Are Smart Solutions Making Us Dumber?

As the problem-solving ability of technology becomes ever more sophisticated, are we losing our ability to discern between vital and trivial problems? Seemingly insignificant problems are elevated in importance, while more serious problems down-played or ignored. This modern day conundrum is lampooned well in a meme floating around about First World Problems.

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It’s Not A Bug – It’s A Feature

Just because we have a smart solution or a life hack for certain things, doesn’t mean that we must use it. Some things shouldn’t even be considered problems.

Here are some examples:

  • Awkward situations
  • Noisy or messy situations
  • Imperfect situations
  • Unpredictable situations

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Smart Solutions Don’t Make Us Smarter

In fact they make us dumber because they take away our problem-solving ability and place this learnable skill in the hands of a non-sentient machine. I don’t want to live in a perfect, sterile Orwellian world or a world like in Idiocracy. I want to live in a messy, wild, chaotic and sweaty world where people do unpredictable, sometimes ugly, sometimes beautiful things. Where people need to use what’s between their ears.

Are Smart Solutions Making Us Dumber?
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The Ubiquity of Technology

As we all know the internet is everywhere. In geo-location services, smart glasses, real-time traffic updates, self-driving cars, fridges, washing machines and so on. The fact that smart technology and smart solutions are everywhere, means that soon all imperfections and bugs will be designed out of existence.

All of these fuzzy, furry, imperfect and ambiguous bits – the mistakes, will disappear! I would argue that it’s these self-same mistakes or bugs in our environment that makes the world a more human place! What are your thoughts?

5 Comments

  1. gubby5456

    I disagree. The imperfections will simply be different. As you said life is getting easier, but the day to day soap operas are increasing. People get more worked up about things that are very trivial. But, I do like the observation, it is a good subject to think on…

      1. gubby5456

        I think the issue not trivial, I just think that there is no way all bugs will be overcome. Maybe the glitches with current technology will be ironed, but as new tech comes out, there will need to be a refining process or time for working out the kinks. I do think the “fuzzy bits” are a beautiful part of existence. They leave room for SOME ironic and serendipitous points in our lives. That being said, people are probably more prone to error than most technologies and have just gotten very good at blaming external things. So even if technology becomes perfect in function, it will just put the follies of human computational ability at the head of the table and emphasize our ever present incompetence. Hah
        I think this relates to one of my posts, it was about our (humans) inability to see the world objectively. The filters we employ, keep us from reaching a bland perfect understanding of things…
        Thoughttable.wordpress.com/2014/17/wit-unobtainable-objectivity/

  2. Vefday

    I enjoy reading this post a lot. Please allow me to say, I’m just not sure anymore if our modern technology is good for us. Does it have a heart? Oh, and I’d also like to say that the Internet is certainly not very smart. Perhaps it’s smarter than I think it is because I’m forever spending my precious time engaging with it.

    1. Content Catnip

      Indeed, I think we all bring our own heart and soul to it. Although it’s not a nice feeling to think that it exists autonomously from all of us, as though we cease to be the driver and become more like the passenger. It’s like science-fiction coming true! Oh well, we can always go and live in the arctic circle in a cabin and disconnect from the world! LOL 🙂

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