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Algorithmic Blues

August 4, 2022 2 min read
Data on a computer screen

Algorithms have come to dominate our lives, and this is especially true for those of us who are deeply connected to social media and online advertising. Popular social media platforms used to be relatively simple, organizing and presenting information based on when it was published. However, monetization (among other factors) has driven these platforms to reconsider how they present information, altering the content we see flashed across our screens. This has further driven content creators to seek algorithm optimization, often determining what sorts of content to create and how to present ideas according to what will get clicks and as many views as possible. This state of affairs has impacted the quality of discourse across some of society’s most popular platforms, a process often influenced by corporate sponsorships and political motivations.

Following God and being steeped in the Christian tradition allow for us to remain free in the midst of such a society, keeping immaterial realities before our minds and providing a constant reminder of what truly matters in life.

In The New York Times, Ross Douthat observes the algorithmic nature of our day, following this thread through fashion, music, medical research, and other aspects of modern society. (His essay can be viewed here, behind a subscription wall.)

A pro-life amendment was crushed in Kansas this week (58.8% to 41.2%). How should one interpret the results?

At the University of Michigan, many students walked out of a white coat ceremony due to the pro-life views of the invited speaker. Dr. Kristin Collier’s speech, which focused on the humanity of healthcare, can be found here.

In First Things, Black author Derryck Green explores race and identity, questioning how much of a role race should play in how we view ourselves and our communities.

In “Against Triumphalism,” Veronica Roberts Ogle explores what St. Augustine’s vision for an “earthly city” and the “City of God” tells us about our own political lives. How do we, as Christians, treat our political opponents?

In the world of art and culture, Catholic musician Hannah Magnelli reflects on her career (so far) and on how her faith inspires her art and her performance.

Ireland continues to discover the patrimony of the Church, unearthing the tradition of its rich faith.

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