Computer

Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all.

Home is where the computer is.

Despite many assertions to the contrary, the brain is not “like a computer.” Yes, the brain has many electrical connections, just like a computer. But at each point in a computer only a binary decision can be made – yes or no, on or off, zero or one. Each point in the brain, each brain cell, contains all the genetic information necessary to reproduce the entire organism. Brain cell is not a switch. It has a memory; it can be subtle. Each brain cell is like a computer. The brain is like a hundred billion computers all connected together. It is impossible to understand because it is so complex.

We are on the brink of a historic convergence as novelists, playwrights, and filmmakers move toward multiform stories and digital formats; computer scientists move toward the creation of fictional worlds; and the audience moves toward the virtual stage. How can we tell what is coming next? Judging from the current landscape, we can expect a continued loosening of the traditional boundaries between games and stories, between films and rides, between broadcast media (like television and radio) and archival media (like books or videotape, between narrative forms (like books) and dramatic forms (like theater or film), and even between the audience and the author. To understand the new genres and the narrative pleasures that will arise from this heady mixture, we must look beyond the formats imposed upon the computer by the older media it is so rapidly assimilating and identify those properties native to the machine itself.

I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We've created life in our own image.

Could Hamlet have been written by a committee, or the Mona Lisa painted by a club? Could the New Testament have been composed as a conference report? Creative ideas do not spring from groups. They spring from individuals. The divine spark leaps from the finger of God to the finger of Adam, whether it takes ultimate shape in a law of physics or a law of the land, a poem or a policy, a sonata or a mechanical computer.

We believe that the most basic of all changes in human social organization have been the result of three processes. Starting 8,000 to 10,000 years ago, agriculture was invented in the Middle East – probably by a woman. That’s the First Wave. Roughly 250 years ago, the Industrial Revolution triggered a Second Wave of change. Brute-force technologies amplified human and animal muscle power and gave rise to an urban, factory-centered way of life. Sometime after World War II, a gigantic Third Wave began transforming the planet, based on tools that amplify mind rather than muscle. The Third Wave is bigger, deeper and faster than the other two. This is the civilization of the computer, the satellite and Internet.

[The] men of the technostructure are the new and universal priesthood. Their religion is business success; their test of virtue is growth and profit. Their bible is the computer printout; their communion bench is the committee room.

These men of the technostructure are the new and universal priesthood. Their religion is business success; their test of virtue is growth and profit. Their bible is the computer printout; their communion bench is the committee room.

If anything could testify to the magical powers of the priesthood of science and their technical acolytes, or declare unto mankind the supreme qualifications for absolute rulership held by the Divine Computer, this new invention alone should suffice. So the final purpose of life in terms of the megamachine at last becomes clear: it is to furnish and process an endless quantity of data, in order to expand the role and ensure the domination of the power system.

Information is entirely basic in the universe. In the latest conception the universe doesn't consist of matter and space; it consists of energy and information. Energy exists in the form of wave-patterns and wave-propagations in the quantum vacuum that fills space; in its various forms, energy is the "hardware" of the universe. The "software" is information. The universe is not an assemblage of bits of inert matter moving passively in empty space: it's a dynamic and coherent whole. The energy that constitutes its hardware is always and everywhere "in-formed." It's in-formed by what David Bohm called the implicate order and physicists now regard as the quantum vacuum or zero-point field (also called physical spacetime, universal field, or nuether). This is the "in-formation" that structures the physical world, the information we grasp as the laws of nature. Without information the energy-waves and patterns of the universe would be as random and unstructured as the behavior of a computer without its software. But the universe is not random and unstructured; it's precisely "in-formed." Would it be any the less precisely informed, complex systems could not have emerged in it, and we would not be here to ask how this on first sight highly improbable development could have come about.

The most revolutionary aspect of technology is its mobility. Anybody can learn it. It jumps easily over barriers of race and language. … The new technology of microchips and computer software is learned much faster than the old technology of coal and iron. It took three generations of misery for the older industrial countries to master the technology of coal and iron. The new industrial countries of East Asia, South Korea, and Singapore and Taiwan, mastered the new technology and made the jump from poverty to wealth in a single generation.

Intelligence belongs to the watching consciousness; memory belongs to the mind. Memory is one thing -- memory is not intelligence. But the whole of humanity has been deceived for centuries and told indirectly that the memory is intelligence. Your schools, your colleges, your universities are not trying to find your intelligence; they are trying to find out who is capable of memorizing more. And now we know perfectly well that memory is a mechanical thing. A computer can have memory, but a computer cannot have intelligence.

There is only one real computer - the universe - whose hardware is made up of non-spatial states of consciousness and software is made up of superhuman as well as non-superhuman thoughts.

The cloning of humans is on most of the lists of things to worry about from Science, along with behaviour control, genetic engineering, transplanted heads, computer poetry and the unrestrained growth of plastic flowers.

I saw that you'd buy a PC for about $3,000, and inside that PC was about $600 worth of parts. IBM would buy most of these parts from other companies, assemble them, and sell the computer to a dealer for $2,000. Then the dealer, who knew very little about selling or supporting computers, would sell it for $3,000, which was even more outrageous.

I think the '90s are going to see a greater integration between the human mind and the computer. Today, you have to communicate with a computer by a keyboard that is somewhat awkward and clumsy. We are working on other ways to do this. The best computer is the one you don't even know is there.

I realized that the computer market was very inefficient. The markups were incredibly high over the cost of materials and the service was very poor.

A human being is like a computer that is capable of thousands of things. But we put in a card that only lets it do one thing. Until you change the card, that is all the computer will do: that one thing, over and over and over. That is the state in which we function and we believe that no other cards exist, that this card is the one and only card that we can function upon. I say that the difference between human beings and machines is that we make the cards. So, when one card doesn´t work, take it out and put in a new card.

Family life is not a computer program that runs on its own; it needs continual input from everyone.