Sunday, October 6, 2019

The Saviour Won't Come From The Internet

Western society is very liberal and as a result folks often feel isolated, especially if they don't subscribe to the official world view, so it's hardly surprising that they are increasingly turning to the internet for answers. Internet is full of great resources, YouTube videos, podcasts, twitter feeds, like-minded individuals on Facebook, you name it. It can create a real sense of community  and teach you skills they hardly teach you at school any more (how to be a good homemaker, for instance).

It's all fine. I use many of these resources daily myself and even run a blog:) However, there is a caveat: internet can't substitute real relationships with real people in the real world. There is also this tendency to cult-like behaviour by followers of this or that internet personality. When we encounter others in real life we see both their positive and negative sides. Yet online it's easy to create a  certain persona, there is very little accountability so to say.

I tend to be very wary of those teachers who we know next to nothing about. No picture, no info of any kind, no personal details of any sort. How can we even know that they are what they claim? Yes, there are good reasons for anonymity when you are on the wrong side of the modern political spectre, but one can still go too far if you know what I mean.

I'm also suspicious of those who will give you advice which promotes actions known for their negative consequences, like supporting p*rn which is known to create sexual dysfunction in men as "liberating" or pretending to be a Christian and then telling you to avoid churches of any kind because none of them is good enough etc.

Sound advice for young people of both sexes would be to eat a healthy diet, be physically active, avoid promiscuity and substance abuse, go to church, spend time outdoors in the sunshine, have a group of family and friends you can rely on etc.  It then would include more specific advice on dating and marriage, child-raising etc. While it's important to warn young people of the pitfalls of the modern world, being overly negative and nihilistic only creates more dysfunction and despair in the long run. Instead of being nihilistic, we should be realistic.

I also don't believe that scolding works. While progressives are known for castigating men (specifically "white males") right-wingers often behave like their mirror image and spend enormous amount of time blaming women for all the world's ills, as if an average young woman is somehow responsible for the actions of the woke elites.

Fiery preaching on the topic of sin belongs in the church. Heated political discussions are the domain of men. When I write my posts I do hope to encourage others but I don't have a presumption to function as a Sunday sermon substitute. I just don't see the point and I don't think that I have all the answers, either.

If you have any ideas on the topic, feel free to share!


  1. Amen. I have Asperger's so for me it is really natural to avoid people and dig my head to my computer for answers.

    But internet wont give you absolution. I went to church couple of months ago, after many, many years. And I cried thru the whole service. If person like me feels that connection so strongly, how important it must be to those of you with normal brain?

    And like they say in Game of Thrones: When the winter comes, lone wolf dies but pack survives. We need that IRL pack. Our online friends wont be able to help us when internet is down.

  2. Yes, exactly! The lack of real life friends and the inability to connect is a problem for many young people nowadays, but as a Christian, I'm really worried about online "teachers" who sometimes spread misinformation or even false doctrine under the guise of help. Internet can't substitute church fellowship and anyone who says otherwise is lying, probably for nefarious reasons. Just find the most hardcore church and follow them. You can't survive alone and you can't run away and hide from society problems forever. Soon there will be no place to run any more.

  3. I think people are growing weary and are increasingly aware of the fact that Internet "community" is in fact, not a community at all. At least I hope that what I'm sensing in that regard is true.

    I also agree that in this climate anonymity in this useful, but can be taken too far. The other problem with teaching in this medium is that while principles are broad and apply across the board, methods and applications require a lot more understanding of people's individual situations.

    Lastly, as much as it might feel rewarding to hear like minded voices in an upside down world, Internet denizens are rarely transformed into true friendships.

  4. It's probably by design. While folks spend all this energy *itching on the internet about society troubles, they aren't taking action in real life to change things for the better.

    You can learn theory on the internet, but then you should put it into practice. It's like all these child-raising manuals: you can't learn how to raise a child out of a book, because every child is different.

    And don't let me started on the relationship advice on the internet. People will try to embellish things in real life, let alone on the internet. If you have marriage problems, go to a good counselor, talk to your pastor, to your parents, whatever, not to some anonymous stranger in virtual reality. You can find some general info online (the previous generations used self-help literature) and that's about it.

  5. Post Alley CrackpotOctober 8, 2019 at 3:15 AM

    "I tend to be very wary of those teachers who we know next to nothing about."

    This tends to matter when they're covertly selling appeals to authority ...

    It's an eminence front!
    It's a put on, it's a put on, it's a put on, it's a put on ...

    "How can we even know that they are what they claim?"

    This is a proxy for another question: does the projection of identity influence whether you should believe the information?

    Remember that bit where Jesus said "I am that I am" or something rather much like it?

    I can readily imagine a map-seller of the General Semantics variety ...

    "I sell maps to territories you have never seen!"

    "Are those maps any good?"

    "Well, yes, but you hardly know me, and you don't know that I've ever visited the territories."

    "But we shall know you by your works, and besides, if it turns out that your map is a fraud ..."

    So I don't really care about someone's "identity" as this, that, or The Other as much as whether as a teacher their maps to learning lead to territories of understanding.

    Again, you shall know them by their works, by the fruits of their labour, etc., and if their works turn out to be a fraud, it's better finding out sooner rather than later.

    The Internet is nothing new under the sun.

    What is relatively new for most people involves determining the usefulness and accuracy of information at a certain confidence level versus attempting to acquire ultimate truth.

    It's the old joke about the mariner with a single chronometer and a sextant: he'll never know by how much he's wrong, and if either of them break, he'll no longer care.

    Do you honestly believe that many of the people around you in real life operate on a principle of having multiply redundant chronometers and sextants for real life navigation?

    I'm not nearly that optimistic.

  6. It's not that I really care much about someone's identity, actually I don't:) What I care about are malicious actors, probably on somebody's payroll pushing an agenda to demoralise us under the guise of help.

    In general, an adult should be responsible enough not to be overtly influenced by the printed text and take his own decisions, but we all know that it's not always true, otherwise nobody would invest in propaganda any more.

  7. If you think about Greta Thunberg for example, it is quite obvious that nobody thinks with their own brains anymore. Not even people in Nobel Price committee.

    People think ranting online (my favourite hobby ;)) makes difference. Or going to demonstrations, which is merely a walking rant. Surely climate will stop changing when he sees how many people are soooo worried about it -but, of course, not worried enough to ditch their iphones. (climate change is just an example, personally I couldn't care less).

  8. I'm going to write about Greta soon. Demonstrations work sometimes but not those about climate:)

  9. I was quicker. ;)

  10. Thanks, going to read it right away!