Hi Ryan North. Thank you for your article, it is truly interesting and puts things in perspective. I do have some thoughts on it though, please accept this with the respect I am writing it.
A friend once said “If a person misunderstands me, they probably heard wrong. If 20 people misunderstand me, I probably misspoke.” Judging by the overwhelming response, I think you may have done so.
I think I get your point. You tried to say that people should not put absolute trust in computers when dealing with very important matters (paper trails, redundancies, etc.) What it reads like is that people should absolutely not trust computers with any matter of relative significance. Those are two very different takeaways, and I think most people (especially less technically skilled people like myself) read your article and believe you mean the latter.
Even not being a technical person I knew deep down that there was something wrong with your argument, which is why I spent a fair amount of time reading the rebuttals. I couldn’t have thought what others did, and I’m afraid neither will your large audience. To that end, I believe you are influencing people’s perspective in ways you might not have intended (feeding off fears of technology in general).
I may have actually misunderstood you and maybe you really think computers should not be trusted at all. But I don’t think I did. Mainly because you clarified yourself in the comments (see your exchange with Kai Chan). It would do well if you edited your original post.