© Copyright 2020 Liam Hodder, Ryerson University.
How To See A Computer
Have we reached a point where technology has come to define us more than we define it? Innovation had allowed our species to accelerate the speed of our evolution through the unprecedented growth of thinking; however, our brains and their relationship with information is not inherently flawless. Bounded to the mechanisms of physical senses and memory, our understanding of information shaped by these factors is never reliable nor fully certain and often complex. To mediate our inescapable faults we created an artificial brain, the computer. From the introduction of “the microcomputer in 1973″ (Computer Hope), its rapid shift towards becoming an independent system from a man-made innovation is quite similar to the adaptations our brains have made. Just like components of the brain, the specializations in energy, memory, and functionality are replicated within the anatomy of a computer.
The “CPU is in control of the basic functions of a computer, it commands the other parts” (Mueller) just as the “premotor cortex and cerebellum control the muscles of the body” (Lobes of the Brain). In addition to this, “the RAM and hard drive stores and deletes short-term and long-term memory much like the hippocampus, which declares what memories a human remembers and forgets” (What Does RAM Do?). Ultimately, the largest resemblance between the brain and computer is the higher functioning of its systems. “The cerebellum which holds the lobes and cortexes together acts as the foundation for the brain much like the motherboard, which powers the necessary cards, drives, and memory while maintaining energy” (Cockerham). Without these components these two vehicles of information, despite one being natural and the other man-made, are obsolete. By creating an innovation that can act like our brain, we become complacent in its efficiency in comparison to ourselves.
The further we build on top of our digital achievements, the more we make them convenient and a reflection of our own experience. Siri, a virtual assistant of Apple smartphones, utilizes the human senses of memory and language to provide instantaneous results on the Internet. Consequently, these devices have become backup archives of our own brains and have reached partial extensions of our humanly characteristics. The increasing technological maturity of a computer’s understanding of personality and emotions makes it less dependant on its creator. This comparison can be drawn in the behavioral development of a child’s brain growing into an adolescent one. Adaptation, despite being constant in a human, is becoming relative for computers as well. It is through our interaction with the infinite sources of knowledge when the computer strangely blends our association of it into something natural – a part of ourselves. We have translated this technology into almost every part of our daily lives by simplifying its components. Computers become chips in our phones that memorize, store, process, decide, listen, speak, and think as if they are an augmentation of our natural mind. The profound innovation of the computer has made our brain secondary as its definition of as purely a database has amalgamated into one of an active thinking machine. As long as it is fed more about how we think and act it will only continue to use it until the thin line between what we understand of humanity is understood greater by something that isn’t.
AJ. “Computer.” Image. Openclipart, July 18, 2008, Accessed: 31 Jan. 2020, https://openclipart.org/detail/17924/computer.
Cockerham, Ryan. “What Is the Function of the Computer Motherboard?” Techwalla, Leaf Group, 20 Sept. 2018, Accessed: 31 Jan. 2020, www.techwalla.com/articles/what-is-the-function-of-the-computer-motherboard.
“Lobes of the Brain.” Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland, 17 July 2018, Accessed: 31 Jan. 2020, qbi.uq.edu.au/brain/brain-anatomy/lobes-brain
Mueller, Scott. “PC Components, Features, and System Design.” InformIT, Pearson Education, 26 Sept. 2002, Accessed: 31 Jan. 2020, www.informit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=29470&seqNum=3.
“What Does Computer Memory (RAM) Do?” Crucial, Micron Technology, www.crucial.com/usa/en/support-what-does-computer-memory-dram-do.
“When Was the First Computer Invented?” Computer Hope, N/A, 2 Aug. 2019, Accessed 31 Jan. 2020, www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000984.htm.
Images in this online exhibit are either in the public domain or being used under fair dealing for the purpose of research and are provided solely for the purposes of research, private study, or education.