Did You Know: The Times, They Are A-Changing

15 Jul

The world around us is changing more rapidly than we realize. The times, they are a-changin’.

Watch this:

Here is the story about the creation of the video, at least, as far as I can piece it together. In 2006, high school teacher and Director of Technology, Karl Fisch, was asked to speak at an annual faculty meeting at the school where he teaches. He wanted to provide updates for where technology is going and how it may impact education. He created a simple PowerPoint presentation entitled “Did You Know/Shift Happens.” It contained thought-provoking and discussion-provoking statistics of the exponential growth of information and global technology. Little did he know what kind of attention his presentation would receive.

With the help of Scot McLeod, the PowerPoint slideshow was reformatted into video form in 2007. With updated statistics, “Did You Know 2.0” has received over 3.5 million views on YouTube. An executive at Sony BMG edited and released a third version of the video, “Did You Know 3.0,” which they used at an executive meeting in 2008. This version has received 1.8 million views on YouTube.

So what does the video reveal? The statistics are shocking. Here is the text:

If you’re one in a million in China…there are 1,300 people just like you.

China will soon become the NUMBER ONE English speaking country in the world.

The 25% of India’s population with the highest IQ’s is GREATER than the total population of the United States. TRANSLATION: India has more honors kids than America has kids.

The top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 did not exist in 2004.

We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist, using technologies that haven’t been invented, in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that today’s learner will have 10-14 jobs by the age of 38.

1 in 4 works has been with their current employer for less than a year.

1 in 2 has been there less than five years.

1 out of 8 couples married in the U.S. last year met online.

There are over 200 million registered users on MySpace. If MySpace were a country, it would be the 5th-largest in the world (between Indonesia and Brazil).

The #1 ranked country in Broadband Internet Penetration is Bermuda. #19 The United States. #22 Japan.

We are living in exponential times.

There are 31 Billion searches on Google every month. In 2006, this number was 2.7 Billion. To whom were these questions addressed B.G.? (Before Google)

The first commercial text message was sent in December of 1992.

Today, the number of text messages sent and received everyday, exceeds the total population of the planet.

Years in took to reach a market audience of 50 million:

Radio 38 years

TV 13 years

Internet 4 years

iPod 3 years

Facebook 2 years

There are about 540,000 words in the English language, about 5X as many as during Shakespeare’s time.

It is estimated that a week’s worth of the New York Times contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the 18th century.

It is estimated that 4 exabytes (4.0×10^19) of unique information will be generated this year.That is more than the previous 5,000 years.

The amount of new technical information is doubling every 2 years…

For students starting a 4 year technical degree this means that half of what they learn in their first year of study will be outdated by their third year of study.

NTT Japan has successfully tested a fiber optic cable that pushes 14 trillion bits per second down a single strand of fiber. That is 2,660 CDs or 210 million phone calls every second.It is currently tripling every six months and is expected to do so for the next 20 years.

By 2013, a supercomputer will be built that exceeds the computational capabilities of the human brain. Predictions are that by 2049, a $1000 computer will exceed the computational capabilities of the entire human species.

During the course of this presentation:

67 babies were born in the US

274 babies were born in China

395 babies were born in India

And 694,000 songs were downloaded illegally.

So what does it all mean?

by: Karl Fisch, Scott Mcleod, Jeff Brenman

How should Christians respond? How should local churches respond? First, we shouldn’t panic. The church has typically responded positively to technological advances. The Protestant Reformation would not have been possible without their keen use of the printing press.

Second, we should invest time, energy, and resources into understanding and utilizing digital technology. It is naïve to assume that this technological quantum leap is only in the “big cities.” One of the characteristics of digital technology is its availability. It is nearly everywhere, even in rural areas. Local churches would be well-served to use websites, blogs, social networking sites (MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), podcasts, viral video, text-messaging, and email. Many of these forms of media are more inexpensive than most people think.

Third, we should be cautious. The rapid expanse of technology will continue to increase, but there is a subtle downside to this technological revolution. While digital forms of communication allow us to share information much more rapidly, they do not move us any closer to Marshall McLuhan’s “global village.” We can quickly fabricate artificial forms of community and human relationships. We can lose a personal human touch in our desire to become more hi-tec. Technology should be used to support biblical community; it cannot replace it. It is God’s Spirit through face-to-face human encounters that creates community in our local churches. We need a more enriched experience of the Holy Spirit to preserve us as become more technologically advanced.

Catholic writer and Priest, Raniero Cantalamessa writes,

“Our great need today is a new openness, a new readiness to approach the Holy Spirit, a reawakened longing for the Spirit. Now that we have knowledge enough to explore the immense horizons of cosmic space in one direction and sub-atomic particles in the other direction, only the Holy Spirit can give humankind that sustenance of soul, that love which will prevent our humanity from shriveling up altogether as a result of our knowledge. Only the Holy Spirit’s help will make us able to use our technical knowledge not to destroy but to humanize our planet and improve the lot in life of every person” (Cantalamessa, Come Creator Spirit, pg. 269).

So “if your time to you is worth savin’ then you better start swimmin’ or you will sink like a stone; for the times, they are a-changin’.” Swim in the waters of technology and pray God continues to bathe our hearts in his love.

The video ends with a question: So what does it all mean?

This is where the Church needs to respond with the gospel.

Technology is good, but it can become a meaningless idol. A pursuit for the newest, the fastest, the more innovative new gadget, but meaning, purpose, and value comes from the God of the gospel. As gospel of love, provided for by love, communicated through love.

1 Comment

Posted by on July 15, 2009 in Life, Ministry


Tags: , ,

One response to “Did You Know: The Times, They Are A-Changing

  1. Faith, Worship & Life

    July 17, 2009 at 12:16 am

    Thank you for saying we should not panic as your first point. That is so important. In my denomination they have been panicking since the 40s.


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