Myths about Computers
© 20013 Stan Yack

In this one-hour presentation, I debunk some common myths about computers. I call these fallacies "myths" because for many of us the anecdotal evidence supporting them has achieved the fabulous otherworldly reality of historical sagas:

Myth 1: Computer failures are caused by computer users.
Myth 2: Computers can accurately forecast the weather.
Myth 3: Computers can understand natural languages.
Myth 4: Computers are intelligent.
Myth 5: Computers make us more productive.
Myth 6: Computer problems have simple solutions.
Myth 7: Computers have improved our lives.

In the over half a century that computers have provided us with useful tools, their defining characteristics have become more and more complex, and to understand and use them most of us are obliged to accept as facts many unproven assertions.

As with religion and politics and economics, the oracles promoting those assertions have varied motives, often altruistic but sometimes selfish, and the myths that they sponsor should not be treated as scientific facts.

Read my essay Myths about Computers, and see my guide to other online information about computer myths.

I am an instructional designer and computer softsmith, B Math (University of Waterloo). I have implemented application and system software on several computing platforms including IBM mainframes, MS Windows, MacOS, and UNIX. In recent years I have been teaching and developing online courses.

Stan Yack
Instructional Designer and Softsmith