The Second Self
- Sherry Turkle
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Some adolescents adopt the computer as their major activity, throwing themselves into programming the way others devote themselves to fixing cars.
creation. A computer program is a reflection of its programmer's mind. If you are the one who wrote it, then working with it can mean getting to know yourself differently.
For adults as well as children, computers, reactive and interactive, offer companionship without the mutuality and complexity of a human relationship. They seduce because they provide a chance to be in complete control, but they can trap people into an infatuation with control, with building one's own private world.
If behind popular fascination with Freudian theory there was a nervous, often guilty preoccupation with the self as sexual, behind increasing interest in computational interpretations of mind is an equally nervous preoccupation with the idea of self as machine.