I decided to write something here. No, don’t try to convince me otherwise, I’m going to write something.
Yes, I believe I shall talk to myself out loud.
Or maybe on screen.
Which brings up an interesting and cliched line of thought about digital existance.
For the majority of computer users, the computer is not the screen, hard drive or CPU. It is the interface with the computer that makes it what it is.
The programs you can use, the files, the familiar settings and destinations – these are the things people see when they think of computers.
The joy is not in the hardware. There is little beauty in for the typical person in a beige (or candy colored) box that sits there whirring and glowing. The most interaction you will get from the hardware is the power button and cd-rom – and even those are controlled with a code of some sort.
Every function the machine can perform is abstracted by a layer of software. Many layers in fact. The hardware is nothing more and nothing less than a platform on which instructions can be performed.
This leads me to wonder – is there any analogy from reality for the relationship between the code and the machine?
The first idea that comes to mind is that of the human psyche vs the human body. Our mind, our soul exists within our bodies, and our body provides the necessary platform for the existance of the mind.
Close, but there is a problem. We do not and cannot exist apart from our bodies while on this earth. We have a consciousness within every part of our bodies.
Close your eyes. Now think about your foot. How does it feel right now. What position is it in? Is it touching anything? Is it inside of anything? Gently try to visualise the position of your foot. Are your toes pointing up, or are they curled under? It it taller or wider?
Which foot did you chose to think about?
You were able, without looking, to determine things about your foot. You didn’t have to check, you knew. Your body’s system of senses extend into your foot, making you wholly aware of it because it is part of you.
In humans – and all living things – the code and the machine are one in the same. From the passing of electrical impulses in the brain to the repair of bones, it is all the result of extremely complicated programming. The programming language itself forms the building block of our physical being.
Skin is made up largely of protein. This protein is constructed one amino acid at a time from a “blueprint” called RNA. This blurprint is housed in the archive facility at the center of every cell the DNA. Each and every cell has the same DNA, but it does entirely different things in different places.
We don’t really know why.
Alas I digress. The crux of the analogy is the brain. Our thoughts do not exist apart from the structure of our brain. Thoughts are not an entity that can be erased or removed – they are inherent to the physical orientation and connection of our neurons. Our “processor” is upgraded every time we have a new idea.
No, this is contrary to a computer. A computer’s capability to crunch numbers is set in stone, and no software can “grow” you a new transistor. Computer viruses do not infect anything beyond the data. For a human, there is little discerning between data and storage.
Back to the drawing board it seems.