The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit

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MIT Press, 2005 - Computers - 372 pages
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In "The Second Self," Sherry Turkle looks at the computer not as a "tool," but as part of our social and psychological lives; she looks beyond how we use computer games and spreadsheets to explore how the computer affects our awareness of ourselves, of one another, and of our relationship with the world. "Technology," she writes, "catalyzes changes not only in what we do but in how we think." First published in 1984, "The Second Self" is still essential reading as a primer in the psychology of computation. This twentieth anniversary edition allows us to reconsider two decades of computer culture -- to (re)experience what was and is most novel in our new media culture and to view our own contemporary relationship with technology with fresh eyes. Turkle frames this classic work with a new introduction, a new epilogue, and extensive notes added to the original text.

Turkle talks to children, college students, engineers, AI scientists, hackers, and personal computer owners -- people confronting machines that seem to think and at the same time suggest a new way for us to think -- about human thought, emotion, memory, and understanding. Her interviews reveal that we experience computers as being on the border between inanimate and animate, as both an extension of the self and part of the external world. Their special place betwixt and between traditional categories is part of what makes them compelling and evocative. (In the introduction to this edition, Turkle quotes a PDA user as saying, "When my Palm crashed, it was like a death. I thought I had lost my mind.") Why we think of the workings of a machine in psychological terms -- how this happens, and what it means for all of us -- is the ever more timely subject of "The Second Self."

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About the author (2005)

Marvin Zalman is professor of criminal justice at Wayne State University. He has written on criminal procedure (e.g., articles on Miranda rights, the Fourth Amendment, and venue); criminal justice policy; wrongful conviction; criminal justice and civil liberties; and judicial sentencing. Recent publications include "Wrongful Conviction" (Oxford Bibliographies Online, Fall 2012); "Qualitatively Estimating the Incidence of Wrongful Convictions" (Criminal Law Bulletin, 2012); "An Integrated Justice Model of Wrongful Convictions" (Albany Law Review, 2011); "Measuring Wrongful Convictions" (Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Springer, 2014); and "Edwin Borchard and the Limits of Innocence Reform" (in Huff & Killias, eds., Wrongful Convictions & Miscarriages of Justice, Routledge, 2013).

Julia Carrano currently oversees a Department of Justice grant at the University of Mississippi. Formerly a research professor at American University, she supervised a large-scale empirical study of wrongful convictions (Predicting Erroneous Convictions, National Institute of Justice, 2013). Recently, she also co-authored "Predicting Erroneous Convictions" (Iowa Law Review, 2013) and served as the area editor for wrongful convictions in the Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice (Springer, 2014). She holds a JD from the George Washington University Law School and an MA in anthropology from UC Santa Barbara.

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