4/23: Objects I

Please post a question as a comment below.



  1. On pg. 27 of Turkle it says, “Notice how I am suspended by two knots, one that anchors me and one that holds me. Notice how I am two knots, waiting to be pulled this way and that. I understand being pulled; it is something that I know. Allowing others to pull me is a purpose that I serve.” What does she mean by this?

  2. In our textbook it says, “he told me he dreams that one day the free software idea will affect all society”(91). Do you think any society will actually reach a state where all software will be free? Or are some software too powerful, too dangerous to allow the masses to possess these technologies?

  3. Cevetello’s piece on his Glucometer is a story about how his life has been ruled by his glucose meter, a object used for testing glucose levels in diabetics. Cevetello talks about how his meter has become a part of him, “my meter maintains my image of myself as a man able to take care of himself. It also defines me as a diseased person, one who needs the aid of objects to sustain life” (67). Cevetello has been completely consumed by this piece of technology and relies on it literally to save his life. Is there an object in your life, even if it is not medically necessary, that you rely on to shape who you are or maintain an image of yourself?

  4. Everyone has their medium of focus, rather it be a hobby or a career, there seems to be a threat to their beloved medium. I am specifically referring to Yee’s text, as a person who loves architecture, his hesitation towards the digitization of an older edifice does not impress him nearly as much as the physical blue print. Do you believe that eventually, we’ll lose appreciation of the physical medium, since the digitization of it is much easier to consume?

    1. I’ve think we’ve already done that with music. Using iTunes and such. The physicality of the acoustic sound is diminished by the narrow bandwidth of digital downloads.

  5. When reading about how Cevetello’s life was controlled by his gluco meter, the device used for testing glucose levels in diabetics, I kept thinking of the many ways in which new (and future) technology could make this easier. How long do you think it will take to develop a device that is more discreet and does not determine your identity? Such as a watch that could unnoticeably keep track of all bodily functions that a person would want monitored. Also, it could possibly keep track of a persons medical conditions and allergies so that medical bracelets (that some people have to wear in case of emergencies) could be slightly more hidden.

  6. In my COMM 002 class freshman year, I remember reading Sherry Turkle’s Evocative Objects and when I read the text again, I enjoyed it as much as I did the first time. Out of all of the short stories, I really enjoyed reading Joseph’s Cevetello’s “The Elite Glucometer”. Cevetello writes, My interactions and dependency on my meter have made me realize that relationships between people and medical machinery are evolving. Perhaps, these new relationships will become so vital to our survival that, like my glucometer, they will seem intrinsic” (p. 67). In our class discussions, we talked about how we are very dependent on technology to where we are losing human contact. Do you all believe that this is the case in “The Elite Glucometer”? When do we need to be dependent or not so dependent in technology? Do any of you think that there are any “exceptions”?

  7. The article by Glorianna Davenport, entitled “Salvaged Photographs” discusses the ideas that photographs allow us to understand our history. On page 222 she says, “The process of recovering from the house fire has brought me in touch with old lessons: not all documents are worth salvaging, but most are, and photographs are particularly valuable to later generations of a family, allowing them evidence to reconstruct the tale of their past”. On the same page, she discusses the ability to manipulate a photograph to make it look completely different and earlier in the article, the author points out that many times it is difficult to remember the setting and situation of a photograph. If photographs are manipulated from the reality of the environment at the time it was taken, does it really give us an accurate understanding of our history or is our understanding skewed by the manipulation of a photograph and the lack of understanding surrounding the situation?

  8. the idea that technology has taken over our lives is prevalent in all the readings. In such, it seems that many theorists have begun to view us as a form of pseudo bionic in which we rely on technology to survive, yet can technically survive without it as well – it is not actually ESSENTIAL to our survival. However, there is always a negative connotation to our dependence on technology – but i feel that our technology is what makes us strong – even things that aren’t necessarily electronic can be considered technology – weights, beds, etc – so does our dependence on technology make us weak? Or does our technology allow us to push the human limit beyond all imagination?

  9. In the introduction, Turkle describes the partnership with our objects as means to “catalyze self-creation,” “bring together thought and feeling,” and that we so often “feel at one with our objects.” In contrast to what has often been proposed in class (the idea that we lose our humanity via technology) it seems as this promotes the idea that we both utilize our objects and have them adapt to us as much as we adapt to them, especially recently as we learn to make technology more user-friendly. Do you agree or disagree with this idea?

  10. in response to Taylors discussion and questions, i think that will happen within the next 20-50 years. the advancements for diabetes seems possible that they could cure diabetics? its possible. I think it would be something that comes along with the advancement of technology comes together with medicine

  11. The Yellow Raincoat by Mathew Belmonte presents his evocative object as a yellow raincoat which has great symbolism and representation for him. This object is so simply yet resembles his life and how turned out to be in the present. Because we are in the technology age and becoming more dependent on it, do you think we will use technology (i.e., phones, computers, etc.) to represent how we succeed and become who we are? What do you think that looks like?

  12. What does Turkle mean when she states that when we focus on objects we are able to find common ground in everyday experiences? (8).

  13. After reading Cevetello’s life about how it was measured by his glucose meter, a device used to track his levels, I began to think. I wondered where society would take this technology as far as developing something more. Would the nike fuel band be a representation of the levels one is able to monitor?

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