Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Touch Factor

image from http://osxdaily.com
 I finally got around to listening to the This American Life episode about the man who visits the factory in China where so many of our gadgets are made. Then I watched last night's 60 Minutes episode on Khan Academy, the self-described free, world-class, online educational opportunity. Both stories are fascinating and well worth the listen. 
They raise so many questions about the nature of technology and its role in our lives. The most mind-blowing consideration for me though is one of the human touch inherent in these technologies. 
My sleek laptop is the result of a Chinese factory worker spending long days layering pieces of equipment thinner than human hair into a computer shell. Even the online educational system on its way to replacing mainstream classrooms across America depends on a guy who sits on his desk lecturing into a computer mic. In other words, Siri cannot make us a computer...she just is one.
Have you hear/seen these episodes? What did you think?


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