Tag Archives: computer programming

The Rat Lab

by Sally Applin

I’ve noticed this one for years…but haven’t written about it, until now. Impatience. I think computers are training us at some level to be more impatient with one another. Fundamentally, we’re animals and like any creature trained for action=reward. Push the button, get the pellet.

In the information age, the button that we push is “enter” and the pellet that we get is information in whatever form we requested. Push the button, get the info.

We take that with us. We’re out engaging with someone. They aren’t moving fast enough–or correctly enough–or they aren’t giving us the right information–we’ve pushed the button, where is your response??!

An example of this is a programmer I used to date many years ago. At the time, I thought he was the odd guy out with his intolerance and impatience if I didn’t respond immediately or the way he wanted me to. I thought it was an isolated issue, just with him. However, over the years, amongst working and dating people within the technical community, I started to notice this as a pattern. They’d push the button, they wanted their response. Just like running their programs.

Now with search engine popularity, this has trained the entire computer literate society. Push the button, give us our information. 

A lot of recent news has blamed this on the narcissistic children of the boomers, and I think some of that impatience comes from that, but I’d bet a bigger wager on the collective rat lab training of the computer literate human race to push buttons and get responses.

Trend: as more people come online and are “trained” by pushing “enter” to get responses, the impatience of society overall is going to grow.

Best get your pellets ready.

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