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The RoundTable

Fall 2011

Appropriate Technology

Major Articles

  • Love is the Highest Technology - Ethan Hughes
  • In Rememberance: Chuck Trapkus
  • Engaging Technology - Ellen Rehg
  • Prescriptions for Fighting a Technology Addiction
  • Looking Backwards: The Green Revolution and Green Anarchism - Eric Anglada
  • Children and Technlology - Carolyn Griffeth
  • Going Offline - Brenna Cussen Anglada
  • Get Your Kids Outdoors!

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1840 Hogan St.

Saint Louis, MO  63106

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Regular Features

  • Front cover - Jeff Finnegan

  • Centerfold: Technology Trip: The Journey of Your Cell Phone - Jenny Truax, James Meinert

  • Why This Issue - Sarah Latham

  • From Karen House - Braden Tobin

  • From Little House -  Teka Childress

  • Catholic Worker Thought and Action: Green Revolution - Mary Densmore


Why This Issue

As I sit here on my laptop, listening to digital recordings of music, surfing the internet, checking my email, and writing this article, I feel a bit silly. I mean why did we choose to dedicate this issue to technology? I love all of this stuff! It makes my life so much easier, right? I get to keep in contact with my sister and her kids in Minnesota. I can find the answer to ANY question in mere seconds. I save so much money all the time with all of these internet “coupon” offers. I can look at pictures from that hike my former co-worker went on last month… oh wait… oops.

Wow, technology can make me feel really good, I mean really give me that feeling of fulfillment… for a little while. In her article, Ellen Rehg shows us that when broken down “technology” essentially comes to mean the study of art, skill, or craft. But wait, what about posting hilarious videos of a kitten stuck in a tissue box? The “technology” that I use in my life seems to bring me away from art, skills and crafts. I can watch shows on the internet with people using their skills, commenting on art, or purchasing things that were once highly valued crafts, but for the most part I feel pretty disconnected. It’s almost like constantly living on a vicarious level. Ellen’s article then goes on to give us a glimpse into an almost 2,400 year old (!) debate regarding appropriate technology.

Another idea that occurs to me is that I have access to multiple computers at any given point in my day. But when a guest at Karen House, or a friend from the neighborhood needs to find work, they are directed to fill out applications online, a resource that they don’t have abundant access to. This concept is not in line with my values. In his article Ethan Hughes points out many other ways in which various forms of technology usage may not be congruent with our vision of the world and invites us to take some deep breaths, and engage in some analytical thought with him. Also, Brenna Cussen Anglada gives us insight on what computer usage means for an Anarchist Christian functioning within an unjust system. Similarly Eric Anglada illustrates the historical connections between anarchism, the Catholic Worker, scripture and the earth.

You may be thinking “all of these ideas are wonderful to think about, reach towards, and discuss but I can’t really make any commitments like these in my life. I live in the city, I have a family to support, just not enough time or energy. Sometimes I just need a minute to tune-out and relax!” Luckily Carolyn Griffeth has inspiring stories and compelling information for anyone attempting to raise a family in this over-technologized world.

And finally, for our regular features, Mary teaches us about the St. Louis Catholic Worker’s changing relationship with Monsanto and Gateway Greening. Teka introduces us to her family (extended and immediate) and her lovely home, and Braden (in his first RT article!) gives us a beautiful lesson on inclusivity.

We look forward to continuing to challenge ourselves to live within the realm of truth and to be conscious of exactly what impact our decisions have on our earth, our community, and ourselves. We invite you to radically consider the implications of our growing dependence on ever-newer technologies, and how this affects our ability to grow and learn and share and love.

- Sarah Latham



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