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When Technology Takes Revenge

fs.blog

When technology bites back

In many ways, technology improves and enriches our lives. Yet, there is a sense that we have lost control of our technology in some ways and end up victims of its unintended consequences.

Author Edward Tenner coined the term "revenge effects" to describe how technologies can solve ...

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When we introduce a new piece of technology, it is wise to consider if we are interfering with a bigger system. If we do, we should reflect on it's wider consequences.

But, if the factors involved get complex enough, we cannot anticipate them with accuracy. Understanding ...

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  • Repeating effects: This occurs when more efficient processes end up making us do the same things more often. Better appliances have led to higher standards of cleanliness, tempting people to spend the same amount of time on housework.
  • Recomplicatin...

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The more we try to control our tools, the more they can make it worse.

  • Before the Industrial Revolution, technology was a tool that served as an extension of the user. In a complex system, the machine is more than a device. It needs parts that interact in unexpected and unwanted way...

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  • A revenge effect is not a side effect. It is a revenge effect if it reverses the benefit for at least a small subset of users. Typing on a laptop has increased carpal tunnel syndrome, while the physical effort using a typewriter protected workers from some of the harmful ef...

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  • We can expect revenge effects, even if they cannot be predicted.
  • In chains of cause and effect within complex systems, the real benefits are not the ones we expected, and the real threats of not those we feared.
  • We should be careful about ...

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