Once upon a time there was no world-wide-web. The only computers in existence were industrial-sized military and research-based units that kicked off enough BTUs to heat Bar Harbor. Those of us interested in religion found our information by stalking shadowy library stacks and clawing through ancient tomes of arcane information. If someone wanted to find you, they shoved a letter in the postbox and trusted that the U. S. government knew where you were. I never used a computer regularly until I began my Ph.D., and then it was only a glorified typewriter, qwerty on steroids.
Suddenly I found myself in the technological age. Jobs were announced online and the preferred method of communication was email. Cell phones hadn’t hit big yet, but you could search for someone online using search engines that weren’t really engines at all. And then the information could be displayed in color, for those who could afford it! Pictures could be uploaded, but this took about an hour per shot on dial-up. Within a decade everyone trusted internet information like their best friend. Somewhere along the way I searched for my own name, figuring Wiggins to be somewhat unusual. To my surprise, I found another Steve Wiggins, and one involved in religion, no less. To my horror, he turned out to be a Christian rock musician! Now I began to wonder, as my career bumped along the bottom of the academic deep-ocean floor, never finding that fabled full-time teaching career that is said to exist, if I might be the victim of mistaken identity. Have deans and department chairs searched for “Steve Wiggins” and brought up my internet Doppelganger?
Technology has changed even the way we practice religion. It has changed the way we perceive reality. As I sit here blogging away, still seeking that mythic fulfillment of an academic job that will pay the rent, I wonder what the other Steve Wiggins is doing. Has his career suffered from being cross-wired with that of a liberal ex-professor who has an interest in ancient goddesses? Maybe miracles do occur after all!