02 December 2006

The Perils of "Technological Dependency"

Technology is a wonderful thing, it has freed humanity from so many tedious and repetitive tasks, however, it is not without its own perils.

Technological dependency is one of those perils, and we all know the symptoms: from phoning up the utility company to be told that "the computer says that you're dead" to relying too heavily on M$ Word's spell checker, which makes a hash of so many basic English words.

The Times reported another example of technological dependency (or stupidity, if you like):

"An ambulance crew’s blind faith in a satellite navigation system turned the routine 20-minute transfer of a patient between hospitals into a 400-mile odyssey.
They drove for eight hours before finally delivering the patient. After the equipment sent them north, they covered 215 miles in about four hours. The way back was only slightly shorter and took more than 3½ hours.

The paramedics are far from unusual in being deceived by their sat-nav systems.

Last month a woman dodged oncoming traffic for 14 miles after misreading her sat-nav system and driving the wrong way up a dual carriageway.Police said it was a miracle that no one was injured after the young woman joined the A3M, which links Portsmouth to London, on the southbound side — only to head north.

In September a taxi driver took two teenage girls 85 miles in the opposite direction after keying the wrong place name into his sat-nav. The girls asked to go to Lymington in the New Forest, Hampshire, but the driver tapped in Limington, Somerset."

No comments: