All Technology is Social Engineering

Stanford University researcher Jeremy Bailenson has demonstrated that changing the height of one’s avatar in immersive virtual reality transforms self-esteem and social self-perception. Technologies are extensions of ourselves, and, like the avatars in Jeremy’s lab, our identities can be shifted by the quirks of gadgets. It is impossible to work with information technology without also engaging in social engineering.


When developers of digital technologies design a program that requires you to interact with a computer as if it were a person, they ask you to accept in some corner of your brain that you might also be conceived of as a program. When they design an internet service that is edited by a vast anonymous crowd, they are suggesting that a random crowd of humans is an organism with a legitimate point of view.

Different media designs stimulate different potentials in human nature. We shouldn’t seek to make the pack mentality as efficient as possible. We should instead seek to inspire the phenomenon of individual intelligence.


When a developer designs an interface for a user to interact with a computer, they imply you are a program. When they put up a wiki, they suggest humans ultimately have a single point of view.

Folksonomies: internet technology social engineering

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/art and entertainment/visual art and design/design (0.360073)
/technology and computing (0.358226)

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Social Engineering:FieldTerminology (0.914249 (positive:0.249256)), Jeremy Bailenson:Person (0.832115 (positive:0.269791)), developer:JobTitle (0.814255 (positive:0.634850)), Stanford University:Organization (0.539288 (positive:0.284950)), Different media:FieldTerminology (0.508509 (neutral:0.000000)), information technology:FieldTerminology (0.479717 (negative:-0.371815)), virtual reality:FieldTerminology (0.479701 (positive:0.284950)), researcher:JobTitle (0.456520 (positive:0.284950))

Human (0.947528): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Technology (0.934709): dbpedia | freebase
Information technology (0.928438): dbpedia | freebase
Virtual reality (0.905139): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Engineering (0.855874): dbpedia | freebase
Science (0.847619): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Design (0.763523): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Crowd psychology (0.739228): dbpedia | freebase | yago

 You Are Not A Gadget
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Lanier, Jaron (2010-01-28), You Are Not A Gadget, Penguin, Retrieved on 2012-01-03
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