In 1984, Sherry Turkle’s book, The Second Self, appeared as an early look at computer culture and the human relationship with smart machines. Written at a time when the Internet was still a research project and computer interfaces were predominantly textual and often required programming skills, the book remains influential not only for its historic profile of a time when computers were rapidly entering U.S. mainstream culture, but because of the emergent social themes Turkle identified through her research on computer users of that period. These themes continue to resonate in debates about human cognition, identity, development, education, relationships, and dependence, with questions about how digital technologies are changing the human condition and the way we think about it. She argued that the computer was ...

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