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The Second Self: Computers & the Human Spirit (20th Anniversary)
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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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
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
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.
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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.More about Sherry Turkle...