Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don't need to be done. The great thing about a computer notebook is that no matter how much you stuff into it, it doesn't get bigger or heavier. Why is it drug addicts and computer afficionados are both called users? Home computers are being called upon to perform many new functions, including the consumption of homework formerly eaten by the dog. The question of whether a computer can think is no more interesting than the question of whether a submarine can swim. The question of whether a computer can think is no more interesting than the question of whether a submarine can swim. To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer. I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them. Part of the inhumanity of the computer is that, once it is competently programmed and working smoothly, it is completely honest. Computers can figure out all kinds of problems, except the things in the world that just don't add up. Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining. The most overlooked advantage to owning a computer is that if they foul up there's no law against wacking them around a little. One would think that if you're anonymous, you'd do anything you want, but groups have their own sense of community and what we can do. In all large corporations, there is a pervasive fear that someone, somewhere is having fun with a computer on company time. Networks help alleviate that fear. There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home. The most likely way for the world to be destroyed, most experts agree, is by accident. That's where we come in; we're computer professionals. We cause accidents. Computers are useless. They can only give you answers. The computer is a moron. If you put tomfoolery into a computer, nothing comes out of it but tomfoolery. But this tomfoolery, having passed through a very expensive machine, is somehow ennobled and no-one dares criticize it. Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning. To err is human--and to blame it on a computer is even more so. If the automobile had followed the same development cycle as the computer, a Rolls-Royce would today cost $100, get a million miles per gallon, and explode once a year, killing everyone inside. I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We've created life in our own image.
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