The Association for Learning Technology on
Heidegger hates the dam not because it damages the river but because it reduces it to something else, something that no longer stands on its own.
Heidegger’s essay has recently attracted attention in the field of educational technology. The essay itself is very complicated, so I am not going to attempt to analyse or critique Heidegger’s position on technology. However I feel that there is an important point worth putting forward for further thinking and discussion in relation to creation and disruption with new and emerging technologies.
‘Bringing-forth’ and ‘challenging-forth’
Humans are capable of two aligned but distinct ways of bringing about things:
◦“bringing-forth”, in which humans only give form to what already exists without disruption and control
◦“challenging-forth”, where humans control the productive process and, according to Heidegger, reduce it to something else, often inferior to its true essence.