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Friday, February 07, 2020

"Friendship in a Time of Cyberattack"

Apologies if this is a bit off-Prawfs-topic, but I enjoyed this piece, "Friendship in a Time of Cyberattack," by my theorist-and-theologian friend (and fellow Duke Blue Devils fan!), Mike Baxter.  Pope Francis, Guardini, Pieper, Berry, Simon, and MacIntyre all make appearances in Mike's discussion of friendship, time, technology, the university, and the polis. Here's just a little bit:

What the cyberattack did for us at Regis is open up the possibility of recognizing how our life and work together is so deeply dependent on digital technology and to consider the ways it could be enhanced by making ourselves less dependent on it. . . .

The cyberattack also created commonality between faculty and students, for we were in the same boat, with emails failing, assignments not posting, tests and exams running late. More importantly, there was a more personal touch to the interactions between students and faculty. Papers were graded by hand, in the penmanship of the grader. With no email, more students came by during office hours to ask about something. And there was a deeper sense that class was going to occur in the classroom, with everyone together, rather than dispersed through list-servers, online bulletin boards, and such. Finally, most importantly, it created common ground among faculty, for the simple fact that there was more time, what with fewer meetings, no department and college wide assessments to do, and so on; and with more time comes more conversations about what we are teaching and working on. An added factor here was that with on-line resources down, intellectual conversation is more likely to occur locally, which can be surprisingly fruitful. In other words, with our on-line capacities down, we were less able to have conversations with colleagues across the country and found ourselves drawn more into talking with colleagues down the hall or in the building across the quad.

In these (and other) ways we found ourselves gifted with the time and space for cultivating or renewing friendships in all the varieties and permutations discussed by Aristotle: utility, pleasure, among equals, among those older and younger, and, most importantly, true friendship, based on a common pursuit of the good. . . .

Posted by Rick Garnett on February 7, 2020 at 10:27 AM in Rick Garnett | Permalink


Great piece, great reading. Well organized, well phrased. Just worth to note, that not only more intimate friendship caused by that syberattack, but he described there, one apparent missing aspect in our life,also that came up to his mind, all due to the digital era, and it is:

The cultivating of a sense of "timeless time", creating rather "an openness to the whole of reality", transcendent meaning, "communion with universal nature, the conquest of time through everlasting faithfulness, temperance, dignity in poverty, holy leisure, contemplation" ( as citing other scholars philosopher and so on....).

Too complicated of course, but just friends and wholeness and unity as human perception,well, the digital era, offers also, great opportunities in this regard. It may seem to one person, that not so deep,sincere and genuine. Yet, in horizontal terms, one may create and get acquainted with many insights, foreign cultures, worldwide so, and enrich his perception of the world, and understanding of the human being condition and living.


Posted by: El roam | Feb 7, 2020 1:33:09 PM

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