Samir’s Selection 02/26/2014 (p.m.)
The Problem with Easy Technology
Just how demanding do we want our technologies to be? It is a question faced by the designers of nearly every tool, from tablet computers to kitchen appliances. A dominant if often unexamined logic favors making everything as easy as possible…the use of demanding technologies may actually be important to the future of the human race…Just what is a demanding technology? Three elements are defining: it is technology that takes time to master, whose usage is highly occupying, and whose operation includes some real risk of failure. By this measure, a piano is a demanding technology, as is a frying pan, a programming language, or a paintbrush. So-called convenience technologies, in contrast—like instant mashed potatoes or automatic transmissions—usually require little concentrated effort and yield predictable results.
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