Thursday, December 08, 2016

Worst computer analogy ever?

Because basically, every single thing said on the computer side of the analogy is false:

"These concepts have been previously primed for influence. By analogy, think of almost any computer program you use. It is likely to contain transfer links [Transfer links? WTH?] that you need to click twice: once to ready the link and once to launch it. [Double-clicking is a single mouse gesture: from the program's point of view: the program just receives notice that the user double-clicked. There are not two phases, one during which the "transfer link" could be "readied," whatever the hell that would mean.] But the program also likely contains links that launch with just one click [that's because the programmer triggered the event associated with the link on a single-click mouse event, and not a double-click], because they have already been readied -- that is, hyperlinked ['hyperlink' just means links within hypertext: nothing to do with 'prefetching'] to the desired information. The effect of hyperlinking to a location has been labeled by web browser engineers as 'prefetching it.'" -- Pre-suasion, Robert Cialdini, p. 140.

It looks to me as though Cialdini simply wrote down how he imagined computers work, without bothering to check a single thing in the entire passage above.

4 comments:

  1. Makes you wonder how much other stuff you read where you don't happen to have specialist knowledge is equally false.

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  2. "Once to ready the link and once to launch it."

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  3. I have composed what I believe is a much more interesting and useful computer analogy.

    The computer is a medium-sized box containing unusually smart chipmunks. Due to Pavlovian conditioning involving live mice (chipmunks being mouse-eating predators), double clicking will persuade the chipmunks to write the website you wish to read. However, they will only respond to a single click if they have been primed for soi-disant "pre-suasion".

    ReplyDelete

Chicken horror movies

Take place in human diners, and show one omelette after another being cooked and devoured.