Dear Newt Gingrich: We Call it a “Smart Phone”

I am very puzzled also. Is this supposed to be comedic?

This video of Newt Gingrich rambling on about cell phones is a perfect example of a politician who is NOT using their time wisely at all. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about health care being brought into the 21st century, but I really do not believe the answer lies in a cell phone (and for the record, Mr. Gingrich, us young folk call them “smart phones” and we are aware of  their capabilities). Despite the obvious fact that the suffix “phone” means auditory information, who really cares what it’s called as long as it does its job? I mean, really. An iPhone or an android is just a thingamajingy that does awesome stuff.

If you want to watch a video that discusses technology and health and actually makes you use your brain, this one featuring Ray Kurzweil might be better:

I definitely have mixed feelings about the use of computers to diagnose health problems. Whenever I think of a computerized system, especially one developed by any large corporation or government, I just think of my extremely poor experiences with the automated systems of entities like T-mobile, Dell and the IRS.

How many times have you screamed profanities into the phone and just started stabbing as many virtual buttons as possible just to get to an actual person? I know it happens to me weekly. I have actually gotten to the point where as soon as I can drop a company that has a poor automated system, I do. I am no longer a T-Mobile customer because of their poor customer care and the loops their automated system send you in. I actually paid $700 to get out of my contract, but that story is for another time. Can you imagine having to deal with something like that when you’re ill?

As a web programmer, I can understand why these systems aren’t perfect, because a lot of times the amount of work and cashflow required to make them user friendly is just not there, and there is also the added problem that many programmer type people do not take into account the different types of people that may be using a system.  In my opinion, all of these problems can make an automated system relatively useless, often requiring there to be a person to go to anyway.

The bottom line is that whenever you let a computer start handling tasks that require compassion and human interaction, everything just starts going down hill. Computers cannot always make the right decisions.

My feelings aside, what Ray has to say is really interesting. I read his book “Spiritual Machines” back in 2001 and I recommend for those interested in the speed and direction of the advancement of technology and computers in general, even though its quite a few years old now, it has some pretty interesting and relevant information in it.

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