Scott Adams has it right. Technology is no Place for Wimps

Today I’m wearing my Dilbert “TECHNOLOGY: No place for wimps” sweatshirt. Scott Adams has it right. Technology is no place for wimps.

Frankly, I do not want an Internet search tool that advertises itself as my decision engine, or that tells me what is “Popular now” on its home page, or that suggests in its Preferences page that I should identify my location with city and state or postal code to get search results that might be relevant to my area.  As an intelligent adult who has been using search engines for many years, I prefer a genuine search tool that finds web pages with (or without) specific words and possibly some exact wording or phrase. At my choice.

As for an electronic portal discussed by Martha Stewart during her morning talk show as a way to get myself organized, please! I can organize myself in ways that make sense to me but would leave Martha in knots. Martha, please stick to food, entertaining and crafts—your core expertise.
Then there are the folks who allow a major enterprise application shape the way they think about their business than find a way to work the other way around…configure the application to fit their needs. It’s because the people who might very well have been told that the application can be configured to meet their needs have been trained to accept only the “defaults.”

How many times have you received a phone call from someone in a call center who has asked you for (among other things) your fax number? How many people do you know who say “You do not need this information to process a request for your online newsletter, since you will not be sending it to me by fax?” The call center person is simply in automatic mode, trying to fill out all the blanks in a data sheet. Those who simply hand over their fax number for no reason at all are simply responding to that.  And then later wondering why they receive so many blatently misleading faxes advertising vacations in Florida.

Lest you think I’m simply being a grouch on the first day of the year, consider the extent to which your thinking has already been shaped in ways you might not have realized. How often have you flipped from one major television news program to another (NBC, ABC, FOX and CBS) only to find that most of the news coverage–except for the “soft news”–is pretty much identical? Where do you go to find actual news (not commentary) carried? PBS? CNN? Would you believe Russia Today or Al Jazeera, which are not on Comcast or Verizon’s FIOS TV Central?

We have our very thought patterns shaped by what someone else offers us, not by what we ourselves necessarily want or need. Under those circumstances, technology—especially that which seeks to shape our thinking the way its manufacturer—and/or the technology experts—present it to us thinks about any given business process or service—is no place for wimps.


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