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Technology by Muslims for Muslims
The increase in digital technology penetration in Muslim-majority countries is creating revolutionary changes in many aspects, and not just when it comes to politics.
Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn
What’s the Latest Development?
Twitter, Facebook, YouTube: All of these sites played an integral role in the spread of last year’s Arab Spring. Now a recent study confirms that digital technology has penetrated Muslim-majority countries to the point where it is poised to do what technology has always done throughout history: change cultures in fundamental ways. Entrepreneurs are coming up with Islamicized versions of everything from Salamworld (a social networking site similar to Facebook but with added censors) to a sex site that claims to be compliant with sharia law. One researcher notes that young Muslims in particular “are adopting technology to distance themselves from older, traditional practices while also challenging Western models.”
What’s the Big Idea?
The digital revolution is also causing Muslims to discuss – and question – ideas that had long been simply accepted as fact, including, for example, women’s roles in Islamic society. Although there has been some resistance from various clerics, more are proving the old adage “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” by using technology to upload lectures and answer questions online. Of course, anonymous attacks and intolerance exist in this space as it does for the rest of the Internet. However, one blogger from Sudan believes that this is the exception, not the rule, and that “digital media will be to Islam what the printing press was to Christianity—and [could] ultimately lead to a Reformation.”
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Innovation in manufacturing has crawled since the 1950s. That's about to speed up.
A scientist in Sweden makes a controversial presentation at a future of food conference.
- A behavioral scientist from Sweden thinks cannibalism of corpses will become necessary due to effects of climate change.
- He made the controversial presentation to Swedish TV during a "Future of Food" conference in Stockholm.
- The scientist acknowledges the many taboos this idea would have to overcome.
Depiction of cannibalism in the Medieval ages.
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Credit: Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr/ Russian Direct Investment Fund via AP
Credit: Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP
- It's still unclear whether teletherapy is as effective as traditional therapy.
Talkspace.com<p>Former employees also questioned the legitimacy of certain interventions by the company into client-therapist interactions. For example, after one therapist sent a client a link to an online anxiety worksheet, a company representative instructed her to try to keep clients inside the app.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"I was like, 'How do you know I did that?'" Karissa Brennan, a therapist who worked with Talkspace from 2015 to 2017, told the Times. "They said it was private, but it wasn't."</p><p>Other former employees said the company would pay special attention to its "enterprise partner" clients, who worked at companies like Google. One therapist said Talkspace contacted her for taking too long to respond to Google clients.</p><p>Talkspace responded to the Times with a Medium <a href="https://medium.com/@founders_22883/talkspace-founders-respond-to-a-new-york-times-article-78d6f5c45c59" target="_blank">post</a>, which claimed the Times report contained false and "uninformed assertions."</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Talkspace is a HIPAA/HITECH and SOC2 approved platform, audited annually by external vendors, and has deployed additional technologies to keep its data safe, exceeding all existing regulatory requirements," the post states.</p>