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Mast talk to cover computing among Old Order Mennonites

Dr. Gerald Mast, a professor of communication at Bluffton University, will discuss “Joyful Submission and Network Separation in Old Order Mennonite Computing” in a campus colloquium on Friday, Nov. 20.

Free and open to the public, his talk will begin at 4 p.m. in Stutzman Lecture Hall in Centennial Hall.

The presentation explores how Old Order Mennonites “yield to the communal order of their church conference in their computing practices, even when such yielding reduces efficiency and undermines profit,” Mast explains. “At the same time, such yielding leads to innovative technology work-arounds such as the Classic Word Processor, a computer designed to be completely free from any possible digital network connections.

“Old Order Mennonite decisions about Internet use reflect the ways in which cultural boundary maintenance leads to both distinct forms of life and improvised technologies that support such forms of life,” he adds.

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