If your eyes disagree with the tech — trust your eyes!


I recently had an experience where the members of an elite analysis team were taking three cars after one meeting to go to another building about three miles away for a second gathering. The team is awash in folks with PhD educations and national reputations.

A couple of us gave detailed directions since we worked at the other location, which were written down in detail. The route was not hard. Yet, the meeting was nearly cancelled when most of the out-of-town team didn’t make it. Why? They trusted technology even when it was clearly telling them the wrong things.

All three cars promptly programmed the address into their respective GPS units — and all three were sent to the wrong locations. One team realized they were going west when the directions clearly said to go east and decided to ignore the device. They actually made it OK. Two other cars wandered miles away after heading in the wrong directions. One may have ended up in another town before calling in lost and getting guided back. One person ended up so far away it was easier for them to go to their motel room and call in.

Again, these are some of the smartest people on the planet. I have no doubt they were using premium GPS technology. Yet, their error was in trusting it when the evidence of their eyes was starting to disagree. Each driver commented how the route seemed to vary from the written directions, yet they kept following the GPS as it led them ever further astray.

I had to explain the same situation to my grandson recently when Google insisted we needed to loop around to reach a friend’s house — when my eyes told me we were parked in front of it. I could read the street sign and the address. I finally got him to go knock on the door. Google lost, my eyes won.

Two weeks after a recent oil change the “change oil” alert came on in my 2012 model car. It was wrong, of course. I could go on, but you get the drift.

The point here is that technology isn’t foolproof and sometimes you need to rely on common sense and field observations. If the technology says its a mild shower, but you can see the tornado — then trust your eyes.

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