Week 5: Licklider and Turkle

Licklider’s article was very prophetic of the way our world is today. The predictions he made in his 1968 article “The Computer as a Communication Device” reflects a lot of how we run our businesses and personal life in 2012. He made mention that communication with a computer could be used to contact people across the globe, and that business meetings would not have to be made face to face. He is most certainly accurate in this prediction as many corporations contact their contractors or fellow business colleagues by video conferencing. Though, I do not believe he was absolutely accurate in affordability or completely accurate on our usage. Computers have been decreasing in price as availability increases. Also, Licklider almost asserts that our entire life will be taken over by computers. He is correct in that we will interact socially using them (internet has made a profound impact on our social life) but I do not believe we completely rely on them for all of our idiosyncrasies of daily life. LSE Sherry Turkle would most likely say that Licklider was not accurate enough in his predictions. In her lecture, “Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less From Each Other” she makes the argument that technology, and the social impact it is making on younger generations, is drastically changing the way we interact and psychological process our own situations. She gave an example that young people text each other while they are alone for the fear of being alone. By doing so, it is only creating a larger gap in their social interaction. Both her lecture and Licklider’s article make the connection that as our computing technology increases, our reliance on it will subsequently increase.

5 thoughts on “Week 5: Licklider and Turkle

  1. caudill9

    I feel that Facebook truly depicts what Turkle argues. It seems that the two most common ways for people to communicate with each other nowadays is facebook and texting. I do not think that it is all that healthy, as it is a completely different way of communicating and does not really qualify as a social interaction.

    A few months back I was rather frustrated with the fact that my roommates never communicated with me in any way outside of facebook. I decided I would deactivate it (I just recently reactivated it for different reasons) and see if I ever knew what was going on. I, of course, never knew what was going on in my house or with my roommates. I think the reliance people have now on electronic forms of communication is rather frightening.

  2. leichtke

    I completely agree with your comment about Facebook and texting representing what Turkle argued. I know a lot of people who will communicate with many friends through Facebook and texting, but will hardly ever communicate through face to face interactions or even through phone calls. In fact, there are some people who have gotten to the point where they actually feel uncomfortable speaking with others face to face. So basically, while this technology does provide us with a way to communicate with others more conveniently, it can also have the effect of making us more distant from others and it can weaken our ability to socialize in a face to face situation. Also, as mentioned in the above comment, it can be hard knowing what is going on in the world when you are not utilizing the technology such as Facebook. Without the internet, it is hard to stay connected and this is part of what pulls people in so much. But some people get pulled in so much that they lose sight of more important aspects of life.

  3. grabow51

    I must agree with you that Licklider’s predicted the future of computer communication quite accurately. Amazingly, his predictions were made in 1968 before the personal computer was even invented, yet he predicted that computer communication would extend globally. You mentioned that Licklider predicted that our life would be taken over by computers. Although, I do agree with you that not every single aspect of our lives are taken over, his predictions were undeniably accurate as nearly every parts of our daily lives (modern world) are in some way influenced by a computer. I agree that he was inaccurate in predicting the cost of computer communication as computers were still large and expensive to run, however he understood that the cost was rapidly decreasing as technology improved. He did make an important case for the offset cost of computer communication by comparing it to the cost of travel and phones. Licklider also made that statement that “men will be able to communicate more effectively through a computer than face to face”. There is a great deal of truth to this statement although some way disagree such as Turkle believing that computer communication is changing the way we interact, not always in a healthy way. I must say that I can agree with her, found her discussion quite interesting. (Licklider 1968 Article)

  4. nahikia1

    I agree with your interpretation of both Licklider’s article and the podcast with Sherry Turkle. Licklider was extremely accurate on some of his predictions, but I did find his monetary predictions to be a bit off as well as you did. One thing I do not believe he predicted would be how quickly the technology has advanced. Because of this advancement the prices have decreased to an affordable rate for the most part.
    I do also believe that because he did not believe we would advance as quickly, that is why he believed the prices would be extremely high. So high in his opinion that some governments would not be able to afford the technology, which we know is wrong today.

    As for the Sherry Turkle podcast, though I do agree with you interpretation; I did take it a little different. I took it as that she was concerned more about the lack of privacy the everyday internet user experiences. She is afraid that we are going to accept this lack of privacy and it will become the norm. Her fears are realistic, and it is a fear I share as well. We should never be OK with giving up our privacy, and hopefully we are not.

  5. sklutjoh

    Facebook and texting has definately crippled our generation. The “socail media” today is a dangerous because it is anti social. It doesn’t make you more social, it takes everything away.

    What I am scared to think of, is what the younger generations will do with these social media trends. There is a lack of privacy, and if they do not realize that their thoughts put on line are not their own to see, they will be in a lot more trouble.

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