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“First impression” reactions should be considered as a survival instinct process instead of a knowledge process. Unfortunately, we rely on first impressions in many aspects of our lives and technology is no exception.

When TV appeared many decades ago, it was immediately judged as a passive medium. You sit and watch, you cannot interfere with what is being transmitted, so you experience it passively, isn’t it?

Admittedly, TV is a very active medium.

No matter if you sit still while watching: your brain works hard to put all the points of the screen together. Your brain creates the image: without this work of interpretation and creation there is no TV, only bright spots. TV is a very involving medium and its effects can change the whole mentality of its audience.

As a matter of fact, once you are used to highly involving experiences, you’ll look for them in each aspect of your life. You’ll see then participation as a desirable solution.

One example is necessary.

If you look at our western societies with the mindset I am presenting (quoting Marshall McLuhan), you will see 1960’s search for revolution for what it really was: just a social reaction to the diffusion of a new, involving mass medium: TV.

Robotics didn’t receive a better first impression: it is simply considered as “mechanics 2.0”, but automation has nothing to do with the linear and sequential mechanical process. Automation is about taking decisions from a big amount of data or perceptions and this has to do more with magic than with mechanics.

So, why first impressions on technology can be dangerous?

For a lot of fundamental reasons.

They obstruct full knowledge.

They push towards wrong short-term solutions.

They prevent from gathering a complex vision.

They push people to search for solutions outside instead of inside them.

Automation in finance is disrupting the concept of money that people internalized since thousands of years ago. It is one of the oldest balances we reached. If we abandon ourselves again to first impressions and we accept to consider financial innovation just as a new cool product or as a new “business facilitating game”, we’ll pay a very high price for breaking that balance.

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