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Joe McCarthy

Great review!

Having recently finished reading The Power of Pull - and being inspired by (and writing about) your prescriptions for institutions as platforms for promoting individual passions - your review helps me appreciate the connections between Turkle's work and your work ... and between the personal and professional costs of opting for convenience and scalability over deeper engagement.

The book was on my Amazon Wish List, but your review tipped the balance for me, and I've just placed the order.

Dan Ryan

I agree with you that her new book brings many things to light that are not being addressed well in other quarters.
Many see our "computerized networking" as a replacement for discussion and dialogue and I see the technology tools as catalysts for more face to face conversations.

I would be interested in hearing more from you on this topic.


Dan Ryan
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Paul McConaughy (@minutrition)

Clive Thompson takes the other side in this Wired article: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/12/st_thompson_short_long/

Gregory Rader

John, lots of interesting stuff here. I was reminded while reading it of 'The Paradox of Choice' - the claim that having more choices actually makes us less happy because we face more indecision and regret. But, excess choices don't exist just because individual people demand a dozen options, but instead because different people will prefer different options (and ignore all the others). In other words, the choices aren't all there to confuse one individual, that is just a side effect of providing choice to a diverse population.

I could see Sherry Turkle's claims fitting into a similar framework. Digital technology may tempt us towards more superficial relationships, but the demand for them does derive primarily from longing for superficial relationships, that is a side effect. These technologies gain critical mass in the first place because used correctly they satisfy reasonable desires to connect with people and ideas we might not otherwise have access to.

It seems that most new technologies now go through an adoption cycle of:
1. What's the point?
2. Increasing acceptance.
3. Overuse/overdependence/addictive usage
4. Blowback - criticism of cultural impact
5. Moderated usage/practical usage

Account Deleted

would be better if she had a concept about how the astral plane is becoming more enlivened.

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