A shared sense of mortality

A shared sense of mortality has been the basis for feeling a commonality with other human beings -- a sense of going through the same life cycle, a sense of the preciousness of time and life, of its fragility. The possibilities of engaging emotionally with creatures that will not die, whose loss we will never need to face, presents potentially dramatic changes in our psychology.
Professor Sherry Turkle is researching the ways in which people relate to the new category of objects (Tamagotchi, Aibo, Hasbro's upcoming My Real Baby) which seem to possess intentions, preferences, and other human characteristics. A preliminary investigation into the nature of Furbies reveals that children do feel they're alive -- "not ... in a human or animal kind of way, but in a Furby kind of way."
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