September 19, 2020

Everything Is Not Possible

Ted Shelton points out the unintended irony in HP’s new “Everything is Possible” ads running alongside articles about abuses of technology.

Something else about the “Everything is Possible” slogan bugs me more. The slogan is, well, wrong. Technology does not make everything possible. Some things are impossible, and some cannot be done without harmful side-effects. Viewing technology as a kind of all-conquering magic is a common but dangerous fallacy, sometimes called “magical thinking.”

Maybe I’m just being a clueless literal-minded techhead here, but I think technology companies shouldn’t promote deeply fallacious ideas about technology. The sad aspect of this is that the traditional reputation of HP was as a straight-talking engineer’s company. If they claimed to do something, you knew they did it, and did it well. Now, their marketing strategy is to promote unrealistic expectations.