|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 IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...
May. 28, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,908
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss 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). Bruce Swann has more than 15 years of experience working with digital marketing disciplines like web analytics, social med...
May. 28, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,345
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? How do you coordinate the diverse moving parts that must come together when developing your IoT product? What are the key challenges addressed by Data as a Service? How does cloud computing underlie and connect the notions of Digital and DevOps What is the impact of the API economy? What is the business imperative for Cognitive Computing? Get all these questions and hundreds more like them answered at the 18th Cloud Expo...
May. 28, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,276
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
May. 28, 2016 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,218
SYS-CON Events announced today the How to Create Angular 2 Clients for the Cloud Workshop, being held June 7, 2016, in conjunction with 18th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Angular 2 is a complete re-write of the popular framework AngularJS. Programming in Angular 2 is greatly simplified. Now it’s a component-based well-performing framework. The immersive one-day workshop led by Yakov Fain, a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and...
May. 28, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,044
Customer experience has become a competitive differentiator for companies, and it’s imperative that brands seamlessly connect the customer journey across all platforms. With the continued explosion of IoT, join us for a look at how to build a winning digital foundation in the connected era – today and in the future. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Nguyen, Group Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how to successfully leverage mobile, rapidly deploy content, capture real-time d...
May. 28, 2016 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,615
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC Software has been named "Siver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. BMC is a global leader in innovative software solutions that help businesses transform into digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive advantage. BMC Digital Enterprise Management is a set of innovative IT solutions designed to make digital business fast, seamless, and optimized from mainframe to mo...
May. 28, 2016 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,258
What a difference a year makes. Organizations aren’t just talking about IoT possibilities, it is now baked into their core business strategy. With IoT, billions of devices generating data from different companies on different networks around the globe need to interact. From efficiency to better customer insights to completely new business models, IoT will turn traditional business models upside down. In the new customer-centric age, the key to success is delivering critical services and apps wit...
May. 28, 2016 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,183
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
May. 28, 2016 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,425
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, will provide an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life ...
May. 28, 2016 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,975
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobile software company with over 200 develope...
May. 28, 2016 07:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,674
SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from Web startups to global enterprises. SoftLayer's modular architecture, full-featured API, and sophisticated automation provide unparalleled performance and control. Its flexible unified platform seamlessly spans physical and virtual devices linked via a world...
May. 28, 2016 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,248
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
May. 28, 2016 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,109
SYS-CON Events announced today TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget is the Web’s leading destination for serious technology buyers researching and making enterprise technology decisions. Its extensive global networ...
May. 28, 2016 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,239
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
May. 28, 2016 04:15 AM EDT Reads: 3,192
As cloud and storage projections continue to rise, the number of organizations moving to the cloud is escalating and it is clear cloud storage is here to stay. However, is it secure? Data is the lifeblood for government entities, countries, cloud service providers and enterprises alike and losing or exposing that data can have disastrous results. There are new concepts for data storage on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive data around the world. ...
May. 28, 2016 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,318
SYS-CON Events announced today Object Management Group® has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
May. 28, 2016 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,563
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
May. 28, 2016 02:30 AM EDT Reads: 842
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
May. 28, 2016 01:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,463
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
May. 28, 2016 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,939