There are many interesting observations here. First, does CAD make our lives worse? No, I don't think that is the case. I think most users will agree there are so many things we can do in short order that is very time consuming to do on paper. The CAD systems today have made my job easier.
The overall observation here is about technology and how it has diminished our quality of life. I feel that technology has improved our lives in most ways. The problems begin with how we choose to incorporate the technology into our daily lives.
Cell phones are a common example. What a great invention. Your loved ones can get a hold of you if plans have changed or when they get in a bad situation. People can get important messages to you when you are away from your desk or home. You can get the latest updates from the office on a situation that just arose as you were travelling. The flow of information is quicker and easier.
Now let's take a look at the problems that come up with abuse of this technology. Increased risk of automobile accidents. Kids playing on their phones while in the classroom. Constant disruptions of ringing phones and people picking them up in meetings, movie theatres, in check-out lines, holding everyone else up.
***These aren't problems caused by cell phones themselves but by how we choose to use them. In the end it's still our choice on how each of these technologies should be used.
Let's take a look at it from a different perspective, more inline with the original article. The demand for technology and the constant innovation behind it has increased it's pace dramatically in the past 20 years. It has caused a reaction that begins with us and ends up with us.
People have come to expect immediate gratification. They want the technology now. When they order something to be delivered they expect it in a few days not the traditional 4-8 weeks that we were accustomed to when ordering that sea monkey kit out of the back of a magazine. If it's not available right now, they will go somewhere else to get it or whine and cry because they have to wait.
Companies are trying to respond to this and bank on it by being the first to offer the products in demand. This constant demand and the desire to be the first to market or the fear of lost opportunity is a big driver for many companies who have chosen to be technological leaders. This in turn has dramatically decreased the time between concept to market. In turn pressure is on to find faster ways of developing these products, utilizing all of the tools we can.
***Now, with this in mind, do you believe the time you save using CAD tools makes up for all of the development time lost because of decreased time-to-market initiatives?