Borgmann is one of the few Philosophers of Technology writing from a Christian perspective, even though this book doesn’t read like the work of a conservative evangelical. By “technology,” Borgmann means “to designate not just an ensemble of machines and procedures, but a type of culture, that kind that is characteristic of the advanced industrial societies and has been developing and gaining definition for two and a half centuries”(p. 7).     Technology with all of its advancements which prove useful, can often only give “virtual” substitutes. These substitutes aren’t quite as good as the real thing.

Borgmann wishes for his readers to grasp the significance (perhaps ritual significance) of everyday practices. He calls these “focal practices”. Preparing and eating a meal together in a patterned, meaningful way is one example of what he calls a focal practice. Doing so requires time, face to face communication, and realization of the significance of food, and the heritage of the recipe or procedure. For the Christian, I would say that these things can take on a spiritual significance. This sort of significance is contrasted with a base mindset which wants immediate gratification and little effort.

In a technological society which requires long work and separation from others, the corresponding use of leisure time is often use of technology for the purpose of entertainment. In this cultural model, one works to gain the use of technology for gratification. In effect technology is the master and people are slaves to it. For this reason, focal practices are important because they break the technological cycle and create space for us to be human, and spiritual.

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