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Ministry of Education.
Kaua e rangiruatia te hāpai o te hoe; e kore to tātou waka e ū ki uta

The Glass Cage: Where Automation is Taking Us by Nicholas Carr, review: 'persuasive and nuanced'

13 January 2015


Has automation freed people from drudgery and made them happier? Or has it, as Nicholas Carr wonders in this elegantly persuasive book, had the opposite effect, transforming us into passive zombies, helplessly reliant on machines to tell us what to do?

Airline pilots place so much reliance on their instruments that, as one senior pilot put it: “We are forgetting how to fly.” With their expertise eroded, reflexes blunted and attention spans diminished, pilots are now more likely to make mistakes whenever they have to take manual control of a plane.

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Discussion starters

  • Characteristics of technological outcomes: Use this and other examples to debate the value of employing the notion of 
‘fitness for purpose in its broadest sense’ as related to: the design and development, manufacture, evaluation and analysis of technological outcomes. (level 8)
  • Characteristics of technology: Use this and other examples to discuss technology as intervention by design and explain the impacts and implications of this. (level 8)


Image courtesy of suphakit73/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Keywords: automation, electronics, robots, tourism, characteristics of technological outcomes, characteristics of technology

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