May 28, 2013

the perks of ease and convenience

I traveled with West to New York. We stopped at a grocery store in which the cash registers were equipped with one of those devices that reads the price of an item automatically, a computerized checkout system. This one wasn't working well. West got down on his hands and knees and poked his head in under the cashier's counter to have a look at the thing. The clerk made her mouth an O. When West came out, dusting off his hands, he explained that he had helped design this particular model when he had worked at RCA. "It's a kludge," he said grinning. The clerk had some trouble figuring what the beer we bought ought to cost, and as we left, West said, out of her earshot, "Ummmmh, one of the problems with machines like that. You end up making people so dumb they can't figure out how many six-packs are in a case of beer."
(where are they now? a status update from december 2000.)

No comments: