7/18/2008

When I am King: Personal Computer

When I am King...

Computers will provide much more personal experiences.

It seems to me that we spend our entire lives accumulating memories, but never have a chance to sit back and enjoy them. It's like renting a video every day but never watching or returning it. Or like the kids carefully writing letters to Santa every year, but having them read by no one (Santa's a busy guy, after all).

Meanwhile, we're all too intent on having the experience itself, not the rerun. The job, the family, the vacations, the prison time ... it's like a birthday; all about the present.

So what do we have memories for, anyway? Why rent the movies if you can't figure out how to work the remote?

Some might argue that memories are used to make us wiser, to inform our future decisions based on past actions and consequences. That could be true. After all, it's been at least a couple of years since I stuck my fingers in a live power outlet. And nobody ever drinks too much again after they've had one bad hangover. But it seems that as a society at large that we are continually condemned to repeat the mistakes of the past with respect to the hell of war, ecological damage, and teen idol pop bands.

When I am King, my ministry will focus on making better use of our memory. Since we don't use the memories we store, let's use those neurons for something else instead. For example, a new "thumb drive" will obsolete the current USB devices by making it possible to upload data through our thumbs into some of that vast unused space between our ears. Why bother with all of the complicated memories about interactions with our families when we can more efficiently use that storage for simple JPEG pictures of the kids? Imagine how cool it would be if our friends could simply upload pictures of their kids directly to our brains. No more worrying about what to do with that awkward, posed hardcopy school picture; you can simply delete the digital version immediately instead.

But let's not stop at memory; let's go for the CPU.

Given the amount of crap on television that we're all apparently watching, it's pretty clear that our brains are on idle most of the time. What about putting them to use as a compute engine? As long as we've got our data now stored in our heads, we might as well use the brain as a local processor. Then all we need is some ports for the keyboard and mouse, a receptor for WIFI, and we're our own computer laptop, complete with a lap.
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