ELSEWHERE: Whatever Happened to the University?

There are any number of uncertainties about the future of higher education in America.  This month’s First Things in print and online includes some thoughtful observations from Reinhard Hütter, building on John Henry Newman's writings, about what universities once were, what they are now, and what they could be in the future. … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Confessions of a Drone Warrior

The United States' use of military drones has not been without controversy, due in large part to the program's secretive nature. However, this fascinating and disturbing GQ feature bypasses the political controversies surrounding drone warfare and instead, looks at the spiritual and psychological effects that drones have on the people controlling them. … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Why Japan’s Young People Aren’t Having Sex

As Americans face a sex-saturated media and a prevalent “hook-up culture," Japan has the opposite problem: their younger generation is increasingly uninterested in sex. It’s a fascinating perfect storm of traditional Japanese values, the changing roles of women in Japanese culture, and (of course) technology. Japan’s unique predicament offers a thought-provoking foil to our own culture’s understanding of sex and marriage. … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Should We Abandon the Culture Wars?

Is the Fallwell era of Christian political engagement over? Russell Moore, in the Wall Street Journal is the latest (and probably most prominent) in a movement of theologically conservative Christian thinkers who argue that the alliance was always uneasy. He says that Christians should not be "mascots" for political factions; we should instead remember that one day there will be a last Congress of the United States and shift our focus away from politics. This is not an argument for accommodation … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Can You Relate to This Boy’s Bathroom Troubles?

Ever have one of those days where you practice no self-control when it comes to the food you eat? Sooner or later, you have to face up the the consequences of your eating habits. You'll think to yourself, oh no what have I done? And even if you happen to never know what this kind of ordeal is like, I'm certain you'll get a good laugh out of the bathroom troubles of this hilarious little boy. … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: What Does Google Really Mean When It Says “Don’t Be Evil”?

On its face, Google's "Don't Be Evil" slogan seems like a refreshing change in the corporate world, a stance to do what is right and moral. However, recent actions by the company, including their recent decision to use its users' names and likenesses in advertisements, seem to fly in the face of their slogan. However, as Ian Bogost argues, that's because the "evil" Google refers to is not the same sort of "evil" that most people think of when they hear the word. … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Reconfigurable Robots of the Future

Remember the liquid metal guy from Terminator 2 and how he could reconfigure himself into different shapes? A group of scientists at MIT are working on something similar. It's not liquid metal, but it's still amazing. NPR's Robert Krulwich reports how these scientists are designing reconfigurable robots made from smart cubes. Each cube can move itself, even jumping through the air, to change the shape and function of the robot. … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Not So Transparent after All—Press Freedoms Threatened

After the NSA scandal, the American public has become increasingly aware of a threat to First Amendment rights, a topic of concern potentially alarming for people of faith. Even journalists covering the issue have been met with resistance as the Obama administration has taken unprecedented anti-press measures. The Committee to Protect Journalists is now openly accusing Obama of being “the worst president ever on issues of national security and press freedom." … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: iPads Are Proving Beneficial for Special Education Students

It's easy to dismiss iPads as luxury gadgets for checking Facebook, watching Netflix, and playing Candy Crush. But as one Los Angeles educator has discovered, iPads are a huge help when teaching special education students with mental and physical disabilities. As a geek, I love this story because it's a perfect example of technology making a positive impact in the lives of previously disadvantaged individuals. … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Neil Gaiman On the Power of Books and Libraries

One of my favorite living fantasy writers is Neil Gaiman, creator of Sandman, Coraline, Neverwhere, American Gods, and countless others.  His work crosses all types of media.  In a recent speech now posted on The Guardian, he discusses the power of books, and also of the libraries that house them. … [Read more...]