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Run for your lives--the computers are invading. Awesomely powerful computers tackling ever more important tasks with awkward, old-fashioned interfaces. As these machines leak into every corner of our lives, they will annoy us, infuriate us, and even kill a few of us. In turn, we will be tempted to kill our computers, but we won't dare because we are already utterly, irreversibly dependent on these hopeful monsters that make modern life possible.

ALAN COOPER, introduction, The Inmates Are Running the Asylum

To our human minds, computers behave less like rocks and trees than they do like humans, so we unconsciously treat them like people.... In other words, humans have special instincts that tell them how to behave around other sentient beings, and as soon as any object exhibits sufficient cognitive function, those instincts kick in and we react as though we were interacting with another sentient human being.

ALAN COOPER, The Inmates Are Running the Asylum

Computers no longer interface with humans--they interact, and the interaction will become steadily deeper, more subtle, and more crucial to our collective sanity and ultimate survival.

ALAN COOPER, introduction, The Inmates Are Running the Asylum

Because computers have memories, we imagine that they must be something like our human memories, but that is simply not true. Computer memories work in a manner alien to human memories. My memory lets me recognize the faces of my friends, whereas my own computer never even recognizes me. My computer's memory stores a million phone numbers with perfect accuracy, but I have to stop and think to recall my own.

ALAN COOPER, The Inmates Are Running the Asylum


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