Chalk up another defeat for advanced technology!
Last week, the producers of the Broadway mega-musical Spiderman threw in the towel. They announced that they will soon close the New York show and write off their huge losses, hoping to recoup some of their investment by launching a less expensive version of the play in Las Vegas.
Why did it fail? Some blame an uninspiring screenplay and a limp songbook. Many others, though, claim that the musical was “done in” by its own advanced technology.
The show utilized complex electronic equipment to help the super hero leap across the stage and soar over the heads of the audience. When it worked properly, it was spectacular. But when it malfunctioned, it inflicted terrible injuries on its cast.
The Affordable Care Act, of course, is suffering a similar fate. The Obama Administration authorized the development of a snazzy, sophisticated, and technologically advanced platform that is designed to attract many customers to purchase health insurance. But the malfunctioning web site has inflicted grievous harm on the prospects of the initiative.
At first glance, it may appear to be a stretch to compare Spiderman with Obama Care in any respect. Nevertheless, both the producers of the theatrical play and the developers of the health care site relied on (obviously) faulty technologies to please their audiences, only to find that those very technologies actually caused their downfalls.
Is there a lesson to be learned from their common experiences? Perhaps it is that advanced technologies may indeed do more harm than good when delivering human services. When the tasks involve lifting actors into the air or enrolling consumers in health insurance plans, sometimes it is wiser to rely on human beings to achieve our goals.