Arguing that popular digital platforms promote misguided assumptions about ethics and technology, this book lays out a new perspective on the relation between technological capacities and human virtue.

The authors criticize the “digital catechism” of technological idolatry arising from the insular, elite culture of Silicon Valley. In order to develop digital platforms that promote human freedom and socio-economic equality, they outline a set of five “proverbs” for living responsibly in the digital world: (1) information is not wisdom; (2) transparency is not authenticity; (3) convergence is not integrity; (4) processing is not judgment; and (5) storage is not memory. Each chapter ends with a simple exercise to help users break through the habitual modes of thinking that our favorite digital applications promote. Drawing from technical and policy experts, it offers corrective strategies to address the structural and ideological biases of current platform architectures, algorithms, user policies, and advertising models.

This book will appeal to scholars and graduate and advanced undergraduate students investigating the intersections of media, religion, and ethics, as well as journalists and professionals in the digital and technological space.

chapter |18 pages


part Part 1|1 pages

chapter 1|2 pages

The Current Crisis in Digital Media

chapter 2|20 pages

Historical Origins of the Digital Crisis

part Part 2|1 pages

chapter 3|17 pages

Information Is Not Wisdom

chapter 4|19 pages

Transparency Is Not Authenticity

chapter 5|20 pages

Convergence Is Not Integrity

chapter 6|22 pages

Processing Is Not Judgment

chapter 7|18 pages

Storage Is Not Memory

part Part 3|1 pages

chapter 8|19 pages

How to Think Differently about Tech

Corollaries to the Proverbs

chapter |14 pages


An Ethic of Non-Violence for the Digital Age