Listen now (69 mins) | Ralph welcomes Sherry Turkle, Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT and an expert on culture and therapy, mobile technology, social networking, and sociable robotics to talk about our addictions to screens and how to break out of them. Plus, our resident constitutional scholar, Bruce Fein, opens the program with everything you need to know about the latest Trump indictment.
re: Sherry Turkle / Digital Addictions ---One must concentrate on what David touched on in the closing questions and indeed this episode's title----it is addictive. Although I have refused an iPhone (better called a "Me-phone") all these years, I can plainly see that it is a bottomless rabbit hole, endless as its algors are strong, ever present and tempting us with "new" digital paths, which both my wife and two children (now in their 30's) have been treading. What is digital addiction's "12 Steps" to kick this habitual interference? (Realizing, say, "The Arab Spring Uprising", notwithstanding!)
But back to family:
My wife quickly pulled herself out of its labyrinths but then she also was one of those who could literally smoke just one cigarette in younger days. We delayed iPhones for our children till they reached sixteen years old and that was a struggle which we(I) lost it seems. But even this delaying helped because my daughter is a prodigious reader (since we read to and with her all her young years) and our son soon learned friends and work must take precedence over this phonic plague!
However, it ripples with new human behavior, such as "phubbing" I think it's called(?)
Just you and your lit phone--what about the greater world? Just you and your drink or bottle or choice of drug... IT IS ADDICTIVE, and this must be the place to start looking for answers (not in better social infrastructure --if you will pardon me) More team sports aint the answer either.
When used for communicating to, say my wife's European family and friends, then of course it is credibly valuable when real words and sentiments are exchanged...or when seeking fellow geology buffs etc. Or when planning the next domestic or international disturbance(?) But the evidence says addictive and we must treat it like the phonicism it seems.
Interesting Fein’s perspective on why Trump was not charged with insurrection: Democrats want him to be able to run as they once again expect him to be beat (worked out well in 2016, didn’t it), the same short-sighted, dilussional thinking Dems continue to have. Failure to make their offerings appeal to average Americans who will vote for Trump due to their inability to address the non-elite’s
concerns. This arrogance that of course the Dems will b eat Trump..(like Hillary did!!!) is very scary. Dems don’t learn from mistakes.
Talk about "techno-capitalist regime" - Let us not forget all the dead or dying people of color extracting cobalt for our AI devices!
Separately, I gladly bought Claire Nader's book to pass on, but before I did I read the fine essays on Helen Keller, Frederick Douglass, and Ben Franklin. But I wish there had been at least a sentence on how Franklin profited from, and owned enslaved people. Even if Isaacson calls it "one of the few blemishes on a life spent fighting for freedom," I think it is something tweens should grapple with.
The best approach regarding the massive corruption we are currently experiencing is to line up all the investigations and report on them evenly! Report Biden and Trump’s investigations together! They are both supremely corrupt! As is the entire Congress! Comment on whose ahead! And whose getting away the most! (By the way, it’s only going to get worse...)
Wonderful interview with Sherry Turkle. Thank you.
Ralph, David, and Steve continue to have outstanding guests with multiple expertise in the world. I
always respect that Ralph (seems) to have read all the guests books or articles beforehand and makes not only intelligent comments but probing, relevant questions. (unlike so many current interviewers).
Sherry Tuckle very informative…especially about people having AI relationships vs. with people.
And the parents on their phone vs. interacting with children. Like the idea of no phone at meals or in car. Dinnertime was when I was most exposed to my parent’s wisdom.
Dear Mr. Nader,
I don’t share Mr. Fein’s confidence that President Trump will be found guilty. I’m not so sure it was a good idea to bring the charges in the first place.
Even if the charges are technically well founded, I don’t think an American jury is going to convict President Trump of conspiracy. Like all of us, the jurors will remember bigger conspiracies where no one went to jail. The biggest was President Bush and his administration's conspiracy to start the Iraq war by lying to the American people about WMD’s and Sadam Husain being responsible for 911. Unlike President Trump’s bumbling attempt to reverse the election, Bush’s conspiracy was wildly successful and disastrous resulting in the death of millions, countless war crimes and a price tag of countless trillions we and future generations will somehow have to pay. But Bush was not charged with anything. No one was tried, No one went to jail.
In more recent memory, there were the conspiracies between those in power and the banks and corporations in 2009 and again in 2020. The rich got richer. The poor got poorer. Again, no one went to jail.
Some will look at the influence peddling by the Biden family and ask, “What the heck?” Why this complicated conspiracy trial to get Trump when there is a much simpler crime playing out before our very eyes?
So the jurors- unless they’ve had their collective heads in the sand for the last 25 years- are going to be wondering why is the Establishment going so hard against President Trump. They’ll see it as hypocritical; piling on and political. Their sense of fairness will result in at least one juror refusing to convict.
I know Mr. Nader and Mr. Fein will be lecturing me now about how the jurors are duty bound to set aside their knowledge and beliefs, gained outside the courtroom, and decide the case solely on the law given to them by the Court and the evidence presented during trial. But that is not realistic. The defendant is not Joe Blow. He’s the former President of the United States who is running for re-election. Right or wrong, half the country still believes in him.
The jurors may not consciously violate their oaths. They’ll just construe the law and evidence so it comes out “not-guilty.” They’ll see this not as an abuse of power by Trump, but an abuse of power by the government in bringing the charges. And preventing abuse of power by the government, of course, is one of the main reasons the Seventh Amendment guarantees all of us the right to trial by jury. So maybe that’s how it should come out.
But lets say, somehow, the government convinces a jury beyond all reasonable doubts that President Trump is guilty of conspiracy? What next? Civil war?
I wish I knew you when I was young...luv u Ralph....
Maybe we could share my mood.
About the first part of the show:
Mr. Fein said that Trump is being indicted because (one of the reasons?) he tried to prevent the fair count of votes in an election. But this happened before, actually worse since the The Supreme Court did prevent the recount in Florida in 2000. Can SCOTUS blatantly and openly violate the constitution? Wouldn't that qualify as a constitutional crisis?
I hadn't yet moved to this country in 2000 but from my home country, things seemed pretty fishy at the time.
I heard Mr. Nader request listener feedback technology issues in society and so here is my response. There was a news report a couple weeks ago that two Kroger supermarkets in the Nashville, TN area will be converting to operate only with self-checkouts: https://www.newschannel5.com/news/franklin-kroger-converts-to-full-self-checkout-the-hillsboro-village-location-will-be-next
The statements in that above link from Kroger are obviously nonsensical. The commentary by the Kroger customer that the TV station interviewed does sound reasonable though. Anyway, this isn’t the first attempt by Kroger and others to run stores with only self-checkouts. The move by Kroger and others to try to normalize self-checkouts is troubling for a number of reasons including making shopping more difficult for many citizens, increased accusations of theft which degrades the shopping experience, and increased use of self-checkouts will decrease the number of workers stores employ and it’ll also lower the wages that store workers earn. Social normalization of self-checkouts and online ordering also takes away the customer service advantage that local businesses often have over big chain businesses such as Kroger and Walmart.
On top of all of those serious concerns, the loss of interaction between clerks and shoppers could well contribute to feelings of social isolation. I remember reading an article out of the Netherlands a couple of years ago where a chain of grocery stores there was introducing ‘chatty cashiers’ in order to try to help combat some of the social loneliness which tends to plague the Dutch. In the Netherlands, self-checkouts are even more common than they are here in the US. Link: https://nltimes.nl/2021/09/27/jumbo-looks-combat-loneliness-chatty-cashiers
I’d like to hear what Mr. Nader and knowledgeable guests have to say about combating this type of corporatism in our communities. I know that one answer is to just shop elsewhere, but many people don’t have much choice in where they can shop due to decades of deregulation in the retail sector. Also, people reliant on public transportation may not have many options as to where they can shop. Finally, some people prefer to shop at stores using union labor, but in places like here in Houston, Kroger is the only grocer left using union labor.
On a related topic, I believe Mr. Nader should address the pending Kroger-Albertsons/Safeway merger. This is a major issue for those of us in the western part of the United States, including here in Texas, where Kroger and Albertsons are both major grocers. There are some signs that the FTC might reject the merger, but given that, it would really help to have the power of Mr. Nader to put more pressure on the FTC. I believe Public Citizen has already said they are against the merger, but this is certainly something worthy of discussion on the RNRH. People living in the west will want to hear about this subject. If Steve lives in the Los Angeles area, then for sure he’s living in an area dominated by Kroger (Ralphs) and Albertsons (Vons, Pavilions, Albertsons) even as things are now.