Thanks for Ned Odegaard’s terrific article in the November Journal. So well written and so helpful. You might find the following of some interest: (If not, it is OK. My wife just gets tired of listening to me and I need to talk to someone!)
I worked at The Mother Church as a manager in the Information Technology group in the early 1970s. During that time the Administration, Sunday School, and Colonnade buildings were being built, and I was there when we moved into those lovely structures. It was an exciting time and a sure demonstration of growth.
Now, as we sort of “downsize” the administrative processes and have moved back from these buildings into refurbished space in the old Publishing House, I am reminded again of the experience of moving our big mainframe computers into the new computer room in the Administration building. Wow. Big shiny glass room, large disk storage devices, big mainframe boxes, tape drives, cables, and all of the techie goodies!
Exciting times for a nerd.
But with that thought comes the realization of how much smaller computers are now, how much more compact and concentrated all technology has become. And ... how this miniaturization in technology has not reduced the power and capacity of the technology, but, in fact, has multiplied many times over the scope and range of applications, the speed of processing, and achieved global communications capabilities unheard of just a few years ago. In another area, one of the assignments my group had was to replace the old Mergenthaler linotype machines and the hot metal operations for The Christian Science Monitor and the religious periodicals with electronic keyboards and computerized composition.
While this downsized the physical operation tremendously, it opened the door to electronic transmission and publishing. It certainly didn’t diminish the output or its effect.
Given that as a backdrop, it is quite reasonable for the physical requirements of the “Main Frame Processors” of our movement, namely the Board of Directors, the Trustees, the Treasurer, the Clerk, all of the employees, and all who sail in this great ship of Christian Science to change and require less space as well. With improved technology for information processing, global communications in a hand-held device, ability to view live conferences and meetings worldwide, and electronic media, reducing space need not be a step backwards. And thinking and praying don’t take up much space either.
I like to think of the times when as a young boy I took a magnifying glass and concentrated the sun’s rays onto a piece of paper and burned a hole with those focused rays. Gathering all of the rays into that concentrated spot unleashed the power of the sun. In like manner, with our loyal workers in Boston moving into more concentrated space, we may witness Mrs. Eddy’s view that “... the focus of ideas, bring light instantaneously, whereas a thousand years of human doctrines, hypotheses, and vague conjectures emit no such effulgence”
(Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy , p. 504).