Facebook or Google taking over the world is a distant, speculative fear. Being harassed, humiliated, shunned and unemployed are immediate fears. We increasingly live in a digital panopticon ruled as much by mobs as by the overseers.
This past week brought one of those rare, splendid happenings — an academic conference of glitter and substance: "Human Ecology — Integrating 150 Years of Catholic Social Teaching," at the Catholic University of America.
My work has caused me to become perhaps unhealthily preoccupied with the problem of evil. Why do people commit evil? What conditions allow it to flourish? How is it best prevented and, when necessary, suppressed?