Can Smart Make You Dumb?

Well, lately I’ve been looking at new cars from various manufacturers and I found that they all seem to have gotten “smart” to one degree or another. They all came with power windows, door locks and no key starting. Some had cameras looking out the back and front, lane wander warning systems and a few even braked and parked for you. One car maker boasted that it’s cars had eight air bags. All the cars had a feature that tells you when the tire pressure is low. What does all this do for the driver?

Don’t get me talking about the rolling music concert hall, GPS and Bluetooth that they come with. Hell, when I first heard some guy say he had just gotten Bluetooth I felt sorry for him because I thought he had some kind of dental problem.

GPS! What about maps and a compass. A compass is not an Apple web browser. If the navigation system fails or is out of satellite range what happens then?

Music? Look I’m not saying bring back eight-track tapes or anything but how does someone concentrate on driving when they’re more concerned about pairing a cell phone to the car’s music system or plugging a thumb drive into the aux port than staying in their lane. All that in between text messages. I still have a dent in head from my father getting my attention while driving and looking at a pretty girl at the same time.

All the “smarts” in newer cars are dumbing-down drivers and giving them the attitude that the car will do everything for them. That they don’t have to learn to do the basic maintenance checks that their car’s need.

To that point – I was getting my tires rotated and balanced two years ago and was talking with a few women in the waiting room who were having the same thing done. I thought – HUMMM? I asked the group of women did they know how many tires their car had? They all said, in harmony, four ‘you silly man’. I told them they were wrong, a car has five tires. The four touching the road and a spare. I then asked them when was the last time they’d put air in the spare and said that if they didn’t know the spare was either flat or very low and useless when needed. You’d have thought is was Halloween because they all turned white as a ghost. One even ran to the tire shop supervisor and very loudly insisted that he check her spare tire.

My point in all of this is that people are letting their technology do their thinking for them. Focusing more features than function, comfort instead of quality and thereby putting themselves out on the proverbial limb.

Is this how the descent of man begins?

Think Global – Act Local