The Future of Conversation (Generally)

This is a useful review by Jonathen Franzen called “Sherry Turkle’s ‘Reclaiming Conversation’”, about Turkle’s new book.

Franzen says “Conversation is Turkle’s organizing principle because so much of what constitutes humanity is threatened when we replace it with electronic communication.”
Turkle praises one user interface that, “instead of encouraging us to stay connected as long as possible, would encourage us to disengage.” But this is a utopian approach, not a pragmatic one.
Since today’s “electronic communication” is far from conversation, a pragmatic approach would be to make digital interfaces—which are inevitable in our lives, and ever more so, and for more of the world’s population—better at facilitating “human conversation.” While this may not answer all objections, it’s a way to manage “satisficing” our design goals.