The Anthropomorphic Principle

Never anthropomorphize computers, they are inanimate objects. Never treat computers as if they have human feelings and emotions, they don’t like it.

2 thoughts on “The Anthropomorphic Principle”

  1. Before I could express my opinion about your comment, I had to look the word “Anthropomorphism” up in the dictionary. I had a hunch, with the help of context clues, but I wanted to make sure. I am more familiar with the use of the word “personification”. With all this said, Charles I agree with you about giving computers human characteristics; it’s not like they can return the affection!!!
    [You would probably be disappointed if you looked up “Anthropomorphic Principle.” My little joke has a basis in reality. I see people treat their computers like people, it frustrates them because they think it should understand them like another person would. But computers only do what you tell them. If you are frustrated because your computer did something stupid, it is because you were stupid. It only did what you told it to do. –Charles]

  2. The criminals in question being interface designers.
    Peoples’ frustration at the nebulous human factor in computer functionality is often down to software raising expectations that it can’t hope to deliver — using the wrong metaphors for the tasks at hand.
    As an interface developer, I’m happiest in front of a screen showing me the code I’m writing. When I hit a problem, I think it through. Microsoft’s ever-more graphical user interfaces, which I am occasionally forced to use, invariably lead me into situations where I become frustrated, because they force me to work by engaging in conversations they can’t follow up intelligently.
    [I jest, but you could tell I was serious too. This is the direction that GUIs went, to emulate functions related to realworld technologies, to “humanize” the interface. But perhaps these interface metaphors encourage people to think about computing unrealistically. –Charles]

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