A Mindfulness Dystopia? Pamela Anderson gets ‘Connected’

With the help of Jane Fonda (narrating), director Luke Gilford (a David Lynch prodigy) has created a disturbing glimpse into a future of technology, loneliness, and a techno-spiritual-cult of connectedness.The short film has echos of "Her" but features not an average Joe, but a beautiful-but-aging fitness instructor named Jackie (Pamela Anderson). Her teaching is done alone: mediated by technology. Her walks on the beach, out among people, are also mediated by technology.In the film the o … [Read more...]

The Onion takes on popular Buddhist “meditation apps”

In their latest jab at the growing popularity of Buddhism in the West and one of its most common delivery systems: meditation via a 5-inch screen, The Onion offers us 31-year old Eric Reeves, a Seattle man whose new meditation app promises to lead him to a "Lotus Plane of Eternal Serenity." Noting that he was "just moments from being carried like a cherry blossom on a soft breeze into a placid realm of unending tranquility," The Onion reports that:Having readied himself to expand his aw … [Read more...]

Buddhist Blessings for Dolls, Thailand’s new luck charms

"Anywhere from $44 for cheaper dolls, and up to nearly $1500 for top-of-the-line models..."Who doesn't like a little memento, a souvenir to carry around for good luck? Buddhists, especially but not exclusively those of Theravadin Buddhism, have long found value in amulets, "small, mystically charged objects carried [to] provide the bearer with good fortune or protection from harm." (Encyclopedia of Buddhism) When I visited Thailand in 2012 I recall seeing amulets for sale (via donation) at ma … [Read more...]

Buddhist Ethics for an Age of Technological Change

A guest post by Doug Smith:We live at the apex of a long era of revolutionary change, with deep roots in history. This change has accelerated over the past centuries due to the technologies gained from empirical and scientific investigation.Our change stems from a process of increasing knowledge of our world, leading to an increasing effectiveness with which we manipulate it to suit our wishes. Perhaps the biggest evidence of this change is the precipitous growth in human population, … [Read more...]

Quick takes: Technology and why you shouldn’t fly an airplane in a moving car

Note: in order to continue sharing and discussing the myriad things that come my way in a given day, I'll be posting these "quick takes." Ideally they will be short, topical, and have something to invite thoughtful discussion.Today the topic is technology: a topic I didn't think too seriously about until around 2004, when I was finishing my BA in Philosophy with my very good friend Ali Tabibnejad. We were both students of Albert Borgmann (in the video below, produced by Ali), who himself is … [Read more...]

Buddhism’s Dalai Lama nods to Secular Ethics

While murder, bullying, exploitation and scandal regularly make news, when thousands of children receive their mother’s care and affection every day it isn't reported because we take it for granted. We may be subject to negative emotions, but it’s possible to keep them under control, to cultivate a sense of emotional hygiene, on the basis of human values that are rooted in that affection - what I call secular ethics. - H.H. the Dalai LamaPatheos is currently inviting writers to submit "What D … [Read more...]

Buddhism: religion of the internet? Digitizing the word.

The Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC), has a couple podcasts and articles this week on this topic:Buddhism: made for the internet and Buddhism on the Move.The article surrounding the first begins: At the heart of Buddhism is a metaphor for interconnectedness: Indra’s net. The Vedic god’s net, which is supposed to hang over his palace on Mount Meru, is said to stretch to infinity. At each point where the threads cross sits a jewel that reflects all the other jewels, and like mi … [Read more...]

Buddha’s Middle Way on Technology

On Monday I had a wonderful evening at an event bringing academia and the community together, featuring none other than my wonderful girlfriend, Ms. Emily Rhodes (and four other speakers). The event was called "Whose street is it, anyway?" and it brought together the Bristol Faculty of Arts and the People's Republic of Stokes Croft (PRSC, check out their blog), a local neighborhood group fighting to bring control of their area back to the people.In terms of starting a much needed c … [Read more...]