Lewis W. Diuguid

ShotStopper system in Kansas City symptom of less reliance on people

Updated: 2013-07-03T23:11:18Z

By Lewis W. Diuguid

The Kansas City Star

It is a sad day when people must depend more on gadgets and technology rather than the goodness of their neighbors because of a diminishing sense of community and trust.

But that’s what’s happening in Kansas City. The latest is the ShotSpotter system, picking up gunfire in neighborhoods and relaying it to dispatchers when people in those areas won’t report it.

Arrests have resulted, The Kansas City Star notes. But ShotSpotter isn’t the only instance of a reliance on technology over people.

Others include the red light cameras that catch motorists running red lights at certain intersections. Automated teller machines enable people to do banking transactions without having to speak to real human beings.

Telephone answering systems, computer bill paying and banking and automated business devices take away human contact. Even GPS systems in cars and on cellphones remove the possibility that people who are lost might stop and ask for directions from strangers.

Some of that increases conveniences for consumers. But what’s lost are face-to-face encounters with other people as well as the expectation that other folks will do things that are needed and beneficial rather than harmful.

To reach Lewis W. Diuguid, call 816-234-4723 or send email to ldiuguid@kcstar.com.

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