Stick Shift is hard!

Passengers, an essay by Nicholas Carr deals with the new wave of automation in technology and how it is effecting our lives and the way we spend our time. The population of the earth is growing exponentially and meanwhile we are creating new technology to replace the need for a human workforce. He draws upon studies that focus on how people like to spend their time, finding an interesting trend. Most people say that they always look forward to time off work and dread returning to their jobs, but the people also find it even more unpleasant to have no work or goals to accomplish. Carr explores how the new technology is affecting this trend.
Through automation in the form of robotics, Carr questions the legality issues of error in the technology. If an automated car fails and injures someone, where does the fault lie? I think that there are many variables in this argument that cannot be known until the logistics have been finalized with the technology. We do not know how reliable the technology is and how much access the “backup” driver would have to intervene with the technology. Once we see the finished product, these situations can be discussed.
Carr has a very lighthearted tone in this essay. He begins with a relatable story that really brings the reader in while establishing his connection to the topic. He seems to be taking this much less seriously than in his previous article “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” because here he embraces the idea that we will have to see where the technology can lead us rather than denouncing it once and for all. I think he incorporates this technique to get the reader to see the lightheartedness of this topic and to see the hopefulness in what the future holds.


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