Do Blogs Have a Future in the Atheist Movement?

So what is going on with blogs these days? If you’re like me, and you keep abreast of news and opinion on technology and media, you’ve already probably been told many, many times that the blog is dead, a medium that served its purpose in the twenty-aughts, but has now been rendered mostly irrelevant by Tweetbooksnaptumblegram.

Apparently Hemant is a little bit like me too (poor guy), and he pointed me to this post at Neiman Journalism Lab by blog pioneer Jason Kottke that, despite Kottke’s entrenchment in the form, prophesies its demise, and in its place are the ephemeral and the institutional:

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Prepare for YouVersion, the Instagram of Bibles!

There is a technological revolution underway, and it’s happening under the radar of we hip skeptical types: iBibles.

Now, I’m not talking about some clunky Kindle-clone that contains only The Word, I’m talking about an extremely popular, cross-platform, nondenominational mobile app, labeled in your app store simply as “The Bible,” but officially known as YouVersion.

What’s so special about this? After all, there are hundreds, probably thousands of apps that reproduce the Bible in digital form. YouVersion is notable because it’s an app that contains a huge variety of versions of the Bible, and hundreds of translations in myriad languages. In addition, it offers up the Good Book with an interface that is remarkably, well, Apple-like. Versions and languages are easily accessible, typeface and style are easily customizable, there are audio and video options, note-taking functionality, and the app is generally sharp and pleasing to use.

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On Being an Apple ‘Catholic’

It is no new thing to compare Apple, Inc. to a religion. The fanatical devotion it has inspired over the decades has made many outsiders eye it suspiciously, as it hawks a kind of techno-faith in which the textbook charismatic leader, Steve Jobs, emits a Reality Distortion Field that turns the skeptical into zealots, hungry for the latest sleek combinations of glass and aluminum like the damned crave absolution. The term “Cult of Mac,” begun by Leander Kahney in his book and website of that title, both pokes fun at and celebrates this comparison.

Those who live inside the Reality Distortion Field, in my experience, rarely resent this. Just as true religious zealots do not mind being known for their blind faith, but wear it as a badge of honor. This is a bit of an exaggeration, of course, as even the most doughy-eyed Apple user will still vent criticisms and complaints, but very often this is done in the spirit of keeping true to a central credo; as in, if device X does or does not have Y feature, is that really keeping with The Apple Way? Is it What Steve Would Have Done? Et cetera.

I, too, have embraced this. Being an atheist, in particular, it’s actually kind of fun to have a pretend religion to subscribe to. I follow the teachings of The Steve, Apple keynotes are like a twice-yearly mass, and I look for signs from the prophets Tim Cook and Jony Ive, just as much as I shook my head in despair at the heretics Scott Forestall and John Browett as they fell from grace.

At New York Review of Books, Edward Mendelson explores the idea of Apple-as-religion anew:

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