Harvard Business Review – Sept 2003 – Technology and Human Vulnerability

To be in computing in 1980, you had to be a computer scientist. But if you’re and architect now, you’re in computing. Physicians are in computing. Businesspeople are certainly in computing. In a way, we’re all in comuting; that’s just inevitable.

Just as it does in business settings, [Powerpoint] helps some students organize their thoughts more effectively and serves as an excellent note-taking device. But as a thinking technology for elementary school children, it has limitations. It doesn’t encourage students to begin a conversation – rather, it encourages them to make points.

We have looked at manual typewriters, programming languages, hand pupmps, email, bicycle gears, software that morphs digital images, personal digital assistants – always focusing on what these object have meant in people’s lives. What most of these objects have in common is that their designers saw them as “just tools” but their users experience them as carriers of meanings and ideas, even extensions of themselves.

Some owners of robots do not want them shut off unceremoniously, without a ritualized “good night”

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