I posted about yesterday’s meeting without adding anything about the Table Topics session Young led. Prabhu certainly got my attention with his response about technology. I’ve dealt with the same theme ever since I read Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together. Just before the meeting, Ira Flatow had any interesting conversation with playwright Madeline George on Science Friday in which the following exchange occurred.
George: When he looks at the gun, he sees it as a device that brings people close together, and it keeps people apart. He imagines that this gun, by shooting a bullet farther than any gun was previously able to now that he’s enhanced it with his new piston technology, that it brings adversaries together, but of course it’s not as intimate as beating someone over the head with your own fists, and that to me is sort of an interesting metaphor for all tools. You know that’s what tools do—they create a bridge between a person and the thing they’re trying to touch and they also make a separation by their very nature. And so to me, the telephone does the same thing in a very interesting way, and certainly we feel that around us all the time, how far apart we are and yet how close together we are with our phones
Flatow: And yet how dependent we have become on them
George: and by extension once those things become almost integrated into our bodies, now we have this very complicated zone between each other, between ourselves and each other that’s mediated by these tools
In its notice of The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence, The New York Times wrote
In multiple plotlines, the play examines the fear of depending on another person and the allure of using machines to meet emotional needs.
Our guest Bukky tackled the question of why we read. Here’s some thoughts that struck me so much that I saved them.