Reading Summary Turkle


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relational objects, emotions,

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Reading Summary Turkle

  1. 1. Summary of Psychology and Phenomenology<br />Turkle<br />
  2. 2. Evocative objects and psychoanalytic theory<br />Users of computers are frequently more in touch with the subjective computer, the computer that does things to us, to our ways of seeing the world, to the way we think, to the nature of our relationships with each other. Technologies are never &quot;just tools.&quot; They are evocative objects. They cause us to see ourselves and our world differently.<br />
  3. 3. While designers have focused on how computational devices such as personal digital assistants will help people better manage their complex lives, users have seen devices such as a Palm Pilot as extensions of self. The designer says: &quot;People haven&apos;t evolved to keep up with complexity. Computers will help.&quot; The user says: &quot;When my Palm crashed it was like a death. More than I could handle. I had lost my mind.&quot; <br />
  4. 4. Contemporary computational objects are increasingly intimate machines; they demand that we focus our attention on the significance of our increasingly intimate relationships with them. <br />
  5. 5. The mission of the affective computing group is to develop computers that are programmed to assess their users&apos; emotional states and respond with emotional states of their own. <br />
  6. 6. In the case of the robotic doll and the affective computers, we are confronted with relational artifacts that demand that the human users attend to the psychology of a machine.<br />
  7. 7. The new objects of our lives call upon psychoanalytic theory to create an object relations theory that really is about objects in the everyday sense of the word. <br />
  8. 8. A new kind of computational object has appeared on the scene. &quot;Relational artifacts,&quot; such as robotic pets and digital creatures, are explicitly designed to have emotive, affect-laden connections with people.<br />
  9. 9. This experience has traditionally been associated with religion, spirituality, the perception of beauty, sexual intimacy, and the sense of connection with nature. In recent years, the power of the transitional object is commonly seen in experiences with computers.<br />
  10. 10. But today&apos;s relational artifacts take a decidedly more active stance. The computer can be experienced as an object on the border between self and not-self<br />
  11. 11. Heinz Kohut describes how some people may shore up their fragile sense of self by turning another person into a &quot;self object.&quot; In the role of self object, the other is experienced as part of the self, thus in perfect tune with the fragile individual&apos;s inner state. Disappointments inevitably follow. <br />
  12. 12. Relational artifacts (not as they exist now but as their designers promise they will soon be) clearly present themselves as candidates for such a role. If they can give the appearance of aliveness and yet not disappoint, they may even have a comparative advantage over people, and open new possibilities for narcissistic experience with machines. <br />
  13. 13. One might even say that when people turn other people into self-objects, they are making an effort to turn a person into a kind of &quot;spare part.&quot; From this point of view, relational artifacts make a certain amount of sense as successors to the always-resistant human material<br />
  14. 14. A new generation of psychoanalytic self-psychology is called upon to explore the human response and the human vulnerability to these objects.<br />
  15. 15. comments<br />&quot;When you program a computer there is a little piece of your mind, and now it&apos;s a little piece of the computer&apos;s mind. And now you can see it.&quot;<br />
  16. 16. comments<br />&quot;I love the way it has my whole life on it.&quot; If one is afraid of intimacy yet afraid of being alone, a computer offers an apparent solution: the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship. In the mirror of the machine, one can be a loner yet never be alone.<br />
  17. 17. Source<br /><br />