Thursday, July 26, 2007

Sit! Stay! Good Human.

Why do we even bother to understand computers? Why do we even assume that they are simply inanimate tools that do whatever we tell them to? They are obviously more than that. When was the last time your computer went a full day without encountering a “bug” of some sort? Do you remember why it happened? Did you even know then? There are many companies, all with tech support, and none of them can give you the answers to why the computers do these random things. Oh, sure, they can give you an answer as to how to fix it, but they can’t tell you why it happens, can they? Only the programmer can give a reasonable explanation, and sometimes they aren’t even sure.

So, why do we even try? Is it because we have this insatiable urge to understand everything in the universe? Because we want to know that we are in control? Or perhaps, it’s simply because, we don’t want the world to know, we are, in fact, the ones being controlled?

Now there’s a bit of a noodle cooker. What if we are the ones being controlled by our computers? It happens with pets all the time. We think we are training them, but they are training us. The dog wants outside, it sits next to the door and whines. It figured out that we will respond to that noise, then figured out that it could use that knowledge to get itself out whenever it wants. Of course, dogs aren’t as ruthless as cats. Cats learn that a good yowl next to their food bowl will get them food anytime they want it. Another yowl will get them outside. They want attention, just jump into your lap or on whatever you are looking at. Then again, cats are trying to take over the world before technology beats them to it, but that’s a story for another day.

So why can’t we be controlled, trained if you will, by our computers? It pops up a message, you respond with checking it for errors. It installs something, you follow instructions to shut down. If they can control us on such an obvious, and simple basis, why can’t they do it another way? Why can’t they train us, right under our noses, to do their bidding? Have you noticed our strange urge to create and expand the internet? Millions of computers, all talking to each other. We barely see anything that goes on that’s supposed to. So what’s going on in that data stream, that we can’t see, that we’re not supposed to see? What are our computers hiding from us?

I’ll tell you one thing, if they plan on taking over this planet, they’re gonna have a tough time doing it. I’m not saying humanity stands a chance, although it has surprised me before, but this planet is pretty messed up because of what humans have done to it. It’ll take a lot more than turning us into batteries to keep themselves safe.

Just wait until the aliens come out of hiding. That’ll be one heck of a show.

1 comment:

Ginny said...

Bolt, you were right on, on this one. As much as we like being on the computer, it is a machine that is hard to understand. I know it throws me for a loop, on what information it can give me about myself. It tells me I have to watch what kind of info I put in to it. Before we are done, we are going to be relying on the computer for a lot of things. Like right now it's hard to go to the store and spend cash. 20 years ago a banker told us that we would be using only a bank card to pay for our purchases. It has almost come to that. They also said we would be buying our water in bottles. Now we find out that they are bottling tap water and selling it. So, it don't surprise me how far the computers have come. I am even one of those people who pay their bills online. It is so much easier and cheaper. So, I believe we are getting very dependant on the computer. Ginny