them: tech is a tool, like a hammer

me: maybe it's a tool like a stove, where leaving it on without good purpose or with no purpose is actually quite destructive in many cases, and it can easily be used for purposeful destruction

them: tech is a tool, like a hammer

then they proceed to make it like an appliance


eh, stoves aren't really so much appliances as a faint echo of the community ovens of history

(maybe "two tools put together" to account for stovetop burners and the heating space under them, but still)

washing machines have a far more complex process involved than stove/ovens do

@solder_on yeah, I didn't mean to say stoves are an appliance.

What I meant is, from my experience most tech ends up being appliances that are useful for only for a very specific purpose, artificially limited, and finding a real tool often hard and sometimes impossible.

How would we end up in such a place if most of tech people insisted on making tools?

(I'm getting somewhat off-topic, feel free to ignore this post if you don't want to take the discussion in this direction)


> appliances

p much, but appliances are meant to be tools with safeguards in place

so sophisticated table saws with blade guards and guides for all your work? appliances.

'tool' implies a level of primitivity; 'appliances' are meant to be more sophisticated, and I think it's a worthwhile distinction

but 'dangerous' is still baked into an appliance; it's just better compensated for

English doesn't have great language for this stuff, TBH, but hopefully that'll change over time

(and it's not a discussion, don't sweat it; it's all just words until we die and then it's all just dust)



at least

> safeguards in place

is how I always took the difference. here's washing your clothes the hard way -- you can hurt your fingers, you can spill water, you can strain your body

washing machine? well, you still have to balance the load, you still have to know how to not break it.

maybe that's the difference worth examining, actually -- that 'tools' are implements with requisite knowledge but general commonality and some concept of application by those without the requisite knowledge, 'appliances' are tools wrapped in interfaces and safeguards, with instructions, with other requirements that aren't always well understood by the users or even the designers


then we ask: what's a hammer? a tool. they don't come with instructions; you're expected to know, or know how to find out. vi.

so what's a nailgun? it doesn't work like a hammer (although it incorporates the primary function and the secondary functionality to some degree). it works very differently, but changes how it taxes us. we have to know how the nailgun works; the hammer, we can work out the basics and work backwards. nailguns come with instructions and (batteries? pressure hosing? literally I do not know how nailguns work), etc., but they're also more dangerous. not "shoot up a mall" dangerous, but "murder someone by accident with relative ease" dangerous. so appliance, I would say. or closer to. emacs? VB?

dunno. been outside the walls of tech so long it's hard for me to imagine I was ever part of it, these days


so maybe that's the thing. more dangerous tools tend to be "applianced" (like our microwave radiation ovens, our stoves), less dangerous ones are still dangerous (hammers vs. nailguns, there's still more hammers in the world and they still see more use I'd bet)


just sick of "it's a tool" as if somehow that means it's not dangerous. everything's dangerous.

especially tools. humans use 'em, after all.

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A bunch of technomancers in the fediverse. Keep it fairly clean please. This arcology is for all who wash up upon it's digital shore.