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Computers

  • We need the slower and more lasting stimulus of solitary reading as a relief from the pressure on eye, ear and nerves of the torrent of information and entertainment pouring from ever-open electronic jaws. It could end by stupefying us.

  • ... there's a proverb which says 'To err is human' but a human error is nothing to what a computer can do if it tries.

  • The ability to store our data externally helps us imagine that our time is limitless, our space infinite. It frees us in, theory at least, from the defining constraints of being human, and sometimes that freaks us out.

    • Carina Chocano,
    • "The Essence of Being Human Is Not Remembering but Forgetting," The New York Times Magazine ()
  • [For thousands of years, tool-use has been] a physical modification of self. Now what we're looking at is not a physical extension of the self but an extension of the mental self.

  • You can steal a lot more with a computer than with a gun.

  • It is said that the world is divided into two groups of people: those who have lost data, and those who are about to.

  • I think it's foolish for anyone to pay a doctor for a stress test. If you've had a computer for two weeks without having a coronary, you'll never have one.

  • I've gotten better at the computer: When it goes bonkers, I regain consciousness much faster than before.

  • [On first use in 1945 of the term "bugs":] From then on, when anything went wrong with a computer, we said it had bugs in it.

  • ... when one went fishing in information networks, one also became fish food.

  • It was not so very long ago that people thought that semiconductors were part-time orchestra leaders and microchips were very, very small snack foods.

  • Contemporary humans are exposed to more facts in a single day than medieval people faced in a lifetime. Although we've yet to realize the full implications of our accelerated culture, one thing is certain. As the clock once revolutionized work and society, the computer is reconstructing how we work and live with time.

  • Computers are not good or bad; they are powerful.

  • ... his personal opinion was that if you wanted sensitive information to get out, you put it in a computer.

  • E-mail correspondence tends to be far less personal than most correspondence because it is so public. Loss of intimacy is the price we pay, ultimately, for the convenience of speed.

  • For a long time, I let the huge amount of computer-operation information intimidate me. Then I realized I didn't how my phone worked, either. But I knew how to make phone calls.

  • Terrified of being alone, yet afraid of intimacy, we experience widespread feelings of emptiness, of disconnection, of the unreality of self. And here the computer, a companion without emotional demands, offers a compromise. You can be a loner, but never alone. You can interact, but need never feel vulnerable to another person.