Is technology helping or hurting us? (Blog Post 4)

In Carr’s chapter, Passengers, he talks a lot about how, as a kid, he learned to drive a manual car. He remembers what it was like to drive the manual and how he couldn’t wait to get an automatic because driving a manual was such a hassle. However, when he finally got his automatic car, he realized that he missed driving the manual and in fact felt bored. Carr likens this to technology these days. He infers that, while technology is continuously making our lives easier, it could also be the cause of some of our happiness leaving. In fact, people are happier to engage their mind in something like driving and yet we are in such a rush to make technology drive us around. As far as Carr’s inquiry question, I feel like the liability of a serious accident should ultimately lie with the owner and the software designer. If the accident was cause due to a failure in the program, obviously the programmer should be held accountable. However, if the accident was caused because there was an update in the software or maintenance that was required that the owner just couldn’t happen to find time for, then that should fall on the owner. It should still be the owner’s responsibility to make sure their equipment is running the way it should. It might also help if there was a way the owner could quickly take control of the situation in the event of something happening on the road, like a car turning left at a red light. I think Carr definitely has a tone of hesitance in his article. He even states that “All too often, automation frees us from that which makes us feel free.” (Carr, 17). His hesitation is also shown when he brings up that people in general “don’t know when to say “enough” or even “hold on a second.” (Carr, 17). I definitely like his hesitance because it makes people reconsider whether technology is making life easier, or just taking away our sense of accomplishment. I believe he chose this tone because of that fact. Carr wants the readers to understand that, while we are making things easier, our joy comes from challenges. When we employ machines to do our work, it takes away from the pride we would otherwise feel in accomplishing a task. His tone in this article is very similar to his “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” article. I believe that he wrote both of these articles in order to make us understand that, while we consider technology helpful, it actually takes away from what makes us happiest; that is our ability to learn and overcome obstacles in order to accomplish specific tasks.

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