Computers vs. Humans

Frustrated Computer User
Many users of computers, perhaps even you, the reader, have been frustrated by what is seen as a malfunctioning program or operating system. Frustrating error messages, unexpected stops, strange loops, spinning beach balls and blue screens of death make our blood pressure rise, and in extreme cases, can lead to increased slide rule and type writer sales. But, the frustrations don’t arise from malfunctioning computers. Instead the computer is actually functioning just fine. It’s just programmed at its very core to be incredibly annoying.

Everything in a computer is controlled by basic binary. Either there is electricity flowing through a circuit or there isn’t. One or off, nothing in between. So, when you give your computer a command it follows its programming and sometimes an error occurs because for the binary brain something either can be done or it can’t. There’s absolutely no grey area for these machines. There’s no process to sort of open Minesweeper or almost save a file. No, either an operation can be performed or it can’t. It’s annoying to us users when something can’t be done, because we’re human and our thinking isn’t done in binary. We have ideas like ‘sort of’ and concepts like ‘almost.’

Our brains aren’t built for tasks. They’re built for survival. Animals that are the best at improvisation tend to live longer and leave more offspring than those which live according to hard-and-fast rules. When confronted with a problem, our brains naturally attempt to solve it by any available method. Indeed, in our natural lives the only binary is that you’re either alive or dead. Nothing else is that black and white, especially not our problem solving skills. Over the millennia, the harsh reality of existence has forced us to adapt, creating the idea of the desperate, improvisational fix.

Thus, when a system, a structure or a plan starts to fail, humans tend to interrupt the failing trajectory and improvise something, anything new. And if the unplanned jury-rig isn’t as good as the original planned idea, we learn to live with it, with something that sort of works, barely works or almost works. We’ll even take pride in an ingenious solution to a problem that allows a system to barely work. We’re even happy if something is the worse possible solution, except for all the others that we’ve tried.

We’ve all had our MacGuyver moments, where radical improvisation prevented a total failure. Mine involved my old beat up VW micro-bus, a veritable fountain of improvisational repair opportunities. One day, as I was driving, the clutch cable broke, snapped in half. The clutch pedal couldn’t communicate the user’s instructions to the engine. That car was, in the common parlance, broken down. As a human, I surveyed my surrounding and found a metal guitar string which I used as a jury-rigged clutch cable, enabling the car to function again. A human can think that way. No, a guitar string is not a clutch cable, but did the car run? Let’s say it barely ran, it barely functioned and I barely got the car to a garage where a proper fix could be done. Luckily, for a human in the real world, barely is good enough.

Computers don’t understand that concept because we don’t program them to understand that. In the same scenario the computer would probably alert the user that the instructions weren’t reaching the engine. If you were lucky. It might also just give you a message that the car was not operable. And it would do the same for a software or hardware problem.

Any deviation from the standard commands and the computer will simply not be able to complete an operation. It can’t just about run Photoshop if it can’t locate the exe file. No, something either can be done or is impossible. There’s the source of our frustration; two different methods of thought, one rigid, one flexible.

In truth, an error message, or a freeze up or even a death screen actually mean the computer is operating perfectly. After all, it’s been programmed to display that error message when it encounters something that deviates from the standard process. That’s its job. It does precisely what we’ve programmed it to do. Just sometimes we don’t like what the programs tell it to do. So next time you see an error message, don’t get angry with the computer, no get angry with the people who built and programmed it. Take your frustrations out on them, with a baseball bat if necessary. Then they’ll learn to start making better machines.

A Simple Guide to Underestimating Carrots

1. Draw up a list of your estimate of the basic attributes of a carrot. Then, lower those values by 98%.
2. Consult with a highly qualified carrot expert. Mockingly disregard his or her statements.
3. Find every book or peer-reviewed journal article about carrots. Don’t bother reading them.
4. Set up a scale for carrots as follows; 1-2 extremely poor, 3-4 markedly poor, 5-6 ridiculously poor. Roll a six sided die and let that stand as your determined carrot value.
5. Laugh mockingly at them while cackling that carrots could never defeat you. Then get defeated.
6. Draw up a completely fool-proof plan for destroying all carrots, but leave out one crucial piece of information.
7. Miss the average vitamin A content of a carrot by 3%.
8. Make a special rule where each inch mark is actually at the 2 and 3/8th inch mark. Then measure several carrots and record their lengths.
9. Look at a field full of carrots. Guess three.
10. Ask someone to name the best thing about carrots. When they give their answer, disagree with them.
11. Confuse carrots with seals.

The A-Z of Kooky Ideas and Conspiracy Theories

Aliens routinely come to Earth and abduct people for use in a bizarre intergalactic breeding program.

Bruce Lee, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, George Reeves, Marilyn Monroe and Bob Marley were all murdered for various, shadowy reasons.

Cars can go up to 1,000 miles on a single gallon of gasoline, but this is covered up by oil companies and car manufacturers to increase their profits.

Daniel Bester Inc. is actually a front for the human allies of a dangerous alien empire that is attempting to take control of the Earth.

Energy from the human orgasm (orgone) is the most powerful thing in the universe; using it has allowed people to do everything from curing cancer to levitating the Pentagon.

Flying Saucers have been reverse-engineered by the Nazis, the Soviets and the USAF to develop advanced airplane technology.

Groom Lake, otherwise known as Area 51, is home to the corpses of several dead aliens whose ship crashed in New Mexico in 1947.

HAARP, the High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program is a vast, powerful weather and/or mind control device created by the US Government.

Intelligent beings from other planets artificially influenced human evolution. These beings were the antecedent of all human religions. Also, they built the Pyramids.

Jews, through their banking and finance connections, run the entire world.

Kennedy was murdered by the CIA, in conjunction with the Soviets, the Mafia and possible Aristotle Onasis. Lee Harvey Oswald may have been involved.

Lemuria was an ancient continent which was first settled by aliens in roughly 100,000 BC. Later it sank beneath the oceans.

Mars was once home to an advanced civilization whose ruins, including a mile wide relief of a human face, can still be seen today in the region of Cydonia.

No one ever set foot on the Moon. NASA inexpertly faked the Apollo missions in order to avoid losing face in the Space Race, or perhaps because they didn’t want the public to know that the Moon is home to a massive UFO base.

Occult groups, including the Freemasons, the Illuminati and the Trilateral Commission, have secretly been controlling the world for thousands of years.

Possible locations of Atlantis include Thera, Egypt, Antarctica, Florida, England, the Azores, North Dakota, Turkey, Mars and the Atlantic.

Quieting UFO witnesses involves spending mysterious, quasi-robotic, agents dressed in black, to people’s homes to intimidate them.

Remote Frequency Identification Tags are implanted in people’s noses by the government and by aliens so they can keep track of everything.

September 11th was a purposeful act of deception orchestrated by the US Government. Controlled demolitions, rather than hijacked airplanes, actually destroyed the buildings.

The best way to utilize the unlimited power of the Mind is slightly alter the shape of table ware.

Underground UFO bases exist in the Himalayas. For years the Draconian Reptoids have been in contact with the Masters of the Hidden City of Shambala.

Volcanic eruptions are triggered by the close approach of Earth’s second moon Lilith.

War between the Grays, the Reptoids and the Nephillium caused Molad, the paradise planet between Mars and Jupiter, to be destroyed, thus creating the asteroid belt.

Xenobilogists have proven that catfish are direct descendants of extraterrestrial fish brought to Earth two million years ago by comets.

Years ago, all African people had bird like wings, enabling them to fly. Then, a mad scientist created white people who took over, driving the Winged Africans into extinction.

Zygotes develop a soul after the eighth cell division.

How to Impersonate Norman Chinsky of Great Neck, NY.

1. Wear a blue work shirt, khaki pants and old, beat up sneakers.
2. Accessorize with a fanny pack, a fake mustache and glasses.
3. Affect a nasal voice with slight sibilance.
4. Talk about auto parts a lot.
5. Make the “Okay” gesture with your thumb and fingers while you say “Gotcha there.”
6. Pretend to really enjoy saying the phrase “What do you think, file the pink. What do you do, staple the blue.”
7. Complain about Ted. Call Ted a moron.
8. Mention the NJ Nets and how great their next season will be.
9. Tell that story about the time you got a free Whopper because you were “persistent.”
10. Mention that “The clock’s still on the wall” every time someone checks the time. Snigger.