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Chapter 2. Cognitive Friction > The Democratization of Consumer Power

The Democratization of Consumer Power

Traditionally, the more complex a mechanical device was, the more highly trained its operators were. Big machinery was always isolated from the public and was operated by trained professionals in uniform. The information age changed everything, and we now expect amateurs to manage technology far more complex than our parents ever faced.

As more and more of our tools and systems get silicon brains, they are placed into the hands of untrained amateurs. Twenty-five years ago, trained human operators handled long-distance phone calls at our verbal request. Today, the most complex international calls are handled directly by any untrained amateur pushing buttons.


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