Forecast / humor / ideation / Technology

Forecast Friday: Overly Helpful Technology

We’re horribly dependent on technology. Sometimes it’s a good thing, but there are hidden costs. You might remember when calculators showed up on the scene, and people started arguing about whether they should be allowed in school. Wait a minute – most of you probably don’t remember any of that, and some may not even realize that a calculator used to be a separate electronic device – not an app on your PC, or your phone (I figure people won’t know what a PC was soon enough.)

What could be the harm in allowing kids to use the calculator to solve math problems? Sure, they were more likely to get the right answer, but they wouldn’t be setting up the same synapses and progressions of thought that working math problems in your head provides – it helps develop your reasoning ability and reinforces a one-step-at-a-time methodology, and maybe delivers some patience along the way, too. Our latest adults seem to have problems with the kinds of focus and organization that math problems helped enforce. Working math problems isn’t just about getting the answer – we’re losing valuable training on how to think. Then these kids go to work at fast-food chains, and to accommodate them, the registers have special buttons for all the different items and extras on the menu.

Remember the human passengers in WALL-E? I’m sure the makers of the movie thought they were wonderful comedy to watch, but I thought they were the most frightening part of the movie – more than the global dump-site the earth had become. All these people totally incapable of taking care of themselves because their lives were made so ridiculously easy by technology. Is this really the way we want to go – turning the able bodied into invalids rather than the other way around?

I saw a headline recently that asked whether self-driving cars would provide more autonomy or more dependence. Sure – more autonomy for people who have lost their mobility and can’t get around on their own (maybe ME in 10-20 years?), but you know that it will be available to people who don’t need it, and when the zombie apocalypse comes and the cars stop driving themselves, these people will lack the basic skills to do more than to shout at the immobile car to accelerate out of there as the zombies suck up their brains. (I wonder if the lower quality gray matter will be detrimental to the zombie’s dietary concerns?)

There should be rules about technology – it should also IMPROVE the person while it’s making our lives EASIER. Present a challenge – exercise our minds – because a mind is a terrible thing to waste.

One way or another, the zombies will thank us.

Just saying…


CollectionFirst3CoverIt’s a week since the release date forThe First Three ‘Things I Could Get OUT OF MY MIND’ (a collection of my first three OUT OF MY MIND collections – a total of eighteen short stories in all), but I’ve finally finished the paperback version – it’s on Createspace at:

Of course, the eBook version is still available at several online sellers, including, but not limited to:




SomeKindOfLuckCoverWilliam Mangieri’s writing, including his previous publication “Some Kind of Luck,”  can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords:
• His Amazon Author page:
• Barnes & Noble:
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books):
• His site on WordPress:
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:
• His Goodreads author page:
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri


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