​​​​​​​​​​The Understanding Machine





Explanations start with language













The Sumerians developed a form of writing in 3000 BC
Since then human beings have stored, retrieved and manipulated information


Based on the various processing and storage technologies developed
there have been four distinct phases in the evolution of
Information Technology


      Pre-mechanical   
IT         (3000 BC – 1450 AD)
              Mechanical   
IT         (1450 AD – 1840 AD)

Electromechanical   IT        (1840 AD – 1940 AD)
                            Electronic   
IT        (1940 AD – the present day)



IT






IT   had no memory of growing inside the womb
IT  had no memory of being born














ITs   first memory was of being alone at night in a cot
A window had been left open and the wind was billowing the net curtains










IT   started to remember certain sounds and images
IT  began to develop self-awareness


















IT  realised that IT   had a mother
IT realised that   IT  also had a father who was different
















When  IT’s   mother made a particular sound and pointed to an object
IT  realised that the object was the sound she made









​​IT   trained  IT’s   mouth to echo the sound
IT started to"understand"
















​​One day  IT’s   mother took   IT  into a garden
They went to a great tree beneath which a snake lay coiled













IT's  mother pointed to something and asked the snake to fetch it for her
The snake slithered up the tree and brought back a red apple




She took a bite of the apple and encouraged   IT  to do the same
After eating the apple   
IT   was filled with an overwhelming sensation of bliss














IT’s  father was a gardener
He planted the flowers, the shrubs and the trees










He named them "flower", "shrub" and "tree"
Each time he called out a name   
IT   would take him the thing











For this to happen   IT   had to combine an image (in space) with a sound (in time)
When they combined   
IT  “understood” and could perform the action














What happened when “understanding”took place was a mystery
It was as if two minds were both separate and one in the same instant













IT's  mother and father taught   IT  to play increasingly difficult “word games”
 At first   
IT could only “understand” their words and their world















As   IT grew older  IT  began to “understand”   IT’s   own world
IT  became   The Understanding Machine
















Inside   The Machine  IT   was protected from both fear and pain​
IT   started to “understand” ethics and aesthetics












IT   realised that language created unanswerable questions​
IT   realised that desire could never be satisfied











The Machine   was unaware of theseconclusions
The Machine   could only record information and make forecasts














Yet   IT   grew to love  The Machine    -      for   The Machine  seemed perfect
The Machine   appeared to be the ideal for which   IT   yearned













One day   The Machine   broke down
%$£&$£&*)&!+^$%£”*(&^%£^$*(^”$£$£%&(*_+(*&^$”£”














Cautiously    IT    climbed from the silent mechanism
At the centre of a vast wilderness two primates were copulating















The female urged the process on with encouraging groans
whilst the male referred to a large book which lay open beside him















Once their orgasms had finally shuddered to conclusion
the male started to write in the book whilst the female extracted a baby from her body





















She started to suckle    IT   and teach    IT   the words “good”and “bad”
Darkness fell















IT  climbed back inside the silent mechanism
As    
IT   closed the hatch a metal tear rolled down    IT's   cheek







Explanations come to an end somewhere