Some things are just scary. Public speaking, bungee jumping and spending a weekend alone with a four year old. Other things are just vile. Things like poopy diapers and pickled herring. Personally I can't tell the difference between the two.
For some the list of things they are scared of is rather short. On that list would be, flinging ones self off a roof top with only a pull-cord to save your skin. For me it would include holding a bull frog. The fact is though, everyone is scared of something. The obvious fears aside, there are also people out there with a fear of our friend. The beloved computer.
For whatever reason technology scares some people. A man will go to the store, buy the most expensive computer he can afford and then not use it for fear of breaking it. When I used to do tech support, I would tell people, "There's nothing you can do to hurt this machine save throwing it out the window. Everything is fixable." Obviously I lied to them. In part because my customers were complete dingle heads and could break a cotton ball but mostly I lied in order to relax them.
When you are relaxed, you tend to trust your instincts more and are less likely to make mistakes. When you're relaxed you can recall what you've done and remember the step required to finish something. So how do you make people relax around technology?
I think it's all in the name. A computer named HAL evokes fear, anxiety and mistrust. Who wants to trust your taxes or bank accounts to a computer named after a maleficent electronic entity?
"Tell me what my bank balance is HAL?"
"I can't do that Peter."
But change the name to Edgar and it's not so scary. It sounds downright friendly. Who would be afraid of a computer named Edgar?
"Check the home security system Edgar"
"I've unlocked all the doors and sent ransom notes to the local constabulary."
"Edgar, you old card!"
See no fear at all. Sure you'll be a bit peeved when you're picking slugs out of your abdomen. But later after the clotting kicks in and the pain pills have begun their work, you'll smile, knowing Edgar was just 'having a good time' at your expense.
You'll even have a better time taking it apart piece by piece and mangling the boards in the blender.
"Next time I'm getting a computer named Raymond."