“Computer bedienen”

“Wir bedienen Computer” – “Computer bedienen uns”

There is a strange double meaning in the German word “bedienen”: It means
“to serve” (with a slightly respectful connotation, more like a waiter, less than a servant) but also
“to operate” (a machine).

From the initial sentence alone, you can’t say who is master and who is slave (to use some computer related terms). This struck me recently when I read a chapter in Frank Schirrmacher’s Payback, Chaos im Kurzzeitgedächtnis (p. 64).

One of his points is that services like Google Now are usually seen as digital butlers but at the same time they select information for us which inevitably controls what we do and think.

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