Forget E-Voting Problems, Now We Have To Worry About E-Census Problems Too

from the new-technology-isn't-always-good... dept

It looks like the US census is the latest process to be prematurely “automated” under the silly belief that computers automatically do everything better. Reports are coming out about how the new computerized census systems aren’t just costly, they might also be inaccurate (bonus!). The system involves handheld devices for census-takers, but the devices are apparently not that intuitive. Thus there are additional training costs involved, and no one seems keen on paying for that. There are a few options here, including mostly ignoring the new system (which only cost $600 million in taxpayer money) and going back to a more manual process. However, the company that provided the devices insists the complaints are overblown and with just half an hour of training anyone could understand how to use the devices. Either way, it should be a reminder that any attempt to automate a process that uses the “just add technology!” component probably is going to be something of a disaster.

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Comments on “Forget E-Voting Problems, Now We Have To Worry About E-Census Problems Too”

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rebrad says:

Re: I don't know that "everyone" can be trained

I thought we used illegal aliens for jobs that hard core unemployed Americans can’t or won’t do? Makes as much sense as anything else now days. I just wonder why all the automation. The constitution requires a body count. Why does the government need to know what kind of toilet paper is used.

Sal (profile) says:


Why does the government have to have custom built EVERYTHING??? What is wrong with an off the shelf PDA or smartphone with the census form loaded as software??? I’ve seen our local convience stores using Palms for inventory control. Why does our federal (and often state) government need everything built special for them when off the shelf components would work just fine and save the taxpayers a lot of money??????????

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