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Humanist Archives: Nov. 22, 2018, 6:44 a.m. Humanist 32.214 - the psychoanalysis of everyday computing?

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 32, No. 214.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
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        Date: 2018-11-22 06:36:53+00:00
        From: Willard McCarty 
        Subject: the psychoanalysis of everyday computing

Jamieson Webster's fine essay, "The Psychopharmacology of Everyday 
Life"*, in the latest New York Review of Books, is (in my 
psychoanalytically untutored view) well worth reading -- troubling 
reading, of course. It has led me to wonder where and how computing in 
general, and computationally aided enquiry specifically, fit into our 
psychic lives and vice versa. As the 'intuitive' interface is 
naturalised and so becomes intuitive, we let it (the right one) in, and 
it becomes our intimate familiar. These days, thanks to the loosening of 
strictures on rationality and the hugely increased attention to 
intuition, with Kahneman's Thinking Fast and Slow on the one hand and 
Gigerenzer's Gut Feelings on the other, it would seem time to look into 
the channel between the digital, combinatorial machine and our wetware's 
psyche. So my usual question: has anyone thought about this, looked into 
it, written about it?

I don't mean (although the subject is interesting) the worries that 
appear in print about the dangers of 'screen time'. I mean what is 
happening to our ways of reasoning and to other cognitive processes 
through the unguarded (if it is) back door. Would not a better 
understanding of this help us understand so much more about what we 
computing humanists are doing -- or not doing, and should?



Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/),
Professor emeritus, Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London;
Adjunct Professor, Western Sydney University; Editor, Interdisciplinary 
Science Reviews (www.tandfonline.com/loi/yisr20) and Humanist 

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