HABITS OF THE HIGH-TECH HEART: Living Virtuously in the Information Age

Quentin J. Schultze, Author, Jean Bethke Elshtain, Foreword by . Baker $24.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-8010-2322-4

In a study that is long overdue, renowned media studies expert Schultze (Internet for Christians) provides a clear-eyed critique of the perils of being seduced by the flash and glitter of information technology. No Luddite himself, Schultze does not advocate the eradication of the Internet or other such technological services. Rather, he argues, we must "focus as much on the quality of our character as we do on technological innovation." He contends that our society is governed by "infomationism," a quasi-religious faith in the power of information to improve our lives. Our infomationist society, however, values short-term technological goals over long-term humanistic ones, uses people instrumentally and devalues religious teachings on morality, community and humility that, in Schultze's eyes, foster virtuous living. He argues that we need to restore a society where meaning is more than measurement, intimacy is valued over observation and deep moral wisdom is esteemed above superficial knowledge. He proposes six "habits of the heart"—discernment, moderation, wisdom, humility, authenticity and diversity—and contends that these habits require "organic community life" rather than the virtual "community" of the Internet. For many, Schultze will seem like a voice crying in the wilderness, for by now it is clear that information technology has far outdistanced our moral sensibilities about it. Yet, despite its sermonic structure (three main points and a conclusion) and its didactic tone, Schultze's book offers a clarion call to create an authentic moral discourse about technology. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 07/15/2002
Release date: 07/01/2002
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-8010-2781-9
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-4412-0686-2
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