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Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other Paperback – October 2, 2012
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. As the digital age sparks increasing debate about what new technologies and increased connectivity are doing to our brains, comes this chilling examination of what our iPods and iPads are doing to our relationships from MIT professor Turkle (Simulation and Its Discontents). In this third in a trilogy that explores the relationship between humans and technology, Turkle argues that people are increasingly functioning without face-to-face contact. For all the talk of convenience and connection derived from texting, e-mailing, and social networking, Turkle reaffirms that what humans still instinctively need is each other, and she encounters dissatisfaction and alienation among users: teenagers whose identities are shaped not by self-exploration but by how they are perceived by the online collective, mothers who feel texting makes communicating with their children more frequent yet less substantive, Facebook users who feel shallow status updates devalue the true intimacies of friendships. Turkle 's prescient book makes a strong case that what was meant to be a way to facilitate communications has pushed people closer to their machines and further away from each other. (Jan.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
With the recent explosion of increasingly sophisticated cell-phone technology and social networking websites like Twitter and Facebook, a casual observer might understandably conclude that human relationships are blossoming like never before. But according to MIT science professor Turkle, that assumption would be sadly wrong. In the third and final volume of a trilogy dissecting the interface between humans and technology, Turkle suggests that we seem determined to give human qualities to objects and content to treat each other as things. In her university-sponsored studies surveying everything from text-message usage among teens to the use of robotic baby seals in nursing homes for companionship, Turkle paints a sobering and paradoxical portrait of human disconnectedness in the face of expanding virtual connections in cell-phone, intelligent machine, and Internet usage. Despite her reliance on research observations, Turkle emphasizes personal stories from computer gadgetry’s front lines, which keeps her prose engaging and her message to the human species—to restrain ourselves from becoming technology’s willing slaves instead of its guiding masters—loud and clear. --Carl Hays --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I was a computer mainframe professional, and today I am a serious diehard environmental minded individual. I firmly believe we can and must remove carbon from our lives, then reduce our population. I, like many, reflect understanding to arise and awaken to our evolution incorporating the robot into our lives. Asimov did it for me, early in my life, only for me to dream of the great possibilities. Now, I am more aware of consequences, both positive and negative, or the evolution developing within the human sphere of existence, thanks to Author Sherry Turkle’s work. The new (Turkel?) thought for me, means our progression into robotics is an evolution from carbon based life to give up to silicon-based life, as the world becomes too polluted to maintain a healthy carbon based social life forms. Blame it upon ourselves, Sherry for informing us, Asimov, or probably just on me for thinking this is a part of Author Sherry Turkle's deeper unstated meaning.
Either way you enter into your new understanding, after reading her work, you too may find her work to be a serious book.
If I could thank her in person, I would do so.
My personal feeling is: "Unlike a war between opposing realms, the environmental war will not cease with an official surrender or when all the wealth is plundered by the conqueror."--EnviroPhobe
Dr. Turkle gave the detailed data on observing this interaction. There are so many robots, that it is overwhelming: Eliza,
Furbis, Tamagotchis, Kismet, Cog, Zhu Zhu, Paro, My Real Baby, Aibo... They act as baby sitter, companion for seniors, pets, toys, ....
It is a fascinating book. Can the robot replace people so you do not have to visit your sick grand parents? The debate will continue for a long time. I recommend this book to all.
The story sends a wake up call to all of us who spend hours on Facebook, or Twitter. It accounts stories of how we are in love with texting, smartphones, apps and all the ways of being connected to each other without being connected in person. The first half of the book, goes into robots which I didn't find very interesting, as it does get repetitive like another reviewer said. What I expected to read from the summary of the book was all in the second half of the book.
Find out what technology is doing to our lives, and what it may mean for our future. From the beginning of Artificial Intelligence to Present day technologies of social communication, this book explains where we are headed and we are forced to question what all this new technology is doing to our social lives.