Several months ago, I posted something about Eben Moglen’s talk on free software and social justice. In it, he goes through how software will control the 21st century and how free software will enable us, the people, to achieve social justice and freedom without the need for violent upheaval.
The guest speaker at CCF was talking about social justice, and it was a very good talk. One of the questions that was asked of him was, what do we do? His answer: right now, we can’t do anything, except to work hard through school and get into a position where you can do something.
Something I’ve always tried to do is to connect everything I do back to my faith. Whether it’s design, math, or programming, there will always be some way to connect what we do with God. And why not? After all, he did make it so that ??¬? can never be true and that ?f?df(x)dx=f(x).
And so I’m always trying to find out what God would have me do with the skills and interests he’s placed in me. How does typography further the kingdom? How do web standards advance the kingdom? How do recursive descent parsers expand the kingdom?
So the obvious thing is to use your gifts at church. And obviously, that’s too easy. It’s great for discovering and developing your gifts, but Jesus called us to the ends of the earth. The extent of our talents should not be the church.
So what other ways are there to excercise your skills? Christ called us to go out and serve the weak, the needy, the broken, and in doing so, show them the love of Christ. The problem is that there’s so much to do. The hungry, the sick, the oppressed, it’s impossible to serve all of them especially with our finite skillsets.
I am studying software engineering. Presumably, I’m going to go on to become a software developer and come up with some hot algorithms to parse some hot language. But how does software accomplish the Great Commission? And that’s when I read and listened to Eben Moglen’s “Software and Community in the Early 21st Century”. Afterwards, what I had to do was made much clearer.