Thursday, March 7, 2013

Too stupid for smart stuff?


Evgeny Morozov, WSJ, Feb 23-24, 2013, says so-called smart products are meant to "fix" us.

He talks about an app in which you get a special trash can that photographs your refuse and posts the picture to Facebook so your "friends" can see if you recycle properly. It's called BinCam.

Truly.

This crowdsourcing (I never am sure on that one) is to mold us into better little discarders.

Watches now pulse when you get a Facebook "poke." Smart scales put your weight on Twitter.

Google seems to think we are broken. Me, personally, I think Google is broken because I hardly make any ad money.

So now we have smart forks--you are eating too much! Your car contains a sensor judging your driving.

"Good smart" allows us to use the information as we want to.  Maybe a grocery cart that adds up our nutrition as we fill it.

"Bad smart" is sensors that turn off cars if you have been drinking or are drowsy or which allow cops or angry spouses to find out where we are.

Maybe, this author says, smart is to help us with decision-making, not make the decisions.

I am still stuck on the nosy trash can. Leave me alone, you hunk of plastic!

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