Posts Tagged ‘Albert Borgmann’

About The Device Paradigm

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

The Internet shows everything Chaos-Theory is talking about. When the Internet was working on full speed connections were made between people and systems that were never connected.

Out of the Internet something New is Emerging.

The Internet is also a major Force against everybody who wants to take over the power. Everything everybody is doing in secret appears on the Internet and although many people are trying to block the Freedom of Press it will take a major effort to do this.

Even the manipulation of the Search Engines by companies like Google want help because people mainly in the Open Source Community will always create new ways of searching.

Behind the Internet is a phenomenon called Abstraction. Abstraction is a method to Compress a Lot of Information. Abstraction is the Process of Moving UP.

There are two ways to Abstract. The first one just Moves Up but is never able to Come Down. When we have abstracted something we are unable to move to the source of abstraction without loosing information. The only way to this is to use Self-Reference (Fractals).

The American philosopher Albert Borgmann wrote many books about the problems of Abstraction. His main concept is called the Device Paradigm.

In Borgmann’s terminology, a device is an artifact or instrument or tool or gadget or mechanism, which may be physical or conceptual, including hardware and software.

According to Borgmann, it is a general trend of technological development that mechanisms (devices) are increasingly hidden behind service interfaces. Technology is thus regarded as a means to an end, an instrument or contrivance.

The effect of the Device Paradigm is that everything becomes the Same. In the end Every Thing is mapped into “Bits and Bytes“. If this happens we have been moved into Virtual Reality.

What we have to Understand is that Abstraction is a Tool of the Mind. We are now already in a state were we don’t realize this is the case. The Mind is disconnected from the Emotions.

When we Play in Virtual Reality we are able to Kill Virtual People without any problem. If we are in the Army we are using Devices that shield us from Reality. A pilot pushes a button and on his User-Interface the Bomb explodes. He is totally unaware of the effects in Reality.

The Device Paradigm also shows that in the end everything becomes a Commodity. We are not burning wood to produce warmth. We are using Energy and we really don’t know where it came from. Our relationship with Reality, Nature, is disconnected.

By applying technology as a means to an end we have given the Objective Cold Mind the possibility to Move UP. We have created The System.

The System generates the feeling of powerlessness. When we feel Powerless we become Aggressive and because we are unable to fight the System we find others who become the Target of our Aggression.

So we have to bring down the Level of Abstraction again. George Lakoff and many others have already discovered where Abstraction ends. It ends when we are unable to Imagine (make pictures of) what is abstracted.

When we imagine (Spirit) we are able to feel Emotions (Soul). When a Pilot is able to imagine what a Bomb is really doing to others he will think twice before he pushes the button. If we imagine that children are misused to produce our textile we will think twice before we buy.

Borgmann is highly influenced by Heidegger.

In our time, things are not even regarded as objects, because their only important quality has become their readiness for use. Today all things are being swept together into a vast network in which their only meaning lies in their being available to serve some end that will itself also be directed towards getting everything under control.”


About the Device Paradigm

About the System

About Koestler and Lakoff

About Russell and Lakoff