Earlier this month, I was interviewed by two
ETI FTI students about the use of tablets in consecutive interpreting. The conversation was extremely interesting and stimulating, forcing me to think about my perceived "wisdom" in terms of using a tablet for interpretation. Several questions focussed on the advantages of using a tablet for consecutive notes. Huh. That question came rather unexpected and I struggled to come up with a sensible answer. It boiled down to "I just like it better". (Convinced? Me neither.)
Then I stumbled upon an article called "The ascent of failure" on Eddie Smith's geeky blog. Eddie has kids who want to be entertained and ponders the simple question of what could go wrong with a) a toy ball and b) an iPad:
This morning, right after my three-year-old son and I lost interest in rebuilding his train set when his 15-month-old sister wrecked it for the third time, my son went for the iPad mini. It wasn't working either.
So far, so simple. Eddie rightly observes that the more complicated something gets, the more error-prone it becomes.
As we mature as both individuals and societies, we seem to have his urge to want ever more complicated tools and toys. We also tend to place increasingly complicated expectations on what these things should do. [...] I think it's worth pondering the time we spending fixing our tools and toys versus the time we spending solving problems and actually getting to play.
Oops. Guilty as charged. But here's the kicker:
If we've learned anything in the last hundred years or so, it's that technology doesn't promise to simplify our lives. It promises to keep our lives extremely interesting.
By the way, the students I talked to are Joshua Goldsmith and Josephine Holley. The interview was part of their master's thesis, which I cannot wait to get my hands on. They are also great people: Last week, I spent a couple of days in Geneva to attend a conference and had the chance to meet Josh and Josephine in person and to geek out about note-taking apps and stylusses.