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
    Tony, 4 Dec 2006 @ 7:19pm

    Re: BLAME IT ON THE MACHINES

    First off, the solution would be a backup (maybe hand held) GPS system, or to force the drivers to study maps and pass a small exam before driving again. I don't think this problem is very difficult to fix, and just wish they would have had the foresight to think of it before it caused problems like these.

    I.D.,

    "if it wasn't the computers fault, it would be our dogs fault" is a good quote because, it identifies, to me at least, that technology CAN be used as an excuse for laziness, but that in most cases other things would be used for that same excuse if they weren't around. We live in a relative world - and technology just brings us closer to becoming intelligent enough as a race to realize universal truths. And in the meantime, all other complaints and problems brought on with technology are offset, in a relative manner, by its strengths and solutions.

    Therefore, I submit that technology is nothing but good, and should not be considered making the human race idiotic, or any more idiotic than it already was at least. Just my humble opinion, anyways,

    --Tony

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