I?ve always been a skeptic when it comes to technology, especially computers and the Information Age. I used to think it was crazy how people would put their total faith into a machine, some even more so than in their faith in humanity. Human beings are flawed, imperfect creatures. I say this in a positive way because if humanity were completely positive and perfect we would have nothing to learn, and life would lose its vitality and mystery. Computers come from the same universal reality as humanity, so I believe that we should look at technology in a similar context. Computers are not infallible pieces of nature?s perfection.
I?ve come to learn that computers are great tools for human society. They can be functional in innumerable areas of everyday existence, helping to simplify many aspects of our lives. However, as today I discovered my computer had ?died? after a lightning strike had hit my house and subsequent power surge, the realization came that a complete faith in our progressive technology is simply not practical. I?m not saying that like the Luddites of the early era of industrialization we need to destroy this stuff, I?m just saying that we must realize that like all things in life, technology can and will become sick and die on occasion. Working at an Internet Web Hosting company I have been witness to many of these illnesses, and it has been very fortunate that human ?doctors? have been present to undertake surgery.
It?s a real bummer when something goes wrong, but these occurrences are necessary in a space-time continuum that is in constant flux. If you are a spiritual person, you might say that there?s only one thing in life to have unwavering faith in: Magical existence itself. You might be asking yourself by now, ?What is this guy talking about?? I think I?m just rationalizing the death of my newfound ?friend?. I?m coming to the point where I understand my old fears were irrational and unfounded, as most fears generally are. However, I?m also wondering about these people out there who have more faith in computers than human beings. For instance, I know of a man who says that he would rather fly in an airplane under automatic pilot instead of the real thing. Human pilots can get drunk the night before and be depressed and hung over right? Whereas computers are completely rational, unemotional and unable to partake in activities deemed by most as unsavory.
The sad fact is computers can break and die. Maybe we need to find a happy medium where inorganic and organic intelligence work in tandem, so that if one half of the partnership fails, the other half can always compensate. Let me tell you I?m quite sad right now, but hey ?shit happens?. I just hope that the ?shit? isn?t your plane landing in the ocean because of a computer that?s had too much vodka the night before.
By Jesse S. Somer
About the author:
Jesse S. Somer is the widow of a computer that only lived four short years in this sacred thing we call life.