July 9, 2015
New plans for the Googleplex may evoke a monastery, but to whom or what does St. Google wants its acolytes to be devoted?
I have similar concerns about whether or not faith can be lived out apart from immersion in the world. Jesus' example shows us a deep identification and involvement with the world. Aren't we called to do likewise? Salt needs to come out of the saltshaker to be effective, right? However, after doing some studying at the Dominican Center last year, I've come to the conclusion that some are called to a special kind of separation from the world. And they would say that all Christian efforts in the world are more effective because of the prayers of those who are separate and spend hours of each day in prayer. And aren't we all more rich due to some of the literature that has been created out of that monastic experience. Let's not be so quick to judge this special call of our brothers and sisters.
"To whom or what does the monastery at St. Google wants its acolytes to be devoted?"
What a poignant question to probe the heart of the matter. I'm not the least familiar with Google's design intentions here, but I've read before about the many perks Google offers its employees in a shameless attempt to convince them to spend more time at work by bringing more of their "away from work" activities to the workplace. Their philosophy is simple: people who feel at home while at work more efficiently produce the capital that Google thrives on: human innovation.
I guess on the surface it would seem Google ostensibly wants its "acolytes" to be devoted to imaginative problem-solving. But I suspect that it's primarily problem-solving in the service of the dual gods of profit and prosperity.
What I wonder is what god they are calling their people to leave the world and devote their lives to or to worship.
What a thoughtful observation, Bonnie. I agree with you that the world is changed in ways we don't fully understand by the prayers of those who have devoted their lives to living apart. I will be the first to confess I don't understand how that works. Jesus modeled both engagement and withdrawal, and we need to learn from both of these disciplines. But if I were forced to pick one, I think you can guess that I'd pick engagement.
JKana, I like the idea of people feeling at home when they're at work. We try to cultivate that vibe here at Convergence Design. It gets a little creepy, though, when you get the feeling that the company just wants 100% of your time: waking, sleeping, eating, whatever. There's a word for that: slavery.
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