This Tuesday, Oct. 31, marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s publication of his 95 Theses, an action that sparked the Protestant Reformation. To commemorate that event, and in hope of igniting a different type of reformation, Guardian columnist John Naughton plans to post his own 95 theses.
Naughton’s list is not in opposition to any religious power — as Luther’s 1517 dissent was to the Roman Catholic Church of his day — but to a more threatening power. Borrowing Neil Postman’s phrase, Naughton says we worship at the Church of Technopoly, “and what we worship is digital technology.”
In today’s Guardian, Naughton writes that we need a 21st-century Luther to challenge this new religion. This Tuesday, he will do his part by posting his own 95 theses against the church of tech at 95theses.co.uk. In the meantime, you can read a couple of those theses in his Guardian column.
While Naughton’s piece contains elements of technophobia, it’s a though-provoking piece, and anyone who uses digital platforms to communicate, promote or market — and who doesn’t? — should take note. It’s also a good history lesson for those of us who are interested in such things.
P.S. – If you think you’ve seen John Naughton’s name on this blog before, you’re correct. I wrote this 2014 post, What is the ‘media of social media?, while reading Naughton’s From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: Disruptive Innovation in the Age of the Internet.