One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man." -Elbert Hubbard
Today I was working on placing students for Freshmen housing in the Fall. It amazes me how performing a task in a repetitive fashion suddenly doesn't seem too bad once you put your mind on autopilot and you distract yourself with other things going on in your head. I had to highlight the students I had already placed because the six-step function I was doing on the computer was being done eventually without a thought and just seemed like second nature. It is times like this that remind me how similar we are to machines sometimes. You get into the normal swing of things, tell yourself you just need to get through this task before moving on with the next task, and the job is done once you switch off all emotion and any sense of personality. In many ways, it is kind of scary how easily we can do this to ourselves.
Unlike most of my posts, I would like to bring my "about the video" session into the main part of the post. I found this video about a year ago and fell in love with the speech and was inspired by the beautiful images and the deep meaning behind the words. It wasn't until today though, that I realized the speech was actually from a video game. In many ways I was very bummed about this fact. I thought it was a lecture from a professor, but the reality of the game is much more haunting.
The video discusses how similar we are to machines and how the human race in many ways is like "an ultimate computer". Down the road we will be able to use this pure emotion that makes us human and be able to use it in our networks and share ourselves on many more levels by creating a kind of "internet of you". I honestly thought this was a really cool way to imagine ourselves and how we are growing as individuals, but then I realized the game is about a futuristic world based on these beliefs where our memories are the only last intimate part of ourselves that we cannot share with the world. Although these memories still cannot be shared, science has shown us how to "edit" our memories where bad experiences are "deleted" and only good remain. This kind of reminded me of a couple of different movies, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and "Paycheck". Both movies have a similar "memory modification" element behind them and I would highly suggest viewing both of these movies and letting me know what you think about them.
I know I have talked about this numerous times before, but I want to further bring the message home. Our negative memories in many ways make us who we are just as much or even more than the positive memories. It is the bad moments that allow us to fight for what we believe in and make the good moments all the more worth having. Maybe that is what differentiates us from the machines. The ability to feel emotion! It is our job to ensure we don't "switch our minds off" and always strive to further improve ourselves through learning and reaching for the stars!
Challenge of the week: Do something this week that sets you apart from a machine. Show the world how human you really are :)