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The Second Self: Computers & the Human Spirit (20th Anniversary)

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  142 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
In The Second Self, Sherry Turkle looks at the computer not as a "tool," but as part of our social and psychological lives; she looks beyond how we use computer games and spreadsheets to explore how the computer affects our awareness of ourselves, of one another, and of our relationship with the world. "Technology," she writes, "catalyzes changes not only in what we do but ...more
Paperback, 372 pages
Published September 30th 2005 by MIT Press (MA) (first published January 1st 1984)
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Saadia Carnes
Jan 17, 2012 Saadia Carnes rated it it was amazing
Such a fascinating book. If you are doing any type of project on how the Internet and social media relate to people this should definitely be on your list. Very well written and an enjoyable read for a scholarly work.
Clay Williams
Feb 06, 2016 Clay Williams rated it liked it
As a computer scientist who thinks a lot about user experience, I am immensely interested in the topics covered in this book. Surprisingly, at times I struggled to stay engaged with it. For example, in the section on children and computers, I felt I fully understood the author's key points, but upon looking ahead, I saw I had chapters to go. These chapters primarily reiterated what had already been said, making the reading more of a slog than a pleasure. Although I recommend the book to others w ...more
Abner Rosenweig
Nov 01, 2014 Abner Rosenweig rated it liked it
Turkle offers some good commentary on the relationship between humanity and computers, and how computing is, in essence, a new category of being that is redefining our humanity. I was disappointed by the heavy amount of ethnographic research early on. While interviews may support sociological claims, they make the writing feel dated. Also, I was reading this book for a more abstract and philosophical consideration of the topics. This philosophical discussion does come in the latter part of the b ...more
Helen Heath
Nov 08, 2010 Helen Heath rated it really liked it
Shelves: phd
Interesting study on how we place value and human attributes onto electronic things like computers and Tamagotchi. A bit dated now however, children these days (that I know) of 9-11 do not cry when their Tamagotchi dies, they know it isn't alive.
Jan 11, 2010 Dave rated it really liked it
I find this quite fascinating, and I'm only on the first few chapters, asking children "Are computers alive?"
The answers she gets are very interesting.
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Sherry Turkle is Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT and the founder (2001) and current director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self. Professor Turkle received a joint doctorate in sociology and personality psychology from Harvard University and is a licensed clinical psychologist.

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