Computers: An Analogy of Life

Our lives and minds can be described as a computer. We are born with all our components and hardware that make us unique; such as our RAM (ability to think quickly and tactfully) memory (ability to retrieve and store memories), CPU (our physical body and strength), hard drive (what we run on and what digests our food), storage space (how well we can recall memories and how much we can hold), disk drive (our ethics and morals and what we can accept as right and wrong and can “eject” it if needed). All of these components can be equated with race. Not all computers have the same components and parts just as not all races have the same abilities and skills. Some computers are made for work, others are as entertainment systems, others for just sitting around idly and humming. These can be equated to our own world and to the races of the world. We can attempt to alter or replace the parts of our computer to make it more efficient or to suit our individual needs but in doing so will compromise and devalue the original parts we were given. Doing so is wholly artificial, expensive, detrimental and unwise.

The other piece that we are born with or presented with early in life is our “software”. This concept is just as important, if not more important, than our hardware. Like the hardware, our software determines who we are, our personalities, how we behave, what we believe in, our morals, our ethics, our work ethic, what we can display on our monitors and more crucially, what our purpose in life is. Unlike the hardware we are born with, our software is more tenuous and uncertain. There are a multitude of methods we can acquire our software. Some have their discs forced into their drives and slammed shut, some carefully and wisely read the instructions before inserting the disc, some are presented with a wide range of discs to choose from, some go and buy them, some borrow from friends, some frequently change discs (in desperation, boredom, irritation, exhaustion or even excitement) some don’t know which one to choose and some have no interest in them and are left at the BIOS. Some even stumble upon them in life and finally find their purpose or find broken fragments of unknown and dusty discs. Some don’t even need the disc. Some are born with their software and will unknowingly carry it around in dormancy until the right moment (or pop-up) in their lives. We can attempt to “reinstall” or “reboot” our current software configuration, but just like a computer, the end result will be confusion, inactivity and constantly re-configuring, reprogramming and resetting everything that determines how the computer will run. This is evocative of our beliefs and our ideologies. Some people were meant to run on certain software just as certain computers we meant to. If the wrong software is picked and installed, the computer or person will not be able to function properly and will need to search for the correct one. Sometimes the disc doesn’t exist and the computer is left searching in an endless loop. We are incompatible with the wrong software. Not all software is compatible with all computers.

What can we do on our computers? Some of us use them for playing games, some for work, some for emailing, some for corresponding with friends and some for just web browsing. That is all fine, but most of us do not know or don’t know how to harness the full power of the CPU. Some computers have quite old hardware but are perfectly capable of doing all of the tasks of newer models. These ones are anachronistic in nature and some of them can’t be physically upgraded. They are not familiar at all with all of the newer hardware components and could never be persuaded to change their inner components. These ones are often the best and most reliable. They will never fail and will boot up every time. Depending on the model, the computer’s CPU can have any number of cores. Some CPU’s are capable of hyperthreading and overclocking the cores and can effectively boost it’s total output and theoretical load capacity. Not many computers are capable of this much stress on their parts and will simply give up or pretend it doesn’t exist. Many manufacturers warn of grave consequences of doing such things and will implore the user to avoid it at all costs. The time and effort is not worth the end result they will claim. When all of these cores are working on one process they can accomplish enormous tasks. When they are not all working cohesively on the same task the computer becomes slow, unresponsive and may have to close out other programs. This will be an inevitable nuisance for many to close out their other tasks because they cannot process such a demanding load. Many will not encounter this problem because they do not have the will or interest in doing such things. “Why bother?” they will ask. As long as the computer runs and does what they need it to do they will not care about anything or the inner workings of the computer. Even still, a greater number will be unable to accomplish such tasks because of their inferior hardware and lack of will. Of those who can accomplish these tasks, the results are as rich and rewarding as was the effort.

A most peculiar result is what happens when two different models (or brand manufacturers) attempt to combine to assemble a new machine. These new components will not be compatible with each other physically and mechanically. It will likely make loud noises and screeching sounds, the drive won’t fit, the graphics card won’t fit properly into the mother board, the power supply will not supply the right amount of wattage, the cables won’t be able to hook into the monitor, the CPU will have different clock rates for all of it’s cores, the BIOS will not be able to distinguish it’s controllers’ inputs, the drivers won’t be able to be installed or found and a plethora of other problems. Not to mention that almost no software will be compatible with this new machine. It will all be effectively obsolete.

One idea that many countless men in the form of scientists, religious types and philosophers have toiled over for centuries is: What happens when the computer dies? What happens to the memory in the ram when it is shut off? Does it dissipate into the air or is somehow channeled somewhere else? We may never know this answer but we can be certain of something else. What we know as external hard drives or memory storage can have a much greater and much more important meaning to us than we realize. Many people will overlook these devices because they don’t believe it is worth the money to invest in one or that they won’t be infected with any virus or harmful software. These devices serve a most pertinent role in a computer’s lifespan. They can hold everything that the computer holds and can be accessed when needed. Everything that the computer has done, from the logs, to the memory, to the files, to the drivers, to the settings, to the BIOS and anything else that is needed can be stored away safely on these devices. When the host computer crashes or dies, it’s files can be accessed, reinstalled or even be passed onto another computer (although the original machine may be defunct). We can even leave instructions or guides for future visitors or for future transfer. The “memory” or “software” transferred to the devices can be perpetually sustained, recreated, copied and passed onto future generations. We can forever live on in life in our children through procreation. We are essentially living culminations of all of our ancestors. What they did we experienced and what we do they will experience. We were there. They are within us. It is the same blood. We will be “reborn” through our children. When we reproduce we pass on our features and traits to our children, just like the hardware of computers stays relatively unchanged over the years. One daughter may have mom’s “CPU” or her “display settings” while one son may have the father’s “memory” or “graphics card.” The computer still functions perfectly well and has it’s own inimitable meaning and configuration. Life is anew and infinite.

 

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This entry was posted in Life.

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