Life on the screen: identity in the age of the Internet

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Simon & Schuster, 1995 - Computers - 347 pages
'Life on the Screen' is a fascinating and wide-ranging investigation of the impact of computers and networking on society, peoples' perceptions of themselves, and the individual's relationship to machines. Sherry Turkle, a Professor of the Sociology of Science at MIT and a licensed psychologist, uses Internet MUDs (multi-user domains, or in older gaming parlance multi-user dungeons) as a launching pad for explorations of software design, user interfaces, simulation, artificial intelligence, artificial life, agents, 'bots,' virtual reality, and 'the on-line way of life.' Turkle's discussion of postmodernism is particularly enlightening. She shows how postmodern concepts in art, architecture, and ethics are related to concrete topics much closer to home, for example AI research (Minsky's 'Society of Mind') and even MUDs (exemplified by students with X-window terminals who are doing homework in one window and simultaneously playing out several different roles in the same MUD in other windows). Those of you who have (like me) been turned off by the shallow, pretentious, meaningless paintings and sculptures that litter our museums of modern art may have a different perspective after hearing what Turkle has to say.

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LIFE ON THE SCREEN: Identity in the Age of the Internet

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More than a decade after her groundbreaking study, The Second Self (1984), MIT psychologist Turkle returns to the subject of human views of and relationships with computers (and through computers ... Read full review

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internet personas at the dawn of the cyber age. Read full review



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About the author (1995)

Sherry Turkle is Abby Rockefeller Mauz? Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT and Founder and Director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self. A psychoanalytically trained sociologist and psychologist, she is the author of "The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit" (Twentieth Anniversary Edition, MIT Press), "Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet, " and "Psychoanalytic Politics: Jacques Lacan and Freud's French Revolution." She is the editor of "Evocative Objects: Things We Think With, Falling for Science: Objects in Mind, " and "The Inner History of Devices, " all three published by the MIT Press.

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