4/30: Objects II

Please post a question below. Please think of one that can help facilitate a brief class discussion as most of our time will be devoted to in-class critiques.



  1. How would we become aware of the value of a material object without another individual acknowledging it? If nobody perceived the object to be of worth would we disregard it all well?

  2. The material objective of the Radio is one that has used to bring families together, now it has become, like all other technology, individualistic in order to tailor towards a society that want everything for themselves. Accommodations and fast response are characteristics that focus on a material object to be strictly for that individual.

    To what extent does Radio becomes modified through our current situation in the media world?

  3. Material objects consume many people lives. Why do you think we are so dependent on material objects? Is it because of the needs it satisfies, or do we desire them simply because of the image it gives off of ourselves to other people? What kind of material objects do you depend on on a daily basis and why do you depend on them?

  4. What are the inevitable ‘companions’ that make up the human condition? Do material objects affect our historical perspective? Is yes, how so?

  5. In William J. Mitchell’s, “The Locomotive”, the author describes the train as his form of technology. Taking into consideration that Sherry Turkle talks about how objects become evocative and how these objects differ in meaning through time and place. With that said, the story takes place in Australia and the way that Mitchell talks about the locomotive as advanced technology. Mitchell writes, “I began to understand that objects, narratives, memories, and space are woven into a complex, expanding web-each fragment of which gives meaning to all the others” (p. 150). My question is, how do these evocative objects such as the locomotive give narrative and space?

  6. In Jeffrey Mifflin’s article, “The Mummy”, he discusses our questions that we typically have as humans about people who came centuries before us? How does understanding history help us understand our own existence better? Why does death, even if it occurred thousands of years ago, continue to perplex people and make them question the meaning of their own existence? What does this say about our human condition and our need to connect with history?

  7. I could relate Olivia Daste’s essay because I happened to lose my grandmother and closely after an uncle recently, and I found that humans are quick to replace the person with their items. It was like birds flocking to food on the ground because these items seemed so valuable now that the person was gone. Reasonably, they knew that someone’s sweater or in the essay’s case, a suitcase, wasn’t going to bring them back but at the most basic needs of humans, they needed to feel as far away from the reality of death. With evolving technology will we form new ways to strengthen this need or evolve away from this feeling?

  8. On page 325 Turkle brings up the story of Newitz’s relationship with her laptop and glucometer, and how she has achieved a “coupling so intimate with their objects that we might consider them cyborg” moving beyond simple prosthetics. As “the natural and atrificial no longer find themselves in opposition,” how can we determine where the self ends and the object begins?

    I’m reminded of the thought experiment called “The Ship of Theseus” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship_of_Theseus) that raises question of whether an object which has had all its components replaced remains fundamentally the same object. A similar example is called “Locke’s Socks.” It says you get a tear in your favorite sock and you patch it up with some other cloth. It’s still the same sock, right? Then a day later you get another tear and stitch another patch. It’s still the same sock. If this keeps going on, then eventually there’s no more of the original sock left. Can you really say it’s the same socks? What if this is with humans and replacing aspects of ourselves with technology? Let’s say that by the end we only retain our original head, heart, and right arm. Are we still the “same” person?

  9. material objects get a very negative reputation in todays society by groups who claim we are “missing out” on reality – but i feel that tech such as phones, tvs and computer do not take away from reality, but simple offer a different, alternate reality – equally prone to both the same benefits and negatives that “real” reality offers – so my question is as the line between reality and cyberspace blurs, what will determine real from fake?

  10. Why are material objects so important to us? What do the objects that are important to us, say about us?

  11. Sherry Turkle states, “We think with the objects we love; we love the objects we think with.” Phones and computers are examples of material objects that people including myself because it helps me get tasks done. But aren’t these types of technology doing the thinking for us? I love that it gets me from A to B and C but it doesn’t necessarily get me to think deeply about things. It does the work for me making me more reliable on it to answer questions for me rather than using my own abilities.

  12. Sherry Turkle paraphrases Latour stating that “objects speak in a way that destroys any simply stories we might tell about our relations to nature, history, and the inanimate; they destroy any simple sense we might have about progress and our passage through time.”

    How do objects destroy any simple sense we might have about progress? It seems as though the creation of technological objects have led to great advancements.

  13. Are material objects not as important to the western culutre today due to the internet becoming so advance?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s