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Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other [Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged] [MP3 CD]

Sherry Turkle , Laural Merlington
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 10 2011
Consider Facebook—it's human contact, only easier to engage with and easier to avoid. Developing technology promises closeness. Sometimes it delivers, but much of our modern life leaves us less connected with people and more connected to simulations of them.

In Alone Together, MIT technology and society professor Sherry Turkle explores the power of our new tools and toys to dramatically alter our social lives. It's a nuanced exploration of what we are looking for—and sacrificing—in a world of electronic companions and social networking tools, and an argument that, despite the hand-waving of today's self-described prophets of the future, it will be the next generation who will chart the path between isolation and connectivity.

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Review

"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." ---Publishers Weekly Starred Review

About the Author

Sherry Turkle is a professor of technology and society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the author of several books, including Alone Together and simulation and Its Discontents.

Laural Merlington has recorded well over one hundred audiobooks, including works by Margaret Atwood and Alice Hoffman, and is the recipient of several AudioFile Earphones Awards. An Audie Award nominee, she has also directed over one hundred audiobooks.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Turkle's book is an inspiring piece of work that serves as a warning to moderns and technologists alike: we are at a precipice and should critically evaluate technology's place in our lives before we step off the cliff and (potentially) fall into psychological chaos. Her book is broken into two parts. The first focuses on the role of robots and the degree of emotional attachment that humans can and do develop towards them. In this section, she examines how children, seniors, and those who are lonely are being confronted by humanized robots. What does it mean for children to associate particular personas and egos to digitized code that is intentionally developed to evoke strong emotional attachments? Is it an ethically responsible decision to place socialized robots within elderly homes, so that children and caretakers can absolve themselves of the need to visit and engage in human contact with elderly members of our society? Technologists insist that the children and elderly alike are better off, but Turkle's insightful examination leaves us with questions about the psycho-social implications of socialized robotics. The second half of her book considers how networked society is damaging our capabilities to enjoy intimacy and solitude. Mobile phones, social networking sites, and novel understandings of social norms are her sites of examination. By the conclusion of the text, we are left critically questioning the actual value of many of our modern networked conveniences. Anyone raising a child, or living a highly-networked life (i.e. with a smartphone, multiple online social networks, etc), should be required to read this book to understand the psycho-technical trajectories we are passing along. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book Nov. 10 2012
Format:Paperback
Intelligent, well documented. Gives profound insight on the changes resulting from advances in technologies. Should be read by all who desire to understand future challenges.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars strange but true Sept. 6 2011
Format:Hardcover
After reading Jaron Lanier's "You are not a gadget" and Kevin Kelly's "What does technology want" it was a pleasant if eerie
surprise to read this text. It documents and describes our civilization's romance with technologies we barely understand. It gives fair warning of the roads we are on and a last longing look back on a time when we inhabited our bodies. As a recovered netzien I was relieved but saddened by the book, I don't have much hope that we as a species will moderate out disengagement from each other, but you never know..
A must read while you can...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Rodge TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
This is the story of us. At first, its about us in relation to robots, which is not yet a day-to-day experience of mind, and a narrative I found somewhat irrelevant, although interesting. Eventually though, we get to the madness of the modern day world, people married to Facebook, texting, online gaming etc etc. Turkle tackles these questions head on with all the philosophical and psychological resources she can muster, and the result is quite respectable. Don't call it addiction when it is our love for these tools that compels us to keep them busy no matter what else in life is calling us.

Turkle uses stories about the various people she has interviewed and observed, and it is through this layering of story that she makes her case. I find her to be a most excellent and worthy guide.
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