Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Borgmann, Technology, and Culture

One of the books I am now reading is Power Failure: Christianity In the Culture of Technology, by philosopher Albert Borgmann. Here are some deep Borgmann quotes:
"There is at least a drowsy and perhaps even a dawning sense in the contemporary culture that the paradigmatic blessings of technology are vacuous."
"All color, flavor, and texture has been bleached from material culture. It has been reduced to one aspect, namely, of power. The distribution of goods is taken to be crucially and finally a distribution of power."
"Material culture in the advanced industrial democracies spans a spectrum from commanding to disposable reality. The former reality calls forth a life of engagement that is oriented within the physical and social world. The latter induces a life of distraction that is isolated from the environment and from other people. There are pairs of terms that detail further the styles of life corresponding to the end points of the cultural continuum, namely, excellent vs. banal, deep vs. shallow, communal vs. individualist, celebratory vs. consumerist, and others."