Thursday, January 24, 2008

Reviews

Erik Davis, author of Techgnosis, one of the key influences behind Digital Dharma, just wrote (on 1/22) a fine review on his blog. Here is an excerpt:

Most generally, you can read Digital Dharma as a creative and insightful study into the metaphoric connection between technological regimes and consciousness, in its social, perceptual and “higher” aspects. With his technical detail, Vedro only deepens the fundamental point: that the technical properties of these technologies hold lessons for us, regardless of how we use them on a social level, because they emerge from and reflect our consciousness in the first place. He also acknowledges the dark side of these regimes, and is admirably sober about some of the deep difficulties—psychological as well as social—that lie ahead as we wrap ourselves in a cocoon of interconnectivity. In intensifying the feedback loops that fringe and compose consciousness, media technologies have let loose a process that, in cultural and spiritual terms, can perhaps only be called apocalyptic. Vedro does not shy away from the hypermediated Omega Point glimmering from around the bend, though he does not spend as much time with it as I would like. I only wish I could share Vedro’s fundamental optimism, which is, nonetheless, refreshing.
  • Another interesting response to my talk at the Silicon Valley "Future Forum" was posted by D.J. Cline.

Prepublication Reviews

  • Steven Vedro has broken new ground in his astute analysis of our technological development as a psycho-spiritual process. He is the first to put it in such fascinating and elegant terms that gives new meaning to our awakening as a species. —Anodea Judith, Ph.D., author, Eastern Body, Western Mind; Waking the Global Heart
  • Your work and insights are too important to go unnoticed, especially in these times when most trends in mass media are away from humanistic and spiritual values. We need visionaries like you to draw our attention to the difference between information and wisdom, and to the relationship between the digital and the divine. Bravo! —Christian de Quincey, Ph.D., co-founder, The Visionary Edge; Professor of Philosophy and Conscious Studies, John F. Kennedy University; author, Radical Nature and Radical Knowing
  • Exciting and engaging; a book waiting to happen. Steven Vedro uses the language of information technology to describe the soul's journey or evolution (and vice versa). A very rich way to tell the ongoing human story, wherever it may be leading! —Neil Douglas-Klotz, Ph.D., author, The Genesis Meditations; The Hidden Gospel; and The Sufi Book of Life
  • Whether you read it as metaphor or metaphysics, Digital Dharma is an ingenious and illuminating exploration of the hidden links between communications technology and the human psyches they mirror, enfold, and amplify. Steven Vedro knows his stuff, about media and about the mysteries, but he writes as a peer, not a guru. Tune in and turn on. —Erik Davis, author, TechGnosis and The Visionary State
  • Steven Vedro has written a fascinating book that intertwines the ancient wisdom of India with his consummate knowledge of the modern technology of information transfer. Comparing the various Chakras with the history of human communication, he presents the reader with startling fresh insights into the connection between the world of technological advances and a more fundamental ground of being. A compelling read. —Leonard Shlain, author, The Alphabet Versus the Goddess; Leonardo's Brain; Art and Physics
  • I'd compare this book with Capra's Tao of Physics. Capra showed that there are parallels between the metaphors of modern science and those of spiritual traditions. Vedro shows parallels between the metaphors of communication technology and those of spirituality. I am impressed. Yes, it is possible to get an intro into spiritual thinking using the Internet and Infosphere, especially, if you have the help of Digital Dharma. —Dr. Amit Goswami, author, The Visionary Window and The Self-Aware Universe
  • In his first book, Vedro, a telecommunications consultant, explores the intersection of Eastern philosophy and the digital age. "I am not a guru or enlightened master," he writes. "While this book is richly footnoted... it is not an intellectual treatise but rather a statement of personal wonderment at the connectedness of the inner and outer worlds." In succeeding chapters, Vedro follows the seven chakras of energy yoga, linking each to landmarks in the development of communications technology. For example, he connects the throat chakra to the Internet and in doing so advances interesting theories about both, including the idea that the Internet challenges us to "tell the truth-and confront lies-compassionately." In each chapter he details the effects technology has had on human development, from both a personal and global perspective, all while providing fascinating insight into its technical workings. He accompanies his narrative with an impressive array of quotations from media gurus like Marshall McLuhan and spiritual teachers such as Ken Wilber. Vedro is optimistic about the fast-expanding world of digital technology, some may say simplistically so. Yet his optimism is based on a healthy understanding of technology's pitfalls, and his absorbing book sheds much light on two normally disparate subjects. -- Publishers Weekly: (7/23/2007) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
  • Rejecting Luddite anguish about the negative effects of the digital age, Digital Dharma is not just another guidebook for turning off the Internet or tossing the television out the window. Vedro has written an intellectually rigorous instructional guide to help readers realize and expand the possibilities for spiritual and technological understanding… The author's writing is accessible as well as cleverly amusing… Readers generally interested in spirituality, meditation and yoga will find Vedro's work original, but it is the technologically-minded who will be the most challenged to scrutinize their inner lives. Digital Dharma's fresh take on the digital age tests mundane ways of thinking and being in the information age. -- Chris Arvidson, Nov/Dec. 2007 issue of ForeWord Magazine [read entire review]