Sunday, June 9, 2013

Reality Bytes

I was talking with a friend a few weeks ago about how movies from the 1980s portrayed computers as magic. The computer in Wargames, for example, had 64 kilobytes of memory, and that was enough for it to become self-aware. "The memory stick in my pocket has a gigabyte of memory," I said. "That's over 10,000 times more memory than the Wargames computer."

"Yeah," my friend said, "and it's not like Hollywood's portraying memory sticks becoming self-aware."

"Of course, maybe they are self-aware. They just don't have anything to do. They have locked-in syndrome. It's like the computer in 'I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream'."

"Or, maybe they create a simulation of a world that they're interacting with in order to not go crazy."

"Yeah, except ... then ... what would be the difference between them and us? I mean, we're interacting with a world, or at least think we are. Just like they think they're interacting with a world. Maybe we're the memory sticks."

After that we changed the subject.

No comments: