I bought this book for the second half - on social media and its effects on human relationships - and so skipped the section on sociable robots. PerhaI bought this book for the second half - on social media and its effects on human relationships - and so skipped the section on sociable robots. Perhaps I will go back and read this section later.
I was a little hesitant after reading the introduction - Turkle is a psychoanalytically trained psychologist, and I was afraid that her writing would be focused on completely unprovable psychoanalytic theories. However, her area of expertise only comes out in her insistence that it is human relationships that create growth - and while unprovable, this is not an extreme stand.
I appreciated the discussions with teens regarding the ubiquitousness of cell phones and the changes it has caused in their lives as compared to mine at a similar age. This is the first writing I have seen that admits that etiquette has changed such that a phone call is now considered the kind of intrusion that an unannounced visit once might have been. And I am intrigued and plan to do some thinking myself on Facebook as a performance medium - are we sharing our lives with our friends, or are we performing them?...more
Lots of information, lots of examples. Gives me a lot to think about, and I'm still processing what I have learned.
This will give me a good foundationLots of information, lots of examples. Gives me a lot to think about, and I'm still processing what I have learned.
This will give me a good foundation in understanding similar books, written for a lay audience, and the underpinnings of some of the primary conflicts in our culture.
American politics is a struggle between people who believe that an 8th grade education should be sufficient to understand the issues facing us, and people who understand that it is not so.
American religion is a dichotomy between people who believe that understanding not only the Bible, but historical writings in religion and philosophy are important to understanding the word of God. And people who believe that faith and spirit are all you need to understand God's will, and in fact, that any study intended to instruct one in historical context will actually detract from faith and spirit.
American education has been, and continues to be, plagued by a misunderstanding of "democracy" - having high-achievers and low-achievers does not make a school undemocratic - as well as a very practical "preparation for life" curriculum which considers theory irrelevant in comparison to practice. Learning physiology, for example, has at times been considered less useful than learning how to exercise, although the latter is an extension of the former. It's not even so much that schools at varying points in the last 100 years have failed to teach students to think for themselves, it's that schools have at varying points assumed that the average student cannot think for him or herself....more
This was a fabulous read. I tried to postpone reading it until I'd finished Montaigne's essays, and I'm very glad that I didn't. Bakewell provides a lThis was a fabulous read. I tried to postpone reading it until I'd finished Montaigne's essays, and I'm very glad that I didn't. Bakewell provides a lot of backstory and history and context - things that a contemporary Montaigne reader would know, but we, 400 years later, don't have access to off the tops of our heads. Now I'm ready to jump in and start Montaigne over with a better understanding of the world he lived in....more
Interesting read. I read most of the book, but skipped Schopenhauer because I'm not brokenhearted and don't need his advice. Really appreciated the grInteresting read. I read most of the book, but skipped Schopenhauer because I'm not brokenhearted and don't need his advice. Really appreciated the grounding in the ancient philosophers - Socrates and Epicurus in particular, as I've not read much of the Western Canon yet. However, the quotations aren't sourced in the book, which makes me suspicious that they've been cherry-picked to death. Obviously, they are cherry-picked, but without being sure what translation they're from or having a way to verify the context, I feel less trusting overall. And I'm uncomfortable with that, because I've developed some respect for de Botton after reading this book, his website, and the School of Life in London with which he is affiliated....more
I've been pretty accepting of my introversion since I was young, but in recent years, juggling family, work, friends, etc., has made it difficult forI've been pretty accepting of my introversion since I was young, but in recent years, juggling family, work, friends, etc., has made it difficult for me to set aside the time I need to process my experience.
Helgoe's book provided some useful things to consider, some good suggestions, and some emotional support. Sure, I needed to take a week off of as many activities as I could schedule myself out of to make space to think about her exercises, but any introvert reading this will understand what a blessing it was to have an excuse to do that....more
The book started out with a drumroll of flair and drama - OH NOES! THE NARCISSISTS ARE COMING! - but settled down in the second chapter with some reseThe book started out with a drumroll of flair and drama - OH NOES! THE NARCISSISTS ARE COMING! - but settled down in the second chapter with some research references and scientific evidence. I am cautiously swayed by the evidence - I'd need a second opinion of the evidence to be more certain. I appreciate that the authors are honest both about the research used and their own biases - in several places, they admit to times and places where they have fallen to the competitive standard in homes or childcare, as well as admitting that research done using only college students as subjects cannot in all fairness be expanded to assume it applies to the population as a whole, particularly when the subject is something tied to age or cohort.
Worth reading if you're interested in psychology or in modern culture. Even more worth reading if you've ever rolled your eyes at the celebrity magazines lining checkout stands all around the US or wondered why the incredibly unreal "reality tv" shows are so popular....more
If Sarton had actually been the persona she pretends to in her journal, I would still have not liked her very much. Her writing is beautiful, and theIf Sarton had actually been the persona she pretends to in her journal, I would still have not liked her very much. Her writing is beautiful, and the words stand notwithstanding several issues that stick out for me. There are several quotes that do, in fact, describe me - "How Unconscious we are, often, that giving may actually be asking, asking at the very least for attention", her long discussions on the difficulty women, particularly married women, face in bring their creative self to the world ("It is harder than it used to be because standards of housekeeping and house-decorating have become pretentious and competitive" - history supports her here), and "I feel cluttered when there is no time to analyze experience."
However, I am put off by her temper - early in the book, she throws a screaming tantrum at a friend over a casual comment about the flowers in her house not being perfect. At 58. She confesses that this is typical of her temper.
I am also put off by her treatment of the stray cat on her property. Midway into the book, she tempts the cat in the house... and then seemingly forgets about her, and some months later, mentions that the cat is again outside and in heat. Drove me nuts. I even went back through to see if she'd mentioned letting the cat back OUT of the house somewhere, but no. The cat did not rate enough notice or comment until she began producing kittens.
All in all, it was an interesting read. I admire her phrasing, but she fails in the chief task of any character - tell me why I should care. Make me like you enough to want to know what's going to happen to you....more
I'm still reading this one, but I had a hard time putting it down. It's downright depressing in places, the way advertisers push to sell an image of cI'm still reading this one, but I had a hard time putting it down. It's downright depressing in places, the way advertisers push to sell an image of cheerful housewify-ness when that's simply not reality, and the number of people who buy into it and start telling themselves it's the way things *should* be. A good read, but expect to gnash your teeth some!...more