Serve the Computer

The work some of us have seems to me to exist mainly to serve the computer. That is, we’re not using the computers as tools in our work, but the computers are using us. I know I’m personifying the computer, and it’s really Stu’s — or perhaps Duane’s or IBM’s — fault for writing a program that needs constant human intervention, but my point stands. We are the drones who operate the great looms in the mills of Nottingham. At one time we were the craftsmen who built the looms, but that day has passed. Then we were the mechanics who maintained the looms, but that day too has gone.

The idiocy of this position is more apparent if one talks of the computer as another tool, such as a hammer. Is the carpenter using the hammer, or does the hammer use the carpenter?

This is wrong.

What can be done to return the computer to its place as our tool, and us to its master?