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Computer Use as Philosophy in Operation

Metaphors of the Inner Game (Part #1)


Introduction
Checklist of computer features for development as metaphorical themes
Starting: Booting
Operating system
Dual boot
Screen / Monitor / Interface
Peripherals / Hardware
Capacity / Performance
Memory-related
Programming
Transfer-related
Communications
Organization / Order
Applications
Maintenance
Security / Recovery
Registration / Services
Web-related services
Sys admin
Application / User:
Developer perspective
Stopping
Miscellaneous
Discussion
Unprocessed items
References

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Introduction

This exploration is based on the insight that people doing whatever they are (wherever they are "at") may be embodying a more sophisticated philosophy than those who frame and verbally articulate the issues in philosophical or socio-psychological terms (as in this text). The point may have been best made by Molière for whom Monsieur Jourdain produced prose "sans le savoir". It is a feature of action research.

The focus here is on how people sustain their sense of identity through use of computers. Many aspects of the theme, and the justification for exploring it have been articulated by Sherry Turkle (Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet, 1995).That study is not about computers, but about people and how computers are causing them to reevaluate their identities in the age of the Internet. People are using life on the screen to engage in new ways of thinking about evolution, relationships, politics, sex, and the self [review]. What had struck her in an earlier study (The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit, 1984) was that otherwise bright students found no more powerful metaphor for themselves than that of a machine -- a concern that continues to be debated [more]. But what follows might be better understood as Life through the Screen: Engaging Reality through Computer-based Forms.

In this light, the concern here is with a subjective understanding of experienced reality through familiar computer operations. The approach is based on the sense that each feature of computer technology with which an individual is familiar also functions as a kind of cognitive framework or conceptual scaffolding -- a carrier for awareness conditioned by what are effectively the prosthetic features of such technology.

Whilst the exploration is a contribution to the philosophy of cyberspace [see resources], experiential referents have been favoured over explanation, wherever possible -- except in the final discussion.


planation, wherever possible -- except in the final discussion.


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