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Review of Sherry Turkle’s book

I’ve reviewed Sherry Turkle’s new book, Alone Together, in today’s Boston Globe. (Here is Newsweek’s review. )

8 Responses to “Review of Sherry Turkle’s book”

  1. thinx

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  2. I never understand what the point of these “progress damaging us” books and articles is. Are we supposed to be like “Hey, good point, let’s turn off the Internet!”

    Also changing != damaging.

  3. An interesting review of an interesting book and a more interesting phenomenon.

    I found the recent book, The Shallows, to be another cogent analysis of the unconscious effects created by the pervasiveness of internet technology.

    Just as Sherry Turkle may be caught in the web of psychoanalysis, proponents of the internet might also be caught in their own Web.

    Each spider is confined by the web it has woven.

    For twenty five years I did not have a television in my home. I was astounded in talking to others to discover how their lives were influenced and sometimes programmed by their interaction with the television screen. When others asked me why I did not have a television, I answered that while watching television, I was watching other people do things. I preferred to do things myself.

    I am not sure how I would respond to living without the internet, yet I do feel that many of my friends are relating to screens and personas rather than human selves.

    I still prefer to sit across the table and to look into the eyes of the person to whom I am speaking. I still prefer to read cloth hardcover books beside a winter hearth or outdoors beneath hemlocks and maples. I also need vast stretches of quiet solitude without any human interaction.

    I do not believe that solitude and intimacy are “values.”

    The fact that they can be considered to be values might indicate how far we have moved away from ourselves.

  4. In response to Brad’s comment: The progress of which you speak may be just a myth woven to ensnare us.

    Industrialization was deemed progress yet it delivered pollution, overpopulation, global warming, and consumerism as well. Is the shopping mall the pinnacle of human evolution? Progress may very well be extremely damaging.

    And yes, turn off the internet. Perhaps the more you are off-line the more you will be on-self!

    In the film, My Dinner with Andre, two guys sit at a table and talk for two hours. When I go to dinner with my former students, they continuously look down at their laps. They are not searching for a napkin that has fallen, but for a text message that might be missed. Instead of talking with me, they take time out to respond to the constant flow of incoming messages. When I requested that we go out for dinner together, I never expected that ‘together’ would include a vast number of strangers I had never met.

    Unless we lose the capacity to produce electricity, Techne is here to stay. The relationship between Techne and Psyche, however, is just beginning to be delineated.

    The pharmaceutical corporations are quick to extoll the virtues of progress when they showcase new wonder drugs. Within a few years, after actual use, some of these drugs are withdrawn because they are causing deaths rather than healing diseases.

    In our modern world of advertised values, it is quite easy to confuse the myth of progress with conscious evolution.

  5. Walking in the Woods on a Snowy Afternoon

    Whose woods these are, I think I know,
    He’s on-line trading futures though;
    He will not see me walking here.
    He’s much too busy making dough.

  6. For every hour spent outside, American children spend 70 hours in front of a monitor.

  7. Walking in the Woods on a Snowy Afternoon

    The woods are lovely, filled with sleet,
    But I have messages to tweet;
    And games to play that are quite neat,
    And games to play that are quite neat.

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