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techonopolies and how I understand them

digital dining.bmp

When I read the article by Neil Postman I realized that I am influenced by his idea of technologies and how they monopolize how we think, act, and how we design. The lecture by Lance Lavine focused on how we should question how design has changed by the computer and technology and how we should use designing before the computer as a focus on how we should design. Although the Lavine and Postman talked about the past hundreds and hundreds of years ago I am going to focus on the recent past and the present. I recently have felt the winds of change when it comes to design outside the realm of school. I work at a restaurant and we recently got a new computer system called the digital diner which is supposed to change how we view serving as a whole. "Is this a blessing or a curse?", I asked myself. As Mr. Postman suggested I balanced the benefits and losses of the technology change and who was the winners and the losers of this endeavor. As the actors and producers won the war of television against schools and teachers, the owner of my restaurant and the computer system won the war against restaurants that use food tickets and pencils to make their orders. When I first started working twelve years ago I used to use my skills of writing things down fast and communicating with the expodiator and the cooks to get my meals to the customers, but with the advent of the computer my interaction with workers grew less and less. As computers got more sophisticated, the manual mistakes have lessened and the wait time for food has decreased. So I have come to the conclusion that my owner has primarily benefited from the computer advancement with the managers benefitting as well. We as servers initially felt that we won as well ,but I believe we have lost more than won. Our manual skills have declined since the computer has been introduced and our interaction with fellow workers has been declining as well. The customers have lost as well because speed of service is continously being increased and servers have been taught to push people out of their seats so they can increase profitts. Another way to increase profits was to use the computer for more of the jobs previously held by workers. Now that we have an advanced computer less servers are needed to work on busy days and less expodiators are needed as well. As Freud began his comments of the benefits technology then ended with the technologies downfalls I too talked about their benefits and downfalls. Postman finally talks about how we should fear the changes that technology creates I am afraid of what changes are going to ensue from the digital dining computer.