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Life on the Screenis a book not about computers, but about people and how computers are causing us to reevaluate our identities in the age of the Internet. We are using life on the screen to engage in new ways of thinking about evolution, relationships, politics, sex, and the self. Life on the Screen traces a set of boundary negotiations, telling the story of the changing impact of the computer on our psychological lives and our evolving ideas about minds, bodies, and machines. What is emerging, Turkle says, is a new sense of identity— as decentered and multiple. She describes trends in computer design, in artificial intelligence, and in people's experiences of virtual environments that confirm a dramatic shift in our notions of self, other, machine, and world. The computer emerges as an object that brings postmodernism down to earth.
In a book informed by the most current knowledge of computers and a thorough grounding in psychoanalytic theory and philosophy, the author of The Second Self revisits the dramatic changes in our psychological selves and the ways of learning and thinking wrought by the newest advances of the computer revolution.
II. Of Dreams and Beasts
3. Making a Pass at a Robot...77
4. Taking Things at Interface Value...102
5. The Quality of Emergence...125
6. Artificial Life as the New Frontier...149
III. On the Internet
7. Aspects of the Self...177
8. TinySex and Gender Trouble...210
9. Virtuality and Its Discontents...233
10. Identity Crisis...255
A Note on Method: The Inner History of Technology...321