Crying to Dragon Dictate
Dragon Dictate, Mac OSX screen reader
I cried for five minutes to Dragon Dictate. I used the Mac OSX screen reader to read back the result.
I was a software engineer in Silicon Valley for many years, and, like many computer programmers, I ended up with repetitive stress injuries to my wrists. Unable to type, I was forced to use Dragon Dictate, a popular speech recognition program, to interact with my computer. This limitation interrupted the seamless, nearly ecstatic relationship I had with computers, and, at one point, I spent an hour attempting to type only a few sentences using the software. Extremely frustrated, I cried while the speech recognition software was still running. This text is the result of Dragon Dictate’s interpretation of my crying. I used the Mac OSX screen reader to read the text aloud resulting in this uncanny poem.
This was a turning point in my relationship to technology...it was like I went from seeing the world through sparkly clean, invisible glass to glass so filthy all you can focus on is the dirt. Technology once seduced me into feelings of godlike, superhuman empowerment, but I became painfully aware of its controlling interfaces shaping my thoughts and behavior. Popular user experience design textbooks define user experience design as the design of behavior, and they state that successful UX design should be invisible to the user. The user seemingly executes his intention completely naturally without any awareness of the interface guiding his behavior. Knowing who the people are behind these interfaces, I no longer embrace current technologies.