Nicholas Negroponte envisions a time when we may speak to a doorknob or a toaster and predicts that, when we do, we will find the experience no more uncomfortable than talking to a telephone answering machine. He has nothing to say about how we may become different by talking to doorknob (and he has no clue about how talking to an answering machine s is far from comfortable). He is concerned only that we adapt to our technological future. He nowhere addresses the psychic or social meaning of adaptation. People are quite capable of adapting to all sorts of changes - soldiers adapt themselves to killing, children adapt themselves to being fatherless, women can adapt themselves to being abused. I have not doubt we can adapt ourselves to talking much more to machines than to people. But that is not an answer to anything.


  1. Building a Bridge to the 18th Century