Morning After

Here is a submission I made to the ACM human interface list-serv

Victoria Sharpe Says:

  • >This very question leads me to expect an article very
  • >soon from the technical communication community. A
  • >similar one was written about maps in NY city and the
  • >Challenger disaster. Would you classify usability as a part
  • >of the field of technical communication or as a part of
  • >human factors? I am often confused as to where
  • >professionals place it.

I find that this issue is not squeezed into a label as easily as all of us "label makers" would like it to. The stance I take, watching most of the related disciplines, is that there is commonality. These problems are not easily corrected by technology alone. In the post war era (or perhaps the industrial revolution) our culture has become incredibly complacent that technology will solve our problems. And of course there is tremendous evidence to support the notion that technology can improve human existence.

I truly believe the technology/benefit curve is a curve of diminishing-returns. We are approaching a point in the history of mankind that further increases in improvement in our existence lie in science and improvements in scientific thought not in the often highly specialized areas of technology.

Technology and science are not synonyms. Charlie Dowdell


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