Alone Together Hardcover – 3 Feb 2011
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"The idea of gadgets betraying us takes on a more lurid hue when we consider having sex with robots"!!! They go on to call the book "subtle and interesting."
About the Author
Sherry Turkle is the Abby Rockefeller Mauze Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT, the founder and director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self, and a licensed clinical psychologist. She is the author or The Second Self and Life on the Screen. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
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Top Customer Reviews
Provocatively, the main refrain is that in an online culture we are always connected (Turkle says `tethered'), but are rarely (meaningfully) connecting. Although (somewhat ironically) one may hear the same sentiment in a current commercial for a well-known matchmaking website, Turkle's nuanced stance `is not romantically nostalgic, not Luddite in the least'; indeed, she remains `cautiously optimistic'. This is a seriously reflective work well-informed by extensive ethnographic studies. The focus on authenticity and intimacy recalls the concerns voiced by Socrates in Plato's 'Phaedrus' about an earlier technological development--publishing one's ideas in written form--in particular the fear that communication at a distance would undermine genuine (face-to-face) human discourse. This has been a recurrent anxiety throughout the history of communication technologies.Read more ›
In effect, this is two books. The first half deals with the kind of interactive robotics that can be introduced precisely because of our neglect of one another: comfort robots for the elderly and interactive ones for kids. The stories that emerge from Turkle's observations of interactions between people and machines in this context are unquestionably disturbing. The common justification is that, given most people working in old age or child care don't bring their human qualities to bear in their work, so what if a robot replaces them? So, here we have the best minds of the age working in well funded labs to design robots that will release us from our obligations towards one another. Robots, Turkle warns, will turn out even better than humans as they won't ever let us down, and the idea clearly alarms her.
The second section is about how the always-on network has altered our perception of social engagement with one another.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A thought provoking read. With three teenagers in the house it is good to have some evidence based understanding of the potential effects of technology on our lives.Published 10 months ago by Speedreader
Quite the dullest volume I have attempted to read this year. Unless you are an 85 yr old who has never used the internet or met a young person it has nothing at all to tell you.Published 14 months ago by D J Teader
A highly thoughtful elaboration of key ethical issues concerning us today and into the foreseeable future. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Josey De Rossi
What we all really know but are a little afraid to admit.
Whilst Sherry Turckle - may not have all the answers, this book, no doubt, will ultimately be seen as an important... Read more
A refreshing antidote to the slack-jawed utopianism of so much that is written about the Web and its impact on our lives. Read morePublished on 5 July 2013 by mojohand
I really wanted to like this book. Honestly I did, it deals with a fascinating topic. Sadly however, I found this far too anecdotal, repetitive and bias. Read morePublished on 23 Jun. 2013 by ChrisE