I really appreciate the conversation that Sherry Turkle raises. I recently visited Hawaii for the first time and was enchanted with how much life there was on the Big Island. We went snorkeling in an area where hundreds of dolphins were living and were able to swim alongside them. Later that night, we had our first resort experience staying at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, where they have captive dolphins in a small lagoon. Patrons can pay money to touch the dolphins in the pool, and feel that they've had a glimpse of the exotic wildlife of Hawaii, without having to leave the comfort of the resort. When I reflect on the experience of Sherry Turkle's daughter, suggesting that the turtle in the museum "may as well be a robot", I can see how she would feel that way. What satisfaction can come from watching animals in cages and museums, or dolphins and whales trapped in small pools? If her daughter went snorkeling and saw sea turtles in the coral reef, I doubt she would compare them to robots. She would probably feel even more alive herself. Perhaps we should replace all captive animals with robots, and allow life to flourish in its chosen environment, where we can visit it after the robot museum peaks our interest.
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