We’ll the country is abuzz with a mistake made at the 2017 Oscar show during which a PriceWaterhouseCoopers accountant handed actor Warren Beatty the wrong envelope for the “Best Picture” Award. The envelope was for Best Actress in a Leading Role, an award just presented to Emma Stone for La La Land. The Best Picture was Moonlight.
According to Reuters, Accountant Brian Cullinan had been tweeting backstage before giving presenters Beatty and Faye Dunaway the unfortunate envelope.
This is a great example of how technology overtakes the human mind (or thumbs, as the case may be), no matter what fail-safe rules ares put into place. In this case, two accountants with secret winning ballots in briefcases and who had to memorize winners in case the briefcases were lost–and this is only a small part of the procedures–still faltered because of the allure of the event and the proximity of the machine to tell others about it.
For more about the mix-up, click here.
Again, though, nobody died (although some came close from embarrassment). Now factor the same allure of the pinging smartphone in your purse or pocket while you are driving and the dangers associated with that.
The only way to live with the machine is to understand its nature. It changes everything it touches without itself being changed much at all. In other words, to use technology effectively, we need to know when, where and how to use it.
In this case, the Oscar accountant didn’t.