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Things That Make Us Smart: Defending Human Attributes in the Age of the Machine by [Don Norman]

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Things That Make Us Smart: Defending Human Attributes in the Age of the Machine Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 37 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

By virtue of their design, machines shape the way we relate to the world. Moreover--as anyone who has been annoyed by voice message systems can testify--many technological "advances" that are efficient from the engineering point of view are of dubious value to those who must use them. In this highly readable book, Norman, author of Turn Signals Are the Facial Expres sions of Automobiles (Addison-Wesley, 1992), offers an intriguing look at the nature and characteristics of human intelligence. He argues that it is time for us to adopt a more human-centered perspective and to insist that informational technologies enhance and complement human cognitive capacities rather than undermine them. Entertaining anecdotes, puzzles, graphics, and speculations regarding future possibilities flesh out this wise and witty book. Recommended for academic and public libraries. --Elise Chase, Forbes Lib., Northampton, Mass.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Cognitive psychologist Norman searches for humane technology and just plain user-friendliness in the paraphernalia and artifacts employed in everyday life. What he finds is that ``today we serve technology,'' though, of course, ``technology should serve us.'' Currently a thinker at Apple Computer (actually, ``an Apple Fellow''), Norman expands on his previous offerings (Turn Signals Are the Facial Expressions of Automobiles, 1992; The Psychology of Everyday Things, 1988, etc.)--and his current text, though more thoughtful, is just as user-friendly as his earlier works. Citing the appalling slogan of the 1933 Chicago World's Fair, ``Science Finds, Industry Applies, Man Conforms,'' the good Apple Fellow offers a new guiding principle: ``People Propose, Science Studies, Technology Conforms.'' Usage, he says--especially of computer software--follows design, but it doesn't have to be that way. With intelligences now darting though cyberspace, Norman can differentiate between the human and the artificial kind. Neither of them is the sole, true McCoy: They're just different, each with different innate abilities. People are better at language, the arts and emotions that make life worthwhile. Technology is better at such things as logic and mathematics, both invented artifices. Not new notions, certainly, but when was the last time you heard a technocrat say that ``our goal should be to develop human centered activities, to make...the task fit the person, not the other way round''? Norman's presentation is eminently accessible, with incidental insights into such matters as primitive office procedures, and why, for addition and subtraction, Roman numeration is superior to Arabic. As he notes, books are one form of technology. Television is another. It might be interesting to see if his message could survive a change of medium, perhaps to educational TV. Lots of things make us smart, Norman points out. His book could be one of them. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • ASIN : B00QFJHP94
  • Publisher : Diversion Books (November 30, 2014)
  • Publication date : November 30, 2014
  • Language : English
  • File size : 5213 KB
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • Word Wise : Not Enabled
  • Print length : 306 pages
  • Lending : Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37 ratings

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
37 global ratings
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Top reviews from other countries

5.0 out of 5 stars Great book. Leant a lot!
Reviewed in India on September 23, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars Livre très intéressant
Reviewed in France on April 4, 2017
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