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Site Updates and What I've Been Reading
Posted June 14, 2022
Lately my reading habits have been a little all over the place, but like, in a good way. I spent most of March and early-April slogging through Reclaiming Conversation by Sherry Turkle. I first read Turkle a few years ago for a university course that was supposed to be on AI and ethics. It was actually the Luddite Report because the instructor changed last-minute from the head of the CS department to a retired-humanities-professor-turned-adjunct. He knew enough to talk about using technology, but not nearly enough to talk about the ethics of basic software development practices, let alone the nuances of how artificial intelligence even worked.
That said, Turkle isn't the worst. A lot of her work is based in pretty sound psychological theory and the research she does to prepare for her books is actually better than what a lot of people in the tech field have to offer. The guiding premise of the book is that, in a lot of ways, we're letting the illusion of conversation provided by technology interrupt actual interpersonal interaction in our daily lives. Some of her most prominent examples are from teenagers who express feeling ignored and slighted by their parents who won't stop checking emails and messages during dinner, conversations with people who admit to using their phones and computers at inappropriate times, and a whole lot of people who really cement the idea "perhaps living in a digital panopticon is a waking nightmare."