June 29, 2003

Johannes Stolz - “Information overload”

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Johannes Stoltz from the Vancouver M.B. Church, spoke on the general topic of information overload in the age of electronic communication. His basic concern is that we balance the information we receive by electronic means ("the horizontal") with the knowledge we receive scripturally ("the vertical"). In the discussion which followed the talk, a number of interesting observations were offered about information overload in general. I noted that information overload has been with us since the founding of the library in ancient Alexandria. Later destroyed, this library was the first international repository for all writings, records, books and plays written in Greek and then in Latin in the Roman Empire. Information overload has also been faced by anyone using a major western research library. Someone questioned whether, in deciding what information to access, we might consider ignoring certain (possibly most) news broadcasts, particularly as they increasingly become vehicles for a government's propaganda. Listening to 'the news' tends to set our agendas, to guide us when deciding which questions about society are the most important (e.g., the Olympic bid, the pig farm, SARS), when other questions might in fact be more fundamentally crucial to Christians. It was also suggested that even twenty years hence, people will look back in amusement at our worries about information overload. Unfortunately, neither discussion nor the presentation really delved into the question of how faith guides one when faced with information overload. [JEK]


Communion: No
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Speaker: Johannes Stolz
Worship Leader: Janet Boldt
Song Leader: Eric Hannan
Pianist: Ruth Enns
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