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Chapter 50. Interfaces Diversified > Hoosiers and Africans

Hoosiers and Africans

The kind of accommodation to diverse users exemplified by color-splashed dialog boxes and pretty pink power tools is neither respectful nor empowering. Instead of validating and valuing genuine differences, it perpetuates silly and superficial stereotypes. It lumps real diversity under artificial and largely meaningless rubrics, creating what writer Kurt Vonnegut called a “granfalloon,” a false grouping.

After all, just who is this archetypal European who prefers left-justified labels and art deco layout? Is it an Italian or a German? What aesthetics and sensibilities do the residents of Sicily share with those of Stockholm? As the ad for the newspaper says, “The European—you can't be one without it.” Only in the minds of advertising executives and corporate think-tankers is there a “European culture,” as opposed to provincial French or Tuscan or Danish middle class.


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