The Distracted Boating App

A couple of days ago, I watched a large boat leave the dock here. As it did, the  helmsman was messing with his iPhone or Droid or… I watched him trying use the micro-virtual keyboard while holding the wheel with his belly. His crew was talking with a boat behind them. Fortunately, the small fishing boat drifting ahead of him had enough sense for both of them and was able to get its engine started and out of the way.

I quoted the following thoughts on 14 Nov 2010. It seemed appropriate then, and with the rush to smartphones and tablets are the next big thing, I thought it appropriate to requote.

  • Every new technology will bite back. The more powerful its gifts, the more powerfully it can be abused. Look for its costs.

  • Technologies improve so fast you should postpone getting anything you need until the last second. Get comfortable with the fact that anything you buy is already obsolete.

  • Before you can master a device, program or invention, it will be
    superseded; you will always be a beginner. Get good at it.

  • Be suspicious of any technology that requires walls. If you can fix it,
    modify it or hack it yourself, that is a good sign.

  • The proper response to a stupid technology is to make a better one, just as the proper response to a stupid idea is not to outlaw it but to
    replace it with a better idea.

  • Every technology is biased by its embedded defaults: what does it assume?

  • Nobody has any idea of what a new invention will really be good for.

  • The crucial question is, what happens when everyone has one?

  • The older the technology, the more likely it will continue to be useful.

  • Find the minimum amount of technology that will maximize your options.

Kevin KellyNew York Times Magazine on 16 September 2010.

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