After some careful reflection (by that I mean reading Heidegger until my nose starts to bleed – you think I’m over exaggerating? I am a dramatic person but, go ahead. Read “The Question Concerning Technology” and let us see who’s being so dramatic. I thought as much.), I have decided to define technology more of a way of thinking. For today, at least, as I attempt to unpack some of Heidegger’s work for you, that is what we’re going to go with.
Now that that is settled (and to think I made an entire blog post when I could’ve just written a single paragraph…what can I say, I am a master BS’er), let me briefly explain why we will define it as such. It cannot be as simple as the instruments we work with every day, while it is, it also isn’t. I’ll try and make it simple: (1) technological instruments are a result of an understanding we have of modern physics (2) we understand modern physics as we know it due to a technological way of thinking (3) this technological way of thinking has to precede modern physics (THEREFORE,) technology precedes science not chronologically, but historically (Heidegger 23). So, now we have this notion that technology in a way precedes science. Here is why it’s important, and it is a doozy. Get up, go to the bathroom, grab a family-friendly (or not) beverage, and keep an open mind.
Heidegger often uses a specific term a lot in this writing. As a matter of fact (using my handy dandy CTRL + F), it pops up 57 times in the reading. This magical term is “enframing” and in my eyes, it is the key behind “The Question Concerning Technology”. As the translator puts it in the notes, it is a sort of a “calling-forth”, a “challenging claim”, a destining (Heidegger 19). Technology IS an enframing. Of us, for us, to us, who knows, and does it matter? Maybe, maybe not. Is it positive or negative or neutral, all of the above or none of it? Uh, oh…….did I do it again? Did I just, yeah I just did. Now the question is, did I do that because it’s almost midnight or because I genuinely planned on stopping here? Did I do this for your sake or mine? The world will never know that one. Check back in next week, where we might or might not talk about this “destining” technology has in store, had in store, is currently IN store for us.