. 1, 2015 08:00 AM EST Reads: 256
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
Dec. 1, 2015 06:30 AM EST Reads: 515
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, wil...
Dec. 1, 2015 05:00 AM EST Reads: 624
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNub’s Data Stream Network.
Dec. 1, 2015 05:00 AM EST Reads: 362