We made rocks think
Computers are magical.
If you could time travel and tell the average person from the 1900’s that we would one day make rocks think they would most assuredly call you crazy and ostracize you for being a lunatic.
I personally find it worthwhile to read about history to develop an appreciation for the progress we’ve made as human beings. I read history because the news makes me angry. The news highlights how destructive we can be, but I think our capacity for destruction is eclipsed by our drive to innovate and overcome the technological challenges of our time.
The computer is one of our most astounding inventions.
Did you know that computers can only do addition?
Yet somehow we have created an entire virtual world for us to live in, connecting the entire world through devices that fit in your pocket.
How the fuck did we do that?!
Think of a computer as a complex network of integrated circuits.
Integrated circuits are made of stuff that helps control the flow of electricity.
Transistors chief among them.
Transistor circuits allow us to define logic gates.
It is through the magic of logic gates that computers understand more than just addition.
We’ve made remarkable jumps in capabilities since the birth of the first computer.
The Apple II in 1976 could do little more than load spreadsheets in color.
Today, computers are capable of processing natural language (!).
All thanks to the ongoing development of integrated circuits.
Those circuits are primarily made of silicon.
Silicon is made of sand.
Silica sand to be precise.
Silica sand is a type of quartz.
Quartz is a mineral.
A rock is a solid mass of one or more minerals.
We made rocks think!
Humans are wizards.
We live in a magical world. It’s only through the study of history that you can learn to appreciate the world you’re living in, and you’ll be happier for it; so get to reading.
Created on July 24, 2021
Published on July 24, 2021