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Friday, December 15, 2017
Article written by Mike Bryant

Computers Are Stupid, Stupid, Stupid!

Many people have a fear of computers, and that is certainly understandable. Oftentimes, computers are looked upon as monstrous contraptions that are just too complicated. This week, we'll talk a little bit about these monsters and see what's so scary (or not so scary) about them.

Computers are really stupid machines-- they can only do very limited tasks like basic math (add, subtract, etc). When you get down to it, a computer is really nothing more than a souped-up calculator. In fact, instead of a fancy calculator, you could think of a computer as nothing but a bunch, a very large bunch, of on and off switches. That's all a computer is, a whole lotta off and on switches. Of course these switches can go from off to on and back again many more times in one second that we have years in our lives, but, nonetheless, that's the extent of it. And that is why computers are such dumb machines. Sure, they are great for writing newspaper articles or playing games. But they are terrible at carrying on a conversation. Ever tried to have a conversation with a computer? I have. They are more boring than me...

You see, computers do some things very, very fast. Faster than we humans can comprehend. But a computer cannot understand anything. It can't put anything into context. It doesn't have the ability to appreciate. Anything that a computer creates like a digital image is built purely from mathematical formulas, not because the computer thought it was pretty. In fact, computers can't think at all, not yet anyway. Maybe someday we'll have computers that have self-realization, to know and to understand and to think. But that day is probably a long way off. For now, we're stuck with unthinking fast calculators.

The next time you sit in front of the computer and start to get frustrated because the computer isn't doing what you want it to do, just remember that the machine in front of you is very stupid and is only doing what it thinks (probably could have used a better term here...) you want.

Now, for the Cool Site of the week... This week's site is 43Things.com. This is a neat social networking site where you can list up to 43 things that you want to accomplish. You can set future email reminders to yourself so that, six months from now, you'll bug yourself if you haven't yet completed one of your tasks. Also, you can leave comments for others and provide support to those trying to accomplish some of the same things as you.
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