They have invaded every aspect of our lives just like Ray Bradbury suggested they would. Computers determine everything from climate control inside our homes and cars to how long I need to cook my food in the new-fangled crockpot I just bought. And you know what? Like sheep that absently follow the Shepard into slaughter so have humans gone in terms of computers. We have all bought into the concept of making our lives easier all the while never actually realizing that we are literally easing ourselves out of jobs…hell out of usefulness.
Remember all those Science Fiction movies where computers and robots take over the world? Well the one thing that many movies watchers fail to see in those movies is that those scenarios are our fault. We created those situations and we are at fault for the fall of humanity in each and every one of them. We, the humans, were just trying to make things “easier”….what where we thinking?
I just read an article on Flip - A News Gathering Program on my iPad, about how even writers could one day be replaced by software and computers. That’s right, there are eggheads out there who are trying to create algorithms that will write a book. No novelist, no starving writer, just a computer program in a dark room somewhere slapping words together for the masses. I don’t know about you, but the concept terrified me. But let’s go back to the first sentence of this paragraph…”I just read an article on Flip - A News Gathering Program on my iPad”, OMG…I’m part of the problem.
Admittedly I am a gadget junkie. If it’s cool and it lights up I would like to own it. I’m kind of stupid in that way. For me it isn’t about the ease but sometimes it is just the “cool” factor yet, I am still to blame for the advent of stuff being created to replace me. I use to write long-hand (for those of you techno junkies, “long-hand” is when you use a pen and a piece of paper to write down what is in your head…I know so old fashioned huh?) but now I have a digital journal on my iPad. I also use to write the first draft of my novels in long-hand. Somewhere in the garage there is a whole box of yellow legal pads with my first two books written on them…now I have a program (actually several of them) to write me books. I’m currently writing this column on my iPad which I will then transfer to my laptop and then put it up on the blog….I am so close to not having to write it at all…I’ll bet there is already a program out there that will compose an article about any subject I want. It’s frightening when you think about it. (Of course that article won’t have my rapier wit…but hey you have to sacrifice something for advancement right?)
This realization made me sad this morning and then it made me kind of angry at myself. I have been using my iPad to write, my laptop to create, I have been reading digital books instead of buying the old standards (which I actually enjoy more, the standards that is) and I have been searching for those programs that will make my writing easier, more organized. And do you know what I realized this morning? My search for those programs has often stopped me from actually writing. I am often so busy searching that I don’t write…I’m too busy trying to find the “right” program. I am a part of the problem and I have to stop.
There may come a day when computer programs attempt to write novels, short stories and articles but you know what? Without the human element I have to believe that the work will not have the same feel as a book written by an actual person. Missing will be the heart that the writer invests in his/her story and I think real readers will miss that to a point that, in the end, writers will always b around to some degree. As for me and my part, I am going out today and purchasing some comp books and I’m writing my next book first draft long-hand. I owe it to the craft and maybe…just maybe…if I’m not searching for the “perfect” program I will actually get some writing done…imagine that…a writer….writing…..hmmmm……
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