Computers do not Have Minds
This will no doubt surprise many people because they they have been led to believe that they do. They have been led to believe that computers have brains – much as people do. And some of the latest therapies, such as Neuro-Linquistic Programming (NLP), state this explicitly.
This is ridiculous, to put the matter bluntly. The computer uses entirely different mechanisms than a nervous system does. Some of the functioning of the two can be analogous, and such a comparison can even be useful at times. But they are two entirely different systems.
Much attention has been given recently to showing the computers can think – because they can analyze vast amounts of data – such as our search engines are doing every day – and which I use every day. But this is a different kind of thinking – and to equate this with human thinking is a bit of a stretch.
One is living, and one is not. But people have been carefully trained to overlook this – and concentrate instead on the non-living parts of their personalities.
I do this myself, and spend a lot of time learning programming again. But I am aware when I do this that I am not studying people. And I also spend a lot time time thinking about the Human-Computer Interface – and just finished a course on this.
Most people simply ignore the difference – which does much to explain our present problem: we have no idea what we are or where we are.
They do not realize that humans have both brains and minds – and the relationship between the two is probably something we will never understand.
We do understand a lot – as the fantastic book The Master and his Emissary points out. But as Iain McGilchrist also emphasizes, this still leaves the important question unanswered. What is it that makes us human? All we can do is point to our fine arts – which clearly come from us.
But people now have little interest in these. While I, living in isolation in rural Costa Rica, enjoy them immensely (via books and the Internet).