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Re: Electronic Cancers

> From: marcs@xanadu (Marc Stiegler)
> Message-Id: <8911280140.AA15220@xanadu>
> To: us@xanadu
> Subject: Electronic Cancers
> Status: R
> ... They had 2 40-person teams, 
> drawn randomly from the same group of workers, tackle the same 
> report-writing task. The only observable difference between the 
> 2 groups was that one group had electronic mail, whereas the 
> other group had to rely on older, less modern tools. Each group 
> had to write a report that would advise people on the verge of 
> retirement on how to plan for their futures.
> The good news is that the electronic team was very pleased with 
> its results--there was a great deal of job satisfaction.
> The bad news is the electronic team's product. The electronic 
> team created a 70 page report, mostly in the form of 
> tables. The manual-work group, by contrast, created a 15 page 
> report, mostly in the form of anecdotes. 

I am curious if the experimenters alloted the same time for both
groups.  Or if they even specified a time limit for creating the report.
I would expect that if one reduces the amount of time one
can spend developing the group-report, then the email-based group
would excel.  Better yet, give the groups an unreasonable amount of time.
After all, the reason we use computers is to do things faster and 
better; not just better, right?