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Things That Make Us Smart: Defending Human Attributes in the Age of the Machine Kindle Edition
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Kirkus Reviews
- 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
- Best Sellers Rank: #208,318 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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"Things That Make Us Smart" is typical Donald Norman; take the idea of a human-centered approach to technology and run with it. For those seeking an introduction to Norman, forgo this book in favor of "The Design of Everyday Things." For those familiar with Norman's ideas, skim at your leisure.
I enjoyed this book mainly because of the insight I received on how to determine whether an artifacts is effective, and how to make a tool a more effective cognitive artifact.
If you work to design, architect, and construct things that people use to help themselves think better, this is a worthwhile book to read.
As we have created technology many time, enamored with what it could offer, we just assumed we just had to change how we worked to use it. Unfortunately we don't think like machines and trying to, often had unsatisfactory results. As the author pointed out: The Motto of the 1933 Worlds fair was: Science Finds, Industry Applies Man Conforms, was a backwards approach and suggested instead our motto should be: People Propose, Science Studies, Technology Conforms. This in effect expecting Technology to adapt to its users. This made more sense as quite frankly we humans had hardwired limitations that could not be ignored.
The author discussed various issues with technology, some pertinent today and some that were clearly remnants of an earlier age..
I particularly found the section on predicting the future quite interesting. Technology needs both infrastructure as well as social acceptance and the author pointed out a 10 year span, is not enough to see change, but a 50 year span is. At first glance I was thinking this was speeding up considering the computer, cell phone and digital cameras today. However, if you think, phones, cameras and even computers were around 10 years ago, there was a structure, how they were produced and managed are the only things that have changed. Compare this to 1960 and you have quite a shift however.
The authors main point is that we humans should not become slaves to technology and try to change the way we do things. We have real limitations. We as the inventors of this Technology, should make it serve us, not the other way around.
Norman takes us through a discovery of what is "right" and what is "wrong" with many of the objects we use everyday. He points out both good design (such as the genius of the filing cabinet) and bad design, while also wishing for a new and better way. The interesting part is to note that many of these wishes he made in 1994 have actually become reality. He wished for "computerized scheduling" that can be updated and shared (p. 216) - many of us have Palm Pilots from which we can down/upload calendar updates to and from our desktop computer or share our calendar to another Palm Pilot via "beaming." He also warns us that technologies take a long time to be accepted... and asks us to consider the present to ten years prior - that there isn't that much difference. (p. 192) In 1994, there wasn't much difference in the world from 10 years before, but in the six years since 1994 the world has undergone tremendous change, mostly due to the increased use of the Internet. I am very interested in reading his latest book to see how he addresses this.