Archive | July, 2012
Vivian Schiller, chief digital officer for NBC News, and David Folkenflik, NPR media correspondent, speak at the morning lecture program Tuesday in the Amphitheater. Photo by Michelle Kanaar.

Schiller, Folkenflik: Social media gives the people tools of communication

Social media has helped shape democracy by providing people with the means of communication to gain more access to information.

“I think it is good for democracy, because the tools of communication are in so many more people’s hands,” said Vivian Schiller, senior vice president and chief digital officer at NBC News, during Tuesday’s morning lecture.

Schiller and David Folkenflik, who served as moderator and is NPR’s media correspondent, discussed the challenges and opportunities facing digital and social media at the Amphitheater for Week Six, themed “Digital Identity.”

Continue reading

Foerst explores religious community’s response to technological advances

What’s the difference between being a person and being human?

The terms are often used interchangeably, but theologian and computer science professor Anne Foerst has studied their differences for years as an expert on artificial intelligence. Now, she said, Facebook is influencing some of the core concepts that make humans human — the ideas of friendship, commitment and acceptance of imperfections.

“People keep social hopping; the idea of having a commitment to a group of people and taking them as they are is already loosening,” said Foerst, a professor at St. Bonaventure University. “Facebook reinforces that trend, especially in our young generation. I personally find that deeply disturbing.”

Foerst will discuss social media’s influence on personhood and community — particularly religious community — at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the Hall of Philosophy.

Continue reading

Allenby to address concept of ‘self’ in digital age

Rapid technological development may have eliminated the possibility of a Renaissance man.

At 10:45 a.m. Wednesday in the Amphitheater, Brad Allenby takes to the “Digital Identity” morning lecture platform to discuss technological advances and how they alter the 21st-century sense of self.

“Before, I think you could feel like you understood your civilization. Now that’s not possible at the individual level; it has already gone beyond our ability to comprehend it,” Allenby said. “I don’t think we’ll ever see another Renaissance person, simply because there’s way too much information.”

Allenby serves Arizona State University as Lincoln Professor of Engineering and Ethics, professor of civil, environmental and sustainable engineering, and law professor. At ASU, he founded the Center for Earth Systems Engineering and Management and the Consortium for Emerging Technologies, Military Operations, and National Security. He was previously the Environmental, Health and Safety vice president at AT&T and has lectured at Chautauqua as part of the Lincoln Applied Ethics Series.

Continue reading

Chalker: ‘We are all on a journey, and more are included than excluded’

“We have heard today’s scripture many times, but the concept of the imperishable inheriting what is next sometimes goes over our heads. Paul was transformed because of the revelation of Jesus Christ. He was a Pharisaic Jew who believed the way to God was by strictly following the letter of the law. His experience with Jesus changed his whole perspective,” said the Rev. Kenneth Chalker at the Monday morning 9:15 a.m. Devotional Hour. His text was 1 Corinthians 15:50-54, and his title was “Spiritual Physics.”

“Jesus’ central message was about the Kingdom of God. His idea about what God is like rattled the cages of the authorities and challenged them,” Chalker said.

God’s kingdom, in Jesus’ message, was so expansive that it revealed a universe. Whether we accept Jesus as divine, he transformed people’s thinking about the Kingdom, who would inherit it and how we will continue after death.

Continue reading

Vilenkin addresses economy in social justice lecture

Rabbi Zalman Vilenkin of Chabad Lubavitch of Chautauqua will present the second lecture of his social justice series at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday in the Hall of Philosophy. Vilenkin will focus on the issues of wealth and poverty, entitlement and re-distribution as well as the obligations of society at large, and the individual, with regard to caring for those in need. The lecture will explore how Jewish literature deals with these moral issues.

Some of the questions that will be addressed are: What are the ‘rights’ and ‘responsibilities’ of the prosperous? Is there economic ‘equality’ in Jewish thought? What are the obligations of ‘Tzedaka’? Do the poor have ‘rights’ and ‘responsibilities’?

Continue reading
Guest pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk accompanies guest conductor Christopher Seaman and the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 during Saturday evening’s concert in the Amphitheater. Photo by Adam Birkan.

Gavrylyuk caps off CSO’s sumptuous Saturday program

Saturday evening proved quite sensational in the Amphitheater, where guest conductor Christopher Seaman and pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk offered outstanding work in the second of two concerts centered around the piano concerti of Sergei Rachmaninoff. Weather and Delta Airlines conspired to make me miss the first of these on Thursday; but Saturday’s program, sumptuously played by the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, was genuinely memorable. Fortunately, the concert was broadcast live via NPR affiliates in Buffalo and Pittsburgh.

Continue reading
Paul Raushenbush, senior religion editor for The Huffington Post, speaks in the Hall of Philosophy Monday afternoon. Photo by Michelle Kanaar.

Raushenbush discusses religion online, the blessings and the curses

When the Rev. Paul Raushenbush’s partner’s mother’s health worsened last year, events progressed rapidly. While the two were by her side in the hospital, they learned she had about two to three hours to live. Using his smartphone, Raushenbush connected to the Internet and found prayers for the dying. They said a prayer as she died, and one after she passed away.

That would not have been possible without Raushenbush’s cellphone or the wealth of religious information available online. The advent and progression of the Internet and digital technology are changing the way people in our world experience life, particularly the study and practice of religion.

On Monday, Raushenbush, senior religion editor at The Huffington Post, opened the Week Six religion theme, “The Life of Faith and the Digital Age,” with a lecture titled “Behold, I Set before You a Blessing and a Curse — The Power of the Internet in Our Spiritual Lives.” In his lecture, Raushenbush focused on the Internet’s positive and negative impacts on religion, and he also discussed how religious leaders and practitioners can transform it into a positive place for faith and spirituality.

Continue reading

Litton expects greatness from the orchestra, remembers the difficulty of playing the notes

It can take a lifetime for an opera singer to make it to the stage of the Metropolitan Opera, but guest conductor Andrew Litton was squeezed into the orchestra pit at age 10.

Litton’s godfather, legendary timpanist Richard Horowitz, would sneak his godson next to the timpani so Litton could watch the conductor, the orchestra and the opera from one of the most unique seats in the house.

Litton will conduct the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, now over halfway through its rigorous season with performances three times per week, tonight and Thursday at 8:15 p.m. in the Amphitheater. Under his baton, it will surely not be just another night in the Amp.

Continue reading