Sunday, August 12, 2012

God in silicon valley

The FT ponders religion among the tech crowd.  I particularly liked this bit:
Taken together, all these points illustrate the most widespread expression of religious values in the Valley – what English-Lueck calls a “cheerful mash-up of religions”. The Valley’s steady flow of immigrants has brought a diverse collection of religions to the area, with Eastern religions, especially Zen Buddhism, receiving a particularly warm welcome. The practice-based, disciplined nature and the lack of a deity appeal to the intellectual side of engineers, and make it a good match for blending with traditional monotheistic religions. Jewish Buddhists – “Jew-Bus” – and Christian-Buddhists are common.
“We’re seeing this curatorial effect, where people see a menu of spiritual practices and are unmooring them from traditional contexts,” says Rachel Hatch, research director at the Institute for the Future, a research group. “They’re using that as a zone for self-improvement.”
I particularly liked the term "curatorial effect", which sounds more imposing than the term I have used in the past to describe this, namely "theological buffet", while also being broader, as it encompasses philosophical and other systems in addition to religious ones. 

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