Technology paradox

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The JC pontificates about technology
An occasional series.

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“What people mean by the word technology is stuff that doesn't really work yet”

—Danny Hillis

Technology is a vote of confidence in the past.

The power your technology gives you to do things more quickly, the more crap, crud and bloatware - the more form your institutional bureaucrats will inject into your process to slow it down again. Yes, Legal, Compliance, Internal audit, Credit — I’m looking at you.

Closely related to the Jevons paradox, where increase in the efficiency of coal-fired steam engines led to an increase in the demand and therefore cost for coal, largely offsetting the improved efficiency of the machine. But for the technology paradox the irony is even crueller: at least with a coal-powered engine you get more speed and power, even if you have to pay for it. But with tech even though the machine is more powerful it can’t go faster — it is beaten down to the grinding pace, or worse by that almost costless bloatware.

See also the Jolly Contrarian’s own audit paradox: the deployment of workflow tool and efficiency enhancements designed to help you by automatically logging and creating audit trails in fact you forces into sub-optimal behaviour that, but for the audit trail, you would not take.

See also