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Here’s an interesting, and … well … yes … disturbing, post asking whether all these tools that we use to make our life easier, aren’t actually making us dumber … !?!

It’s lunchtime at the cafe and you give the cashier a $20 bill for an $8 purchase. She gives you $32.78 in change. You mention the mistake. She says, “But that’s what the cash register says I owe you.” She can’t cope with the cognitive dissonance between reality and What The Machine Said. Later that day you get a frantic call from a co-worker–a recent addition to the programming team. “I keep getting this error message that it can’t find the classes I’m using!” You ask, “By ‘it’ do you mean the compiler?” He answers “I don’t know. I’m using an IDE.” That night, you’re helping your 12-year old son with his math homework when you realize–in horror–that while he’s quite good with the calculator, he couldn’t multiply two three-digit numbers using only paper and pencil if his Wii depended on it. These tools were designed to make us more efficient, so that we can focus on something more important than the tedious task of, say, giving change, organizing source code, and doing calculations. But are they helpful timesavers, or are we dumbing ourselves–and our users–down?

The post continues here

I must admit that I’m a big fan of automation and tools, but I have to say that indeed it is usually real useful to know/understand the fundamentals … What do you think?

About barthox

I'm 38, married, 2 sons. We live in Belgium. http://about.me/barthox


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