Reinventing the Wheel: A Buddhist Response to the Information Age

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Suggests that certain Buddhist notions may act as an antidote to the adverse effects of high-tech media.
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Editorial Reviews

Based on Buddhist teachings, Hershock (Asian studies, East-West Center, Honolulu) assesses the personal and communal costs of our global economic and technological commitments. He advocates reinventing the technological wheel<-->a wheel of the dharma<-->while acknowledging the need for new forms of practice suited to the modern rapid evolution of circumstances. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791442326
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/1999
  • Series: SUNY Series in Philosophy and Biology
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Table of Contents


Part One
The Axis of Factual Success: From Controlling Circumstances to Colonizing Consciousness

Chapter 1. Technology and the Biasing of Conduct: Establishing the Grammar of Our Narrative

Primordial Technology in the Drama of Childhood
Freedom As a Dialectic of Projecting Self and Objecting World

Chapter 2. The Canons of Freedom and Moral Transparency: In Technology and the Media We Trust

The Imagined Neutrality of Technology
Individual Freedom and the Obdurate, Objecting World
Just Saying No to the Logic of Choice

Chapter 3. Technology As Savior: It's Getting Better, Better All the Time

Technology: The Original Broken Promise
Toward an Ethics of Resistance

Chapter 4. The Direction of Technical Evolution: A Different Kind of Caveat

Cultivating Discontent: Advantaging Existence—Living Apart and at a Distance
The Corporation As Technology

Chapter 5. The New Colonialism: From an Ignoble Past to an Invisible Future

Extending Control through Cultivating Dependence: The Colonial Method
The Evolution of Colonial Intent into the Development Objective and Beyond
The Colonization of Consciousness

Chapter 6. Pluralism Versus the Commodification of Values

Is There a Universal Technological Path?
Independent Values, the Value of Independence, and the Erosion of Traditions

Part Two
Practicing the Unprecedented: A Buddhist Intermission

Chapter 7. Appreciative Virtuosity: The Buddhist Alternative to Control and Independence

Liberating Intimacy: A New Copernican Revolution
Responding to Trouble: The Character of Buddhist Technologies
Technological Difference: The Case of Healing
Unlocking the Treasury: A Matter of Will or the Fruit of Offering?
Practicing the Dissolution of Wanting

Part Three
The Wheel of Dramatic Impoverishment: The Crisis of Community in the Information Age

Chapter 8. Concentrating Power: Are Technologies of Control Ever Truly Democratic?

Control and the Conflicts of Advantage
Mediated Control and the "Democratic" Process
The Societal Nature of a Controlling Advantage
Just Saying No: A Case History of Technical Dilemma
The Meaningless Politics of Generic Democracy

Chapter 9. Narcissism and Nihilism: The Atrophy of Dramatic Attention and the End of Authentic Materialism

Rationalizing Subjectivity: The Imperative Splitting of the Nuclear Self
Nothing Really Matters Anymore, Not Even Matter
Iconography and the End of Materialism
Losing Our Direction: The Iconic Roots of Boredom
From Perception to Conception: Deepening the New, Lock Groove
The Commodity-Driven Translation of Desiring into Wanting

Chapter 10. The New Meaning of Biography: The Efficient Self in Calculated Crisis

Commerce and Commodity: The New Grammar and Vocabulary of "I Am . . ."
The Efficiency of Stress: Controlling Time and Misguiding Attention
The Infertility of Expert Mind
The Victimization of Suffering: An Expert Inversion
The Commodification of Dramatic Meaning
Consuming and Being Consumed: The Law of the Postmodern Jungle
The Rationality of Litter: Consuming Self, Consumed Community
The Production of Biographical Litter: Changing Minds in an Age of Lifestyle Choices

Chapter 11. The Digital Age and the Defeat of Chaos: Attentive Modality, the Media, and the Loss of Narrative Wilderness

A Reason to Be Naive: Disparities in the Metaphysics of Meaning
Calculation and Narration: Disparate Modes of World-Making
The Digital Defeat of Analogy: The Numerology of Rational Values
The Media and Digital Trouble: Suffering Alone Together
Mediation and Mediocrity
Media and the Declining Narrativity of Popular Culture
The Mediated Wilderness
The Density of Postmodern Time and Space and the Craving for Volume

Chapter 12. So What?



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