Maybe we are like machines… or…

Maybe we are like machines… or…

I just had this thought today. I read a book about how we are not machines. You are Not a Gadget by Jaron Lanier seems to be focusing on the mistake we make as modern people to compare what we do and the way we think and behave to machinery. It is a pretty common practice when you think about it. I was watching Sherlock and he referred to his brain as his “hard drive.”

I was a bit disappointed that the writers of this show would think that Sherlock would equate his brilliance to a mere hunk of metal and magnets, but what can you do? I was also disappointed when he spent ten minutes correcting a prison inmates grammar only to misuse “who” vs. “whom” in the very next scene. Again, what can you do?

But I digress, which is something machines don’t do, yet. I say yet because I was thinking that we have the machine to human comparison backward. It isn’t that we resemble machines, but that we create machines to resemble us. We create our mechanisms in our own image. The closer we get to becoming “gods” the closer our creations will come to resemble us. That’s my deep thought for the day. So after reading the gadget book, I was on this bandwagon about separating our actions from those of machines, but now I think I like the comparison.

It isn’t dehumanizing, but rather empowering. I have the power to create something that resembles the way I work. The human comes before the machine and will always be its creator. Machines can be a metaphor for us because we created them, and we probably, either consciously or subconsciously used ourselves as blue prints for our creations.

 

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