Virtual Identity


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  • Virtual Identity

    1. 1. Cultural Identities postmodernism brought down to (virtual) earth
    2. 2. Life on the Screen <ul><li>Sherry Turkle (1995) Life on the Screen </li></ul>
    3. 3. MUDS
    4. 4. Doug <ul><li>‘ I split my mind…I can see myself as being two or three or more. And I just turn on one part of my mind and then another when I go from window to window. I’m in some kind of argument in one window and trying to come onto a girl in a MUD in another, and another window might be running a spreadsheet program …and then I’ll get a real time message, and I guess that RL - it’s just one more window.’ (Turkle: 291) </li></ul>
    5. 5. Mind-space: Fantasy and Imagination
    6. 6. Culture of calculation/culture of simulation Opaque Transparent/with depth Non-linear Hierarchical Fluid Logical Decentred Linear Postmodernist Modernist
    7. 7. Culture of calculation/culture of simulation Computers can extend a physical presence Computers can extend a person’s intellect Characterised by complexity and decentring. Intelligence cannot be programmed in but emerges through interaction. Centralised structures and programmed rules Products to paint, draw, fly in cockpits Limited to typing commands 1990s (Postmodernist) 1980s (modernist)
    8. 8. Are we living life on the screen or in the screen?
    9. 9. The Seductions of the Interface <ul><li>“When I want to write and don’t have a computer around, I tend to wait until I do. In fact, I feel that I must wait until I do” (29). </li></ul>
    10. 10. Of Dreams and Beasts <ul><li>“ Children, as usual, are harbingers of our cultural mindset” (82). And as children become more and more immersed in the computer culture, their original question has changed. Today’s children no longer ask &quot;is it (the computer) alive?&quot; They recognize that the machine is not alive, however, they have begun to see that computers can “both think and have a personality” (83). But they are comfortable with the idea that &quot;inanimate objects can both think and have a personality&quot; (83). Where adults might balk at the idea that computers could/can be conscious, we have gradually become “accustomed to talking to technology, and sometimes, in the most literal sense” (85). </li></ul>
    11. 11. Talking <ul><li>Eliza </li></ul><ul><li>The Turing Test </li></ul>
    12. 12. On the Internet <ul><li>“ a significant social laboratory for experimenting with the constructions and deconstructions of self that characterize postmodern life” (180). </li></ul><ul><li>“ [I am] like who I wish I was.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ maybe I can only relax if I see life as one more IRC channel.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Can anyone tell me how to” </li></ul><ul><li>Interview with Sherry Turkle </li></ul>
    13. 13. Gender Trouble <ul><li>Choosing </li></ul><ul><li>Choices </li></ul><ul><li>Crossing </li></ul><ul><li>Passing </li></ul><ul><li>Questions … </li></ul>
    14. 14. Virtual Sex <ul><li>What is the nature of my relationships? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the limits of my responsibility? </li></ul><ul><li>And even more basic: Who and what am I? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the connection between my physical and virtual bodies? </li></ul><ul><li>And is it different in cyberspaces? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the nature of our social ties? </li></ul><ul><li>What kinds of accountability do we have for our actions in real life and in cyberspace? </li></ul><ul><li>What kind on society or societies are we creating, both on and off the screen? </li></ul>
    15. 15. Virtual Identities?
    16. 16. Virtual Selves?
    17. 17. Turkle’s Conclusion <ul><li>Virtuality need not be a prison. It can be a raft, the ladder, the transitional space, the moratorium, that is discarded after reaching greater freedom. We don’t have to reject life on the screen, but we don’t have to treat it as an alternative life either. We can use it as a space for growth. Having literally written our online personae into existence, we are in a position to be more aware of what we project into everyday life. Like the anthropologist returning home from a foreign culture, the voyager in virtuality can return to the real world better equipped to understand its artifices. 263 </li></ul>
    18. 18. Poststructuralism/Postmodernism <ul><li>Writing is not created within a vacuum by the author; rather, the audience participates in the construction of the text. </li></ul>
    19. 19. Poststructuralism/Postmodernism <ul><li>Derrida was saying that the messages of the great books are no more written in stone than are the links of a hypertext. I look at my roommate’s hypertext stacks and I am able to trace the connections he made and the peculiarities of how he links things together...And the he might have linked but didn’t. The traditional texts are like [elements in] the stack. Meanings are arbitrary, as arbitrary as the links in a stack. </li></ul>
    20. 20. Poststructuralism/Postmodernism <ul><li>knowledge is created not by the act of observing but through relations </li></ul><ul><li>power is the multiplicity of force relations immanent in the sphere in which they operate and which constitute their own organization. </li></ul>
    21. 21. Poststructuralism/Postmodernism <ul><li>Power rangers </li></ul>
    22. 22. Erosion of traditionally stable boundaries <ul><li>what are the binaries? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Self </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Animate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Human </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Real </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unitary </li></ul></ul>
    23. 23. So, utopia or dystopia? <ul><li>Sennett or Turkle? </li></ul><ul><li>Embracing a new world or rejecting an old one? </li></ul><ul><li>A (postmodern) crisis of identity? </li></ul><ul><li>A banal distraction from reality? </li></ul><ul><li>Or simply, business as usual? </li></ul>