Computer Psychology

Skoob_ymSkoob_ym Teacher
edited July 2018 in Author Workshop
An idea popped into my head today at work. To most people, computers are an unrelatable topic. The language in which we explain computers makes most non-techies slightly comatose. So what if we put the concepts of computer science into terms that people can relate to? What if we changed the computer from a mysterious black box under the desk to a slightly quirky coworker?

We read books on how to get along with quirky coworkers, so why not a book on how to get along with the crazy guy on the desktop?
__________________ snip ___________________________________

Computer Psychology
How to Communicate with your PC

Introduction:

DO YOU OFTEN WONDER if perhaps your computer just doesn’t speak your language? Does it seem like your PC has become distant, or simply doesn’t listen to you? Have you ever found yourself unable to find a way to make your computer understand you?

You are not alone. This situation is very common, and it is usually a result of a misunderstanding. Your computer is probably not actually plotting your downfall, though it may seem that way. In fact, if both you and your PC are willing to make the effort, you will find that you can work together harmoniously.

This book is intended to help you better understand and communicate with your computer. By changing the way we speak to our PCs, we can change our world, and theirs as well. And the problem, frankly, can lie on either side. That is why honest and open communication between the user and the PC is vital.

Okay, I’m being a bit facetious – but only a bit. If you treated your coworkers the way that you treat your computer, they wouldn’t work well with you either. Computers suffer physical, verbal, and software-related abuse on a regular basis. Cracker crumbs under the keys; coffee in the monitor, and mice with severed cords are the smallest of the infractions that happen on a regular basis. I've even found nacho cheese with jalapeno rings baked to a motherboard.

In this book, we will talk about how computers behave, but we’ll take it out of the electronic magic vocabulary and instead we’ll think of the computer as a coworker who happens to behave in an atypical manner. We’ll look at ways to communicate – because really, everything we do with a computer is a communication – and we’ll think about reasonable expectations for a computer.

Because, honestly, they’re not magical. They only know what people tell them. And they can be a bit too literal. And they have trouble understanding the context of what they’re told. So is it reasonable to expect the computer to know what we want? Well… maybe. If we communicate well.



Comments

  • oncewasoncewas Librarian

    I have a sneaking suspicion that most people are not interested in how their computers work; they simply want them to work. The ones who are interested in the inner workings of the computer will probably will have bought several books already of a more technical nature.

    Perhaps approach it from a humorous angle?

     


  • TheJesusNinjaTheJesusNinja Teacher
    edited July 2018
    I build my own pc's, mostly for gaming. My PC tech teacher was a Taoist. His way of teaching pc hardware was having each one of us pretend to be a part of the pc. He gave a note the the person who's job was to be the keyboard.Then he said now what happens next? So we learned how each piece of hardware played its part. To me PC's are fascinating, but only the ones that can be upgraded. That's why I build mine from scratch. Perhaps a book called The Tao of PC Computing. Probably just got way off course :)
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    An idea popped into my head today at work. To most people, computers are an unrelatable topic.

    Just like cars. When they work they work, and when they don't most people just take them or call someone in, who can fix it. (With cars they normally plug them in to a PC ...)

     The language in which we explain computers makes most non-techies slightly comatose.

    That's because they are non-techies, and often not interested.

    So what if we put the concepts of computer science into terms that people can relate to?

    Do you mean in the manner of the Idiot or Dummy range of books?

     What if we changed the computer from a mysterious black box under the desk to a slightly quirky coworker?

    What? They ignore it then moan about them when they get home? (What if they are already home?)

    We read books on how to get along with quirky coworkers,

    Who is this "we"? I don't know, and have never known, anyone who reads such books. (Well, perhaps me when I did a course in Personal Management, but that's not exactly the same.)

     so why not a book on how to get along with the crazy guy on the desktop?

    Well, touch wood, computers are quite well behaved nowadays, unless some one 'invites' hidden software on to them from some dubious site, then they get geeks in to sort it out. Who would you get in to sort out that crazy co-worker?

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Because, honestly, they’re not magical. They only know what people tell them.

    And that is no longer 100% true. https://phys.org/news/2016-10-self-learning-tackles-problems-previous.html

  • Em_PressEm_Press Professor
    "Getting Along with Your Computer 101"

    I like the humourous angle.
     A citizen of the world.

  • Em_PressEm_Press Professor
    edited July 2018
    Or, to build on Jesus Ninja's idea, The Computer Bible for Beginners, for Intermediate, for Advanced Learners
     A citizen of the world.

  • It still breaks down to the pc doing what you tell it to do. Even with A.I., there is still the code programming that instructs it to think for itself. So is it really thinking for itself or simply following orders?
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    It still breaks down to the pc doing what you tell it to do. Even with A.I., there is still the code programming that instructs it to think for itself. So is it really thinking for itself or simply following orders?

    You can say exactly the same thing about humans ... but, AI can now write its own code and is getting better at it all the time.  https://futurism.com/4-our-computers-are-learning-how-to-code-themselves/ In order to write How To guides one needs to keep up with technology.

    (Waits for White Rabbit comment ...)

    However, nowadays everything one needs or wants to know is on line. Here's just one example. http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/connect/BBC_First_Click_Beginners_Guide.pdf

    And if one still has the need for books.  https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B001IGNIHM/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1?redirectedFromKindleDbs=true

    https://www.rnib.org.uk/information-everyday-living-using-technology-beginners-guides/beginners-guide-computers-laptops-and

    Then again, many people now use portable Android or Ipad devices and the Cloud.

  • wildwindwildwind Publisher

    How daft - the BBC's guide to using a computer and the internet is online! You must know how to use the internet to get there. It has a section called 'Switching on Your Computer'; if you didn't know how to switch on your computer you would not be on the internet and looking at the guide.

    When it comes to books it is surprising just what people will buy. If that were not the case then we all might as well just give up on publishing.


  • The goal here is not so much to provide a guide to computers -- there are ten thousand ^2x10^23 books on how to program, what computers do, and how they work. The idea here is to provide a context into which that information can be fit.

    I provide tech support daily for (among others) psychologists and psychiatrists. I like to say that psychiatrists call me to work through their problem (computer problems, that is). I find that when I can put this into terms they understand -- "yes, your computer's a bit passive-aggressive today, isn't it?" -- they never fail to chuckle. It lightens the mood and enables them to understand why the computer doesn't magically know things that they haven't told it.

    When we have a trust relationship error, for example -- that is, the servers don't recognize the computer and won't talk to it -- I tell them that the servers have been warned about "Stranger danger." Or I might say that the servers are a bit clique-ish, and we'll need to join the clique.

    I'm sure that you can think of a time when your PC has exhibited OCD -- repeatedly trying the same thing, or else being sphexish about a process. I'm sure that there are times you've thought your PC was ignoring you. All of these things can be explained through anthropomorphizing the computer, and then examining its personality traits.
  • Because, honestly, they’re not magical. They only know what people tell them.

    And that is no longer 100% true. https://phys.org/news/2016-10-self-learning-tackles-problems-previous.html

    "Self-learning" is still a very tenuous concept. When you see an article on the topic that doesn't include the phrase, "might someday lead to" then it may be time to get excited about it.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    How daft - the BBC's guide to using a computer and the internet is online! You must know how to use the internet to get there. It has a section called 'Switching on Your Computer'; if you didn't know how to switch on your computer you would not be on the internet and looking at the guide.

    Not the least bit daft, because it's linked to lessons in school IT classes.

    When it comes to books it is surprising just what people will buy.

    Very true, such as when people put famous chef cookery books at Number 1, but have just watched the series it is based on, on TV. Many used to be called Coffee Table books, because they look good left on them, unread.  :)

     If that were not the case then we all might as well just give up on publishing.

    Well some write for pleasure, but hoping others may enjoy the work, too.  But some non-fiction books can take years to write ( and are often out of date by the time they are published) and one does have to wonder if the time is worth it considering the tiny market for some of them. To cut down on those years many such books are team work though. Many experts working in conjunction. 

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    "Self-learning" is still a very tenuous concept. When you see an article on the topic that doesn't include the phrase, "might someday lead to" then it may be time to get excited about it.

    Might lead to sentience is the usual comment with AI, and someday is getting closer. The links I find are just random examples, there are possibly better ones, you could look for them yourself, but I own a TV that daily has updated tech science on it. MIT is featured often for example. TVs are handy and remarkably educational, when one has 100s of channels.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    I'm sure that you can think of a time when your PC has exhibited OCD -- repeatedly trying the same thing,

    Nope.

     or else being sphexish about a process.

    Not as such.

     I'm sure that there are times you've thought your PC was ignoring you.

    Hardly ever.

     All of these things can be explained through anthropomorphizing the computer, and then examining its personality traits.

    One problem is that many users of computers are 'thick' and also don't really care how one works, and when they do not work they call someone in who is not so 'thick' of, "I will wait till my son gets home." I have helped people who have had PC problems, and their lack of, well, intelligence, made it damn near impossible to help them sort out even the simplest of problems no matter how basic one takes the help down to. Even when sent to totally basic help sites, even ones for children, it's as if they cannot read! In the end they have to be told > take it to PC world and they will fix (rip you off) for you.

    It reminds of an old quote. "I child of 5 could work this!"  "Well fetch me that child of 5!"

    One other problem nowadays is that PCs have become so reliable I have forgotten how to fix some problems!


Sign In or Register to comment.