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Most people believe that computers are tools; at least this is the image conveyed by the dominant ideology. This viewpoint has two main components. First, computers are inert objects that persons control. Due to the dumb docility of these machines, computers are assumed to operate in a neutral, value-free manner. By processing data, these machines mechanically generate objective information. Second, computers simply wait to be used. Like all tools, computers do what they are told, therefore there is nothing fundamentally diabolical or sinister about these machines. In this sense, computers seem transparent--they do not have an agenda. As the clichéd defense of technology suggests, though machines can be turned to good or evil ends, computers themselves are basically amoral. If problems arise from this technology, then users are to blame.

VICENTE BERDAYES, Computers, Human Interaction, and Organizations

Like the mind, the computer is useful because it produces information. Computers are also functional because they are able to produce a wide variety of responses that mimic human abilities. As the brain has been compared with the computer, the idea that the mind is a mechanical entity has become more plausible. For example, just as the computer operates on electricity, the brain is now described as an object comprised of electronically sensitive cells or neuron networks. Although the nervous system, which is the controlling agent for the body, continues to be shrouded in mystery, many investigators have found it attractive to equate the mind with the brain and to identify both with the computer.

VICENTE BERDAYES, Computers, Human Interaction, and Organizations


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