a cold Thursday’s thought

Hawking, the celebrated physicist, thinks that computer viruses should be considered a ‘life form’.
Like their natural precursors, software viruses reproduce themselves as parasites in a host metabolism, that of the computers they infect.
‘I think it says something about human nature,’ Dr. Hawking observed, ‘that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We’ve created life in our own image.”
That’s a cold ‘Thursday’s Thought’ if I ever saw one.

-Val Schaffner; “Faust in the Computer Age; The Minutes of the Lead Pencil Club {1996}

Ouch!   The book calls for “Pulling the Plug on the Electronic Revolution” and opening up this series of essays, ‘testimonies’ and rants brought such strong words so quickly.  The first thing I laid my eyes on was a cold Thursday morning thought indeed!

We’ve created life in our own image?  I would say no; I think we can only mimic creation, we can use what already exists and morph it into something else but we, humans, cannot create matter.  It’s still a provoking comment though.

The only thing we can create is destructive?  I think not.

I’ve been playing with some online drawing tools lately and have been quite pleased with some of the outcomes- I think regardless of our medium or style, we, humans, are drawn to create, mimic, attempt to capture… beauty.  We don’t always succeed, our attempts at innovation may lead to new problems like computer viruses that would not have existed could be leave well enough alone, but there would also be an entire realm left unexperienced, knowledge that would be unattainable, potential unmet.

We cannot know everything, be everywhere or do everything although I believe that many certainly want to try.  It’s always been tempting and with this glorious thing called the internet, we might actually fool ourselves into thinking its possible.  The promise of the Garden of Eden- you’ll be like God, know good from bad, nothing will be hidden from you.

the desire to be gods in our own right

that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive.  We’ve created life in our own image.”

That’s a cold ‘Thursday’s Thought’ if I ever saw one.

I think of watching a mother take aside her 8 year old boy who was reminding his guests of rules that had already been established.  “I’m the momma”.

There’s such a freedom in not needing to know everything, do everything, be everywhere.  Why are we so eager to give that up?

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