User:Lieven Van Speybroeck/Reading/Theory/Turkle Personal Computers with Personal Meanings

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Notes on Sherry Turkle's The Second Self – chapt V Personal Computers with Personal Meanings

  • Children: computers play a significant role in the process of growing up (vs previous generations)
  • The computer towards a development of something(s) 'new': social, professional, aesthetic, philosophic, cultural influence on people's lives.
    -> the computer as a catalyst of culture formation
  • mid 70's: The threat from the computer was the threat from the impersonal system that knew you only as a number, now (mid 80's?) it's about (personal) addiction to the machine
  • Altair: popularization of the personal computer
  • Once people actually had a computer in their home, the most interesting thing about it became the computer itself, not for what it might do, but for how it made them feel.
  • What is most striking in the story of the revolution that began with the Altair personal computer is that for many people the computer at home becomes a tool that compensates for the ravages of the machine at work
  • The professional programmer works as a part of a large team and is in touch with only a small part of the problem being worked on ( ~ irrelevant today?)
    -> Home computers as the solution to this feeling of programmers in terms of working on 'problems as a whole', 'independently'
  • Computers, long a symbol of depersonalization, were recast as tools for conviviality and 'dream machines'
  • Personal computers > populism
  • PC's as a tool to think about society, politics and education
  • For the technical hobbyists of that first generation, part of what made the personal computer satisfying was that it felt like a compensation for dissatisfactions in the world of politics and the world of work.