On Autopilot

The chapter “On Autopilot” was a particularly interesting one.  I believe the stasis theory is very apparent in this.  The facts it is presenting is that people are extremely concerned that the new and upcoming technology is beginning to replace the new for humans on certain job tasks.  They fear that there will eventually be no need for humans anymore and they will be completely out of jobs and money, all thanks to the improving technology.  The sentence “As the writer for Flight magazine predicted back in 1947, automation technology has whittled down the size of flight crews” is exactly why people are getting more and more worried and frustrated.  The sentence “The real reason for the grumbling about automation, they contend, is that pilots are anxious about the loss of their jobs or the squeezing of their paychecks” explains the meaning of this issue.  Pilots and their crew are extremely worried that the new and improved technology means that there will no longer be a need for them.  This issue means that a lot of good, hardworking people and families will be out of jobs and money to support them.  The seriousness of this issue is that airline crew size and job availability has been cut down tremendously, as well as their pay has been.  “The average starting salary for experienced pilots is around $36,000, which, as a Wall Street Journal reporter notes, is “darn low for mid-career professionals”” is the sentence that talks about the seriousness of this issue.  It is very important.  The best plan of action or procedure for this is to just let it keep going in the direction technology is moving.  The changes may not be in the best interest of the pilots and the crew, but it is in the best interest of the safety of the passengers of the aircrafts, and that is extremely important.

The rhetorical situation of this chapter is worry and urgency.  The author wants people to just stop and think for a second and realize that “a glass cockpit can also be a glass cage.”  Carr specifically states all of the facts of the new technology in airlines and about all of the declines in crew and pilots.  He listed all of the lay offs and certain types of crew members and how much the salary for pilots has decreased.  By discussing all of these things, it directly supports his thesis of proving to people that technology is beginning to take over our lives.  He wants people to understand that although it may be in the best interest in the safety of the passengers, it is turning us and how we live our lives into machines.  We don’t do anything ourselves anymore and rely completely on machines and computers to do everything for us.  We are becoming non-human and more computer.


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