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New times within social work provision

The first man on the moon

In 1960, John Fitzgerald Kennedy won the U.S. presidential election. One of the pillars of his election was the promise to the American people that America would be the first nation to set foot on the moon in that same decade. After all, the Russians had already become the first to put Yuri Gagarin into space, which was perceived as a heavy defeat in the cold war. As a result of this statement, astronomical sums were invested even in the years after his election to put the first man on the moon. It’s really hard for our generation to imagine what that meant. The on-board computer that made it possible to land the capsule on the moon after a journey of nearly 400,000 kilometres was less powerful than a calculator. But also the physical conditions were completely unknown. What meant weightlessness? What does weightlessness do to man?

Omega Speedmaster

Nothing could be left to chance. Even the watch the astronauts would wear on their wrist. NASA has sent an employee on the road to buy a number of watches for leading manufacturers that would be subject to heavy testing. For example, the movement had to be mechanical, but not automatic. Because of the lack of gravity, it would not wind itself. Also, the ‘glass’ should not be made of glass, but of plastic, because of the chance of splintering. But despite everything that was in, or on it, the watch had to be readable at a glance in an unambiguous way. And that is exactly what the essence of technology should be.

Complexity vs. Distinctiveness

The technology around us is becoming more and more complex. The most simple mobile phone on sale today is many times more powerful than the Apollo’s on-board computer. Technology gives us possibilities that were previously impossible and that change the world around us. How many companies have closed their eyes to online shopping and can now close their doors? But the acceptance and success of all that technique is directly linked to how easy it is for the user to use the technique for their goals. Compare it to an iceberg, where most (complexity) is underwater, but only the tip is visible (distinctiveness). Isn’t it time we left complexity at the parties that are good at it and use your own ICT budget to create distinctiveness, simplicity and user-friendliness? So you can focus on providing appropriate work to more people?

The ending

How did it end with that watch? Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon in 1969 with an Omega Speedmaster on his wrist. Neil Armstrong was on the moon earlier, but left his watch in the Lunar Module because the on-board clock was broken. To this day, the Omega Speedmaster is the first and only watch worn on the moon. The unchanged model is for sale to this day.

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