Before I two-finger my way into literary history by delving deep into the human psyche, I'm going to preface
(Gasp! not here, PLEASE! This is a family friendly blog!)
A friend of mine who works in the defense industry at the "I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you" level, once made a point (well he's made more than one, but we'll just focus on this one) while I was waxing enthusiastic about massive parallelization with no C&C head node, etc, etc, yada yada yada. I do tend to go on a bit, I know. What? You hadn't noticed?
Anyway, as I was extolling the virtues of the future of computing, he said something so painfully obvious that despite its almost ridiculous simplicity, it forever changed my view of technology.
He said "It's still just ones and zeros"
I knew that of course, at some visceral level, but It's easy to get caught up in the sexy world of multiple cores and nanometers and lose sight of this most basic of facts.
Why did I begin with that little gem?
Because at it's core is the basic limiting factor of all our wonderful technology: Linearity.
It's the inescapable roadblock to any kind of AI, as well as the insurmountable constraints on data density and VR.
Let's just itemize the the various stumbling blocks inherent in the technology we've adopted to leverage our claim to eventual collective godhood:
(You can skip this part if you already know what's coming ...)
Electricity is inescapably linear.
Boolean Logic is inescapably linear.
Quantum Mechanics/Physics and String Theory are essentially an attempt to explain non-linearity in a linear manner.
Ergo, the very foundation of the house of cards we've built to propel us into the future is hopelessly and inextricably mired in the tarpit of linearity.
The reason this is so has everything to do with the fact that most people think in words.
Letters are linear representations of sound vibrations. Words are linear strings of letters, Sentences are strings of words with basic boolean logic at their core. Predicate follows subject or gets stored in the stack until the subject comes along, Adverb goes into the stack until the verb comes along,
Paragraphs are strings of sentences. Chapters are strings of paragraphs. Books are strings of Chapters.
The space a book takes up is dictated by the size of the type. As the type gets smaller, it becomes difficult to read. At some point, it reaches perma-squint size and drives everyone to an opthamologist. Further attempts to reduce the footprint necessitate the use of a magnifier to re-render the words back to a less migraine inducing size.
Sound anything like a computer??
Now we can dive into the chow line and get to the meat and potatoes of the matter.
A small percentage of people are born with brains that are wired differently. The shrinks will tell you that they are missing some connection from a lobe to a stem, or a lobe to a lobe, or a stem to a lobe- like a flawed company telephone system which has no direct connection between the CEO and the Accounting department, causing the CEO to have to call Sales in order to speak to Accounting. This, in turn, means anything that Accounting has to say will be twisted by Sales to serve their own ends- and may explain why Accounting hasn't had a raise in years and Sales is busy buying Yachts and Tropical Vacation Homes.
The point here is, ah er, I forgot.
Moving along- because I'm running out of time-
What follows comes under the heading of "Reasons why those of you who think you know everything annoy those of us that do."
The fly in the pudding here is that all the Shrinks and Psych Majors are linear thinkers. Thus, like our ubiquitous Sales Department they tend to filter everything to suit their own linearity so that the information that flows to our CEO (Central Edifice of Organizedknowledge) OK OK so I cheated in order to create a clever acronym. Buzz OFF! -
As I was saying, the information that flows to our no less ubiquitous CEO is skewed to suit the intrinsic linearity of the Sales Department (follow the metaphor please- Sales=Shrinks) and probably also to keep them in yachts and vacation homes.
And, I might add, as it is these same greedy so and so's who created this lopsided system, one has to find the fact that it's been so neatly applied to explain non-linear thinkers a bit suspect frankly.
Well, I'm out of time- Part 3 will follow- no less disjointedly than Part 2 followed Part 1 (A fact that will probably further annoy all you linear thinkers) As we move into non-linear thought in more detail.