Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Is Technology Good or Bad?

There's a debate raging over at the Economist. Think it's all good? Consider this, from the "con" opening statement:
The system as a whole, the system we create and sustain and live in, now has so many and so complex separate parts that understanding consequential interactions, potential outcomes—intended and unintended—and long-term effects is more difficult than ever in human history. One might argue that the genesis of problems like over-choice and surplus complexity is in human frailty or human wants satisfied by technology, but, without technology, more simplicity would endure. Technology is the beneficial culprit that allowed us to do this.
I admit, reading The Paradox of Choice was an eye opener for me. We always assume that choice is better, but is it better if it practically paralyzes the decision making process, leaving us more stressed and less satisfied than when we began?

To be honest, I think this is why a lot of people are choosing Apple these days. Although even they may be endangering their own simplicity...I recently had trouble figuring out which iPod I needed, Nano or Touch. But there certainly is something to be said for giving people less choice. I can't imagine trying to buy a non-Apple mp3 player right now. Too many options.

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