“That’s Ridiculous!”

Mitch HobishGrowth, Innovation, Leadership, Productivity

My reading is eclectic, and I never know when I get started what I’m going to find.

A recent item got me thinking about technology and its uses—and potential “misuses”. (The reason for the quotation marks will become apparent in a few sentences.)

First a bit of context: ‘Way back when I was an English major, I participated in a seminar, with the topic, The Intentional Fallacy. As I remember it, we discussed the distinctions between what an author may (or may not) have intended (the intention), and what the reader concluded or decided or felt as a result of the reading. You may correctly infer that the “connection” was very often a disconnect.

This leads me to today’s discussion: The mashup between the various technologies described in the linked-to article resulted in a guy having a “virtual date” with an apparently well-known anime character.


Yep, on the face of it, “that’s ridiculous!”

But therein lies the fascination for me: Who is to say that an individual’s use of a technology is simply a misuse, or even ridiculous?  And, why limit this question to technology? Just because an innovation or application is designed for a given use, why not apply it in some direction that’s off at some odd angle from that intention? I addressed this basic theme in an earlier post (see Functional Fixedness, if you’re interested.)

Questions: How tied are you to the “purpose” of a tool or an idea? Might you benefit from thinking about other possibilities for its utility? Are you concerned what others might say or think about such “off-label” use? Why or why not?