Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Biased Communications

When a corporation wants my money, I’m likely to receive a phone call with a live person on the other end of the line. But when I want to have some satisfaction from a corporation, it is almost impossible to reach a human being just by making a telephone call. I could expand this to include all reasonably large institutions, including government. Is this a peculiarly modern phenomenon? No. It was already present in my youth in Europe when not every household had a telephone yet. The difference is that in the old days the systems protecting the powerful were made up of human beings. They stopped you at the door. You couldn’t see the big man much less the king. These systems to ward off the unpleasant communication have become more efficient, that is all. But what has stayed the same is the reaction of those who seek help or redress. Their irritation has not diminished just because they are repelled by algorithms rather than by people.

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