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Habits of the High-Tech Heart: Living Virtuously in the Information Age [Paperback]

By Quentin J. Schultze (Author) & Jean Elshtain (Foreword by)
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Item description for Habits of the High-Tech Heart: Living Virtuously in the Information Age by Quentin J. Schultze & Jean Elshtain...

From a leading communications expert comes this provocative and fascinating look at the impact of the Internet and digital technology on society. Schultze offers readers ways to live "habits of the heart" which draw on the wisdom of the past and the virtues of the Judeo-Christian tradition.

Publishers Description
The Internet is everywhere. Chat rooms and instant email messages have taken the place of letters and phone calls. The Internet has changed the way we do business, shop, communicate, and even meet people. In many ways our lives are easier and more convenient. But what price do we pay for this convenience?
"Habits of the High-Tech Heart" addresses the major drawbacks to the network computerization of our society and the growing tendency to substitute technology and innovation for morality and virtue. Quentin Schultze argues that the cyber-revolution is a mythology of progress that is fueled by informationism, a quasi-religious faith that falsely assumes information itself can improve our lives. Cyberculture assumes a technical solution to every problem. It breeds individualism at the cost of community and values speed, efficiency, and convenience over quality, morality, and virtue.
The solution, Schultze argues, is not to dismantle our growing technologies but to pay more attention to the "habits of the heart" as described by Alexis de Tocqueville and made popular by Robert Bellah and his colleagues in Habits of the Heart (discernment, moderation, wisdom, humility, authenticity, and diversity). These habits, which embody the wisdom of the past and the virtue and morality of the Judeo-Christian tradition, must reshape our understanding of digital technology. Greatly influenced by the insights of Vaclav Havel, Schultze calls for a renewal of community and offers readers ways to live by habits of the heart in the information age.
"Habits of the High-Tech Heart" is a provocative and engaging book that will foster dialogue among philosophers, theologians, technology experts, and all those concerned with the impact technology has had on our society. And while it is both comprehensive and scholarly, "Habits of the High-Tech Heart "is engaging and accessible enough for the thoughtful lay reader.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Baker Academic
Pages   256
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 5.96" Height: 0.74"
Weight:   0.84 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2004
Publisher   Baker Academic
ISBN  0801027810  
ISBN13  9780801027819  

Availability  0 units.

More About Quentin J. Schultze & Jean Elshtain

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Quentin Schultze (Ph.D., University of Illinois) is professor of communication arts and sciences at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. A nationally known communications expert, Schultze is the author or coauthor of several books, including High-Tech Worship?, Habits of the High-Tech Heart, Internet for Christians, Communicating for Life, and Dancing in the Dark: Youth, Popular Culture, and the Electronic Media.

Quentin J. Schultze was born in 1952.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living

Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > Contemporary Issues

Reviews - What do customers think about Habits of the High-Tech Heart: Living Virtuously in the Information Age?

Informationism derails any quest for moral wisdom   Jan 7, 2008
Informationism derails any quest for moral wisdom by emphasizing the is over the ought, observation over intimacy, and measurement over meaning.

This well thought out book lays bare the concern that without thoughtful use of technology it can and does produce a world in which human and humane concerns suffer. Schultze outlines what he intends to do and then does it.

Raises valid issues, but lacks follow-through  Mar 16, 2007
There's a lot of passion in this book. You can feel that Schultze earnestly wants change from an increasingly shallow, dismissive society that has developed a tendency to cling to superficiality. And he presents a good case for a lot of the points that support that view of society. But some of his examples and discussions have a tendency to fall flat--they miss a crucial aspect of the technology they discuss; they hit only the negative aspects of a situation without addressing the positive; or they focus on the extremes of a behavior rather than a more moderate practitioner. It seemed that there were also some issues where, rather than looking for broad support for the issue, Schultze would cite a single source repeatedly to address it.

This book was frustrating because you _could_ see the veracity of a number of issues that Schultze brought up, but, at the same time, they were intermixed with more dubious issues. Furthermore, rather than addressing the issues as he brought them up, the author spent seven chapters painting a gloom-and-doom picture in which you desperately _wanted_ to know how to address these problems, and then, in a rushed final chapter, he provided a general series of solutions (the titular habits) that address the issues only indirectly. ("Each one is suggestive rather than definitive, since I, too, am lost in the digital miasma.") In fact, the book is less about the habits than about the perceived problems that Schultze suggests that the lack of these habits create--and, unfortunately, it feels as though the causality link can be rather tenuous at times during the book.

Much of the book is hit-or-miss. Some valid points well worth considering are brought up, but amidst other points that are weakly or speciously argued and considered. The conclusion itself feels somewhat lacking: although the societal problems may indeed result from individual failings, there is a lack of a sense of how to propagate the solution-habits to a level where they are effectual instead of leaving islands of attempted virtue in a societal sea that is more virtual, as well as a lack of conviction that the habits will address everything that's been raised.
This ain't Shakespeare, Baby!  Mar 1, 2004
Uh huh, this guy's a genius. Technology will soon take over and kill us all, UNLESS you read this book and develop the so-called "habits of the high tech heart". Baloney! My computer has made no attempts on my life since I bought it, and it's out of warranty to boot! Skip this book unless you get chills everytime your alarm clock wakes you up. Eeeck! Technology! I'm trembling! Technology's out to get you! Haha, or so Schultze would like you to believe!
On The Mark  Oct 16, 2003
Dr. Schultze eloquently unmasks the successes of technology to show how values have been displaced. He does not treat technology itself as an evil, but he does spell out the Pyrrhic victory in store for us in our never ending quest for faster messaging and the overzealousness of capturing information.

Dr. Schultze offers some sobering thoughts for chief information officers in all industries as well as the CEO's. He has managed to focus on the very heart of what our technical world has done to unravel the cloth of our character. It was uplifting and encouraging for me after 20 years in the industry to realize that others are noticing this trend - a trend that needs reversal. His observations align well with the reasons many software engineers are looking at agile programming practices (e.g. extreme programming, SCRUM etc) which establish their foundations on direct interaction between developers, nurturing the courage to do the right thing and realizing the basic humanity of developers themselves.

In pure economics alone, we are finding the deception of our quest for more computing capacity. While upholding Moore's law to double computing capacity every eighteen months, industry has also realized that the cost of research and development has doubled every 18 months as well. Basic arithmetic tells us there will be a breaking point. Dr. Schultze tells us without explicitly doing the math we can look into our hearts and see another breaking point - a breaking point of common decency and the human spirit.

The internet has about as much to do with morality as the telephone. The author makes some interesting observations but not enough to fill a book and certainly not anything ground breaking.

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