Want More Info?

Powered by Rollyo

« Liverpool Nativity | Main | It's Christmas™ »

December 19, 2007


Daniel Miller

But what were the contingencies going to be for the hospital administrative system? An extra building where they keep paper copies of everything that's in the system, extra training to know how to work with the paper system, find records in that building, fill out the forms, etc, etc. The contingency is you wait until the system is back up. You call later.

The logical problem with your recent arguments against technology is the assumption that technology didn't start until the invention of the microprocessor. When in fact the human race has been putting "all our evolutionary energy...into evolving a system" for thousands of years. It's what has made us the most successful species. If you want us to go back to pure genetic evolution we'd have to back up to before the first time one of us sharpened a rock and tied it to the end of a stick. And we'd be a bit further down the food chain, methinks.

There are no "system[s] ... external to us." External to an individual, perhaps, but not to our species. If the programmers and administrators of the technology go away, so does the technology.

I wrote a short fiction piece for the next Movement magazine over there in your country that has a very dystopian view of technology and considers when that last paragraph is no longer true. (If the Matrix was a more realistic rendering of potential AI-ruled futures, mine is the horribly, boringly realistic rendering, and then in only 800 words...and only a part of that is about computer technology...I had to have space to fit in the part about Radiohead being from outer space!)

Daniel Miller

As if to prove your point, I tried to post a comment and got this in return:

"We're sorry, your comment has not been published because TypePad's antispam filter has flagged it as potential comment spam."


I guess we are heading towards "The Terminator".

Mr Miller, was your comment sooooo unbelievably bad that you decided to abandon it because of the 'potential spam' message?

Interestingly it didn't allow me to post this first time either. Apparantly my blog is an 'invalid url'.


Sorry if you're having problems commenting - I've not fiddled with anything, honest!

Dan - you mailed me the comment you wanted to make, which was basically about technology having not really changed - it's always been 'internalized' to some extent. And the alternative - having full paper back ups everywhere is impossible.

I agree to an extent. I think one of the major changes with the advent of microprocessor technology is the user being totally ignorant of the background processes. This has been, to a lesser extent, true with other technologies like cars planes etc., but now we have systems we rely on day to day that we simply have no idea how they work. But that would be fine if we then knew what to do when they didn't work.

And this is my point: the systems we have are becoming external in the sense that once they go down we are lacking the actual skills to do the thing the technology was doing. ie we're screwed because we're so reliant. I think that is different. With a spade - if it breaks, you kind of know what to do to fix it, and what to do to get round it being broke. With the IT system in the hospital, people were nearly paralysed. And that's a change, is it?


on the end of your knob.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Endorsed by...

See all Endorsements...
and reviews.

Tip Jar

Tip Jar