Sunday, December 6, 2015

One giant step

January 21, 1984

Indeed, we are into the age of computers, tools like those which man (humanity) first learned to use, stones by which to make our bread.
Knowing nothing, I venture in, my hands full of data, my head full of confusion.
Pauly says, “They’re like babies. You make them do what you want.
He means this literally.
But I don’t even know that much.
What is this black bowl we have here, this thing that can do almost anything provided you know what to tell it?
“You’re only limited by your imagination and memory,” people tell me.
What I want is a tool that I can use to put out my underground magazine without having to rely on the mimeograph machines at school.
I know what I can do with those machines. But I stumble into this world filled with symbols and terms I do not comprehend.
What will this machine do that others won’t?
What are roms, rams, bits and bytes?
What is this empty space between the borders of my screen?
In a sense, it is an independent universe, and you are god.
This is a terrifying concept, and an intriguing one: man made machines capable of doing anything. Of course, there are limits, yet even within these limitations, there is a universe to be conquered.
For years, people have talked about lack of frontiers: no new worlds to venture in.
Yet in the back woods of America, boys, girls, men and women sit with their frontiers before them, some rebelling against the system, some hiding from exterior reality.
The social revolution the computer is bring stuns me. It almost a reversal of the industrial revolution. We go back to our homes again, attached to corporations, but no longer enslaved by them, and then, there are our minds – we extend ourselves now. He reach out and think with new languages, new means. This empty bowl before us is that part of ourselves which we never knew before, and we aren’t really gods, but aware.
Now the computer becomes affordable. It is more than a tool which we use; it is our minds reaching out into dimensions that never before existed for us.
Perhaps all that we see in the screen is nothing more than our imaginations personified. Yet isn’t that alone a miracle? Isn’t it grand that we can now project what we ourselves see so that others may see it as well?
Life in this then becomes grander and the future much more hopeful.

Yes, I am buying a tool, but getting myself back in the process.

1 comment:

  1. In my youth we saw computers as room sized, and covered with blinking light. What those lights did who knew, but they looked cool. Now here we are in the future, and computers can fit in our back pockets.

    No lights no beeping noises just a little black box with a flat screen or as I said some "thing" in your pocket. Ya know your watch has more computing power than the LEM had. The LEM-pod is what landed the first guys on the moon.

    I used to publish assorted 'Zines of my rants, and art. First on mimeo then offset. Making changes to the copy or graphics was very time consuming, and a serious pain.

    Now I do what could have taken literally days with just a few key strokes. Seconds not hours or days. So yes these things are handy. They've changed the world because it connected the whole sweaty lot of us together...for better or worse.

    I've lately been doing pieces on the oppression of gays in Russia on one of my pages. Now since I started that series fully half of my readers are from Russia. That, and they're risking arrest by coming to my page. This given the oppressive laws against any form of gay press.

    So yeah these things besides being home porno shops are effective scary wonderful funny revolutionary life saving instruments in the hands of near most of humanity.

    This is new.

    This is something that's never happened in our world's history. A major portion, and maybe soon their entire population of Earth will have access to all the accumulated knowledge of our species.

    In 100 years what will this make us?