"It's a cheat!" (some thoughts on tool evolution and human response)

“This is an issue of shared values and perspectives,” my bike-advocate friend said. “This whole thing is about attentiveness. How do you deal with technology and the frailties of being a human being? Bicycles are mechanical augmentation of walking, really. It gets pretty ethereal—why is it bad to have a motor when you are already using gears? Who gives a shit if you are using a motor?"

 

My cousin shared this article (The Electric Bike Conundrum in The New Yorker) with me yesterday and it resonated hard. Not just because I love pedal assist bikes (e-bikes) and frequently evangelize/defend their place in purist bike culture, but also because this "It's a cheat!" response also happens in development/design conversations about CRMs and templating tools (i.e. Squarespace, Wordpress, Shopify).

 

It's fascinating how we all, at different times and in different ways, can dislike some new tool for such complicated reasons. Why do we accuse new tools of being cheating? I'm not saying it's not cheating, or even that the accusation is incorrect, what I am saying is that I am curious to explore this human response pattern more.

 

Where do you hear or say "It's a cheat!"? What patterns do you notice in this area?

Especially as BlueRaven.Digital continues to grow and evolve as an "agile communication partner" I want to find and utilize some simple principles for analyzing when the "It's a cheat!" response is correct and should be heeded, and when it's a rationalized response to change being scary for our lizard brains.