>Blessings and Curses

>It is nice to be back home again. I took several days off from blogging at the end of August and beginning of September to rest and relax from my busy summer. With my work with the Self-Study, I did not have any time to rest this summer.

My wife and I went to Cancun to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. We spent 8 magical days relaxing and eating good food. I returned to the office on Monday and only had time to prepare for the Faculty Retreat on Tuesday and Wednesday. Every year the faculty goes to Wisconsin and we spend two wonderful days preparing for the new academic year. So, I am back and ready to begin blogging again.

Deuteronomy 27 and 28 contain a list of blessings and curses associated with the covenant tradition. The blessings and curses of the covenant served to enforce the stipulations of the covenant: the vassal who obeyed the demands of the covenant would be blessed and the vassal who disobeyed would be punished with the curses of the covenant.

Today, I want to talk about blessings and curses. However, I do not want to discuss the blessings and curses associated with the covenant. Rather, I want mention two blessings and two curses associated with modern living and modern technology.

The Blessings

1. Email. I consider email one of the greatest blessings of the modern world. Through email, you can be in constant contact with family and friends who live around the corner and all over the world. You don’t have to wait days or weeks to receive news and pictures from people you know. Now you can receive them in a matter of minutes, if not seconds.

2. Blogs. Another blessing of modern technology is the Internet and one of its by-products, blogs. Through blogs you can read about friends and strangers and know what they are doing and thinking. I enjoy the work of bibliobloggers because their work can be informative and often, it stimulates discussion and dialogue about issues of mutual concern.

The Curses

1. Email. Email is one of the greatest curses of modern technology. Because it is so easy to send an email, emails have proliferated. Today, it requires a lot of time to process emails every day. Let me give an idea of the problem email creates.

I was away from the office only 8 days. When I returned to the office on Monday, I had 291 emails in my seminary account and 2704 in my Yahoo account. Thank God that 2653 of them were junk mail and could be deleted without being read. Then, I left for 3 days and after I came back, I had another 114 emails in my seminary account. My Yahoo account had increased to 3063.

2. Blogs. Another curse of modern technology is the proliferation of blogs. I love blogging and I enjoy reading blogs, however, the proliferation of blogs is getting out of control. Before I left on vacation, I made sure that I had no unread blogs in my Google Reader. I subscribe to several blogs, most of them from bibliobloggers, and try to be up-to-date on what fellow bloggers are doing.

On the Thursday night before I left on vacation, my unread blogs in my Google Reader read: “zero.” When I came back this past Monday, I had 609 unread posts. The king of bloggers alone had 90. This morning when I arrived in my office, the number of unread posts had jumped to 771. Jim West alone had a grand total of 109.

To process all the emails and blogs will take a long time. If I take 1 minute per email, it will take me more than 6 hours to process my emails. If I take 1 minute per post, it will take me more than 12 hours to process all the posts. And this is the dilemma I face.

What I will do is to read only the email that must be read and delete the others. I will peruse the blogs and only read a few posts that really attract my attention. The rest, well, they will remain unread.

So, fellow bloggers, if I do not respond to some of your posts, blame it on Cancun.

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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4 Responses to >Blessings and Curses

  1. Jim says:

    >If you had invited me along you would have had fewer things to read!;-)Glad you had a good time.


  2. >Jim,Next time I go on vacation, I will consider taking you with us. However, I am sure my wife will not be very happy if I decide to take you along with us.Maybe I will see you in San Diego.Claude Mariottini


  3. Jim says:

    >Yeah wives are that way… Can’t say as I blame them!And yes, in San Diego!


  4. >Jim,I agree with you. Wives have the last word on these matters.It would be nice to have a group of bibliobloggers getting together in San Diego just for a time of fellowship.Claude Mariottini


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