|St. Michael the Boss|
How does technology recast the relationship between liberty and virtue?
"To fashion our network double we have to resolve ourselves into our constituent parts, advance some and suppress others, make ourselves the medium without making our souls the message.
"The community of the Internet is now as spiritual as the communion of saints once was, so it is fitting that McLuhan thought Thomas Aquinas's angelology was important in understanding the media. Through social networking we receive not prayers and graces but links and likes. The church triumphant appears in virtual reality, where all things are possible and everything is realized virtually in the mystical body of the web. As in the resurrection of the body, logging off from your account gives you your body back, this time not glorified but fraught with anxiety, the church suffering after triumph rather than the reverse. Signed off from your account, you are now unaccounted-for. Reality itself becomes the afterlife, the postmodern No Exit where hell is virtual people. The advent of virtual reality, not to say the beginning of modern politics itself, detaches human beings from the consolations of church, city, and family that wayfarers in this life once thought they had. A late-modern Augustine could not see technology as just another dimension of alienation from our heavenly home. We are now aliens twice removed."