Habits of the High-Tech Heart: Living Virtuously In the Information Age

by Quentin Schultze. Baker Academic, 2002.

'Habits of the High-Tech Heart 'is a thoughtful critique of the pervasive tendency to fall into what Schultze calls “informationism”. Schultze takes the role of constructive contrarian, placing the technological worldview, with its practices of efficiency, control, and individualism, under the authority of the Judeo-Christian worldview, with its practices of virtue, spiritual discipline, and life in the community of faith. His thesis is that advances in technology alone will never guarantee social, much less moral, progress. Schultze calls upon an array of philosophers, theologians, and authors to bear witness to the ancient virtues that form our moral framework. He challenges us to laugh at the illusion that we control our fate through technology, exhorts us to demonstrate authenticity, and encourages us to respect those who question whether online “community” can ever replace incarnational communion. In so doing, Schultze draws us back to the age-old questions: Where did we come from, where are we going, and what constitutes a good life along the way? What makes an individual or a society virtuous? How do we develop ethical character in ourselves and shape it in our children? Perhaps the best thing about Habits is that it does not present “Twelve Steps to Virtual Sanctity” or “The Seven Habits of Highly Virtuous Netizens.” Instead, Schultze asks the hard questions about purpose, meaning, and telos—precisely the ones we’ve been ducking all this time. Because this book is so important—not so much for its answers, but for the questions it poses—it needs to be widely engaged. It could inform a ministry board’s strategic planning, serve as the catalyst on a church elder retreat, or form the basis for an adult Christian education series in a parish.