As for information technology, my foray into that field was quite by accident. A child of the 70s, I remember distinctly the first computer that was brought into our home in the early 1980s. I suppose, I’d always been keen to play with this new gadget and eventually found a way to supplement my book-buying budget as an undergraduate student with work in IT. I was living in Seattle at the time, and it seemed like the most natural thing in the world to have a part-time job in IT. After having a horrible experience working as a computer lackey at my undergraduate institution (where I was constantly belittled by my over-bearing tyrant of a boss), I moved on to find better and more lucrative work in IT, eventually taking part in the dot-com economy directly before and after the burst of the dot-com bubble in 2001. All the while I was working on my Master’s degree at Fuller Seminary and preparing to start a PhD in the UK in 2002. With this heady mix of theology, millennial frenzy, and seemingly unlimited growth in the IT sector, it seemed to me that technology and the ways in which we approach technology, would soon be among the biggest issues for a practical theology to address.
Morehead's Musings: How have information technologies contributed "to the radical construction of identity, community, ethics, and even religious faith" as you discuss in your paper?
Morehead's Musings: Your article lists the top eleven cities for computer science related employment, including San Jose, Boulder, Framingham, Huntsville, Durham, Bethesda, Seattle, Colorado Springs, San Francisco, Austin, and the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria areas. How did you come to focus your research on Seattle, and do your observations apply equally well in general terms to these other parts of the country?
Morehead's Musings: What other factors are there that you suggest might contribute to the Seattle area's low-rates of religious affiliation?
Morehead's Musings: In your interviews and ethnographic research you also found diversity in the spiritual habits and interests of those in Seattle. Can you summarize some of this?
Morehead's Musings: Michael, thanks again for making some time to explore this important area of cultural, social and theological reflection.