A couple of weeks back I posted about how we might design for systems which we can't understand the inner workings of.

I ended up chatting about this to a neighbour over fondue at LIFT last week, and in the course of this it occurred to me that this isn't just a design problem, it's also a societal one.

The analogy I came up with (which my neighbour felt was a poor one, it has to be said) was the car: if you'd shown a car to someone in medieval times, they might have found the absence of a horse pulling it to be deeply disturbing. In much the same way, we expect to be able to understand what happens inside the software which we spend ever-larger chunks of our lives conversing with.

So if we fear technologies we don't or can't understand, we need to find ways to move beyond this fear.

If you're interested in this, Ben Bashford did a nice talk which is worth checking out.