The Automaton

I’d say my most human machine is my computer.

To start with, sometimes it will throw a tantrum, freezing up like a frozen thing, or the touch-pad will send the cursor flying off elsewhere, blurring me out of one thing and into another. It’s hard to explain, basically when I start the machine up it will go to a menu, and then I hit a button to go to the Desktop.

Then there’s the fact that it needs regular sleep and becomes tired or sluggish if I have a lot of programs running. Hey, it’s not my fault I have about one thousand projects simultaneously on the go, and projects need research.

… Oh wait, it is.

It also feeds my curiosity and feeds on my curiosity. Say I search a particular online store for a book, and then the site will come up and say, “Hey, did you know THESE other eight books exist? And how about these? And this?” One night I spent hours just wishlisting everything, tabbed browsing so as not to miss a book, clandestinely clicking on the wishlist to refresh things. Also, this has totally happened with jewellery, the online store I’m considering opening, every time I go on Wikipedia… actually if you just note the one thousand projects you’ll have a decent idea.

(Admittedly you don’t know what those projects are, I shall have to post details)

It comes alive when I use it to chat to my friends, sings to me with music and entertains me with movies. There you go, there’s another way for interest to be kept alive. Information is what keeps curiosity alive; therefore curiosity must be immortal.

My computer also encourages me with my writing, helpfully showing me misspelled words and a word count (so useful for NaNoWriMo, project #248.) It can be temperamental, requiring feeding and new clothes updates to keep it going when I have no idea what the updates actually do, so why do I need them?

It has personality. When I get bored I change the screensaver and add new files; cleaning up document clutter is so satisfying, even better than erasing your blog spam and doing laundry. And the personality comes from me, the classes I study or the creative stuff I write… there’s a suggestion that influence is immoral, but is this the case if the affected being is a piece of machinery?

Probably it’s the most intelligent automaton you’ll ever meet, though I could say the same for your computer too.

14 thoughts on “The Automaton”

  1. Can you use the words “humanity” and “computer” in the same sentence? Surely computers are mind numbing, soul sucking vampires :-/ But ahhh, Sarah, I feel your pain. Especially about the touchpad sending the curser flying off all over the place. Sometimes it doesn’t like what I’m typing (usually it’s the letter “e” that sets it off and will jump up to some other part of the document and before I realise it, the middle of chapter 7 is suddenly at the beginning of chapter 5. Then it’s “Control X” about a gazillion times to get back to where I was. Computers can be as perverse as some teenagers when you won’t let them borrow the car 😀

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    1. I can, based on the thing that is artificial intelligence. I think computers can be mind-numbing if you let them; I don’t know how many times I’ve come home after a long day and read random stories to kill time.

      Yeah, my wonky key is the space bar, sometimes it functions just fine and other times it lets my words run together, never pausing – in which case I have to jab at the thing several times.

      Ha ha, I’ve never dealt with a car-borrowing teenager but I can imagine the similarities.

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