Saturday, April 28, 2001

High tech, high touch

How technology has become the god we love to hate.
Gautam Chikermane
The 70-year-old man couldn't understand it. All he knew was that the Indian Airlines flight to Jodhpur had been cancelled. For this man, a metals trader in Jodhpur, the computerised schedules were formidable. He hobbled behind the customer services man but the customer services man was busy with other younger, more aggressive, stronger men. This went on for a while, and as I boarded my flight to Mumbai (three hours late), I noticed him being taken to a taxi, his tension-filled creases intact.
The old man lingered in my head for a while. Being not as old myself, I thought it must be his "industrial age" thinking that prevented him from understanding the simple things in life -- the various technological screens we live with (computers, TVs, cellphones, and their application to airlines). I didn't understand that what he needed was the human touch. Or so John Naisbitt told me in the two hours to Mumbai in his latest book, High Tech, High Touch.
Book review in Outlook Money

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