Computers: 'good(s) to think'

Elaine Lally (
Thu, 26 Jan 1995 13:28:44 +1000

I'm interested in looking at symbolic uses of computers, particularly home
computers (the 'information appliance' phenomenon).

Levi-Strauss' characterisation of symbols as 'good to think' (from
Totemism, the Savage Mind etc.) is taken up in the context of computers
in, for example, Sherry Turkle's the Second Self. I want to try to update
this by looking at the nature of computers as commodities: the way that
they are marketed to consumers and the reasons that people have for buying
home computers.

I seem to remember, although I've skimmed back through what Levi-Strauss I
have on hand and I can't find anything like this, that L-S in fact
intended a play on words with his phrase: symbols are also *goods* to
think, i.e. commodities that we exchange in communication. Can anyone
point me in the right direction to a reference or references on this?



Elaine Lally email:
Humanities and Social Sciences Phone: 61-47-333523
University of Western Sydney, Nepean
PO Box 10
Kingswood NSW Australia