Turn On GPS, Turn Off Brain

from the you-know-what-they-say-about-assuming dept

One of the common reasons given for people to exclude technology from education is a fear that people will come to rely on it too much, and either be lost when it fails, or unable to recognize when it's giving bad results. Most of the time, this seems rather silly: if a calculator breaks, for instance, it's not too hard to find another one. But, it looks like some of those fears about humans either unwilling or unable to question the primacy of technology aren't unwarranted, after a navigation unit sent a British ambulance off course, and the driver didn't notice until they were 200 miles off course (via Engadget). It's not as if they were driving on some unmarked road, but rather they traveled roughly half the length of England, driving from London to outside Manchester before thinking that something was amiss on what should have been a 12-mile journey. The ambulance service says that the faulty navigation unit is being fixed. But what's being done to fix the employees? It's one thing for a GPS unit to deliver screwy directions; it's another to be so ignorant or deferential to it so that it takes you 200 miles, and a tour of half a country, to figure it out when you're supposed to be on a 12-mile trip.

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  1. identicon
    jk, 4 Dec 2006 @ 7:52pm

    Information is the reduction of uncertainity. As new technologies emerge, those with no prior knowledge will or will not have the ability to conceptually understand the prinicples of a new technology, such as GPS. However, there will always be a percentage of the population that will not understand how to use the technology, I would not go so far as to label those people as stupid, smart, or average.

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