Mocha Express
Thought provoking commentary on
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1 Mobile Gadgets Dumbing Down The Clueless:
stimulus/response, ego-centric brains on a leash!

October 09, 2011

CNN, today, had the article:
10 ways mobile gadgets have changed our live

Their "10 ways" might be best summarized as: "stimulus/response, ego-centric brains on a leash".

Always on a Leash

Once upon a time, I had one of the first Blackberries.  I think its serial number was in the low 100s.  It was a really neat gadget to have my admin at my beck and call.

When my manager got one, I started not liking it so much since it interrupted things and he expected a "timely" (i.e. immediate) response, even to mundane things.

We now see that the "masses" of lower level "minions" now have the same problem.  Rather than engaging with their locale, they are leashed at the beck and call of anyone who has their button.

Pretty grim and guaranteed to make them lose the bubble on learnings from their current context.

Ego Belly Bucking

The article noted that a major change is that the "gadget" is now part and parcel of many people's egos.  As Dilbert has satirized and many clueless wonders worry, do they have "the latest and greatest"?  It doesn't matter that they have no real, practical use for it, just like a peacock, they need to have the gaudiest and prettiest.

This is also a factor with placing the gadget as higher priority than the physical.  If it rings, it must be important: might be some community organizer wanting to appoint them to a lucrative government job, or something. (oops, it was just their mom/girl friend checking up, or that dweeb pal telling about how they got to level 63 in the latest blood and gore game…)

No Thought Response

This is the real corker: the gadgets are training to "instantly respond".  While this may be good for "firstist", it should be remembered that the lead minions are also considered "cannon fodder".

Level 4 Ignorance is wonderful

Finally, the scariest part is that users of gadgets have access to large amount of information, much of it ephemeral. Some view that they don't have to know anything, they can just look it up.

I would suggest that these clueless wonders read Philp Armour CACM 10/2000 article:
0th Order Ignorance - Lack of ignorance: have the answers in hand in provable form
1st Order Ignorance - Lack of knowledge: we know we don't know something.  The question is in well factored form and we know that we must get the knowledge
2nd Order Ignorance - Lack of awareness: we are not aware that we don't know something.  We don't even have a question that we want to answer
3rd Order Ignorance - Lack of process: not only do we not know that we need to know something, but there also isn't a map or strategic plan that will take us in the right direction to find the information
4th Order Ignorance - Meta-ignorance: when there isn't even a thought that there might be unknowns

The problem is that, without experience or correlation with other knowledge, trivia factoids are of limited utility.

But then, it is all about them.

Carpe Diem: What you can envision, you can achieve!sm
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