If someone were to ask me what I am most passionate about, I would probably jump into some kind of rant about how great computers are, and how much I enjoy every aspect of them. Don’t get me wrong, I do attempt to be modest; however I find it difficult at times to restrain myself. Computers are the symbol of our twenty-first century advancement, the pinnacle of the ingenuity of our race. In the past twenty years we have made gigantic leaps in scientific advancement, most of which could not have been done without the computer.
When most people think about a computer, an image of a cold, steel box comes to mind; however, computers come in as many forms as can be imagined. The definition of a computer according to dictionary.com is: “A device that computes, especially a programmable electronic machine that performs high-speed mathematical or logical operations or that assembles, stores, correlates, or otherwise processes information.”
One would find it hard not to come into contact with some form of computer at some point in their day to day life. They’re in everything from our toaster to our cell-phone. At this point, our world would grind to a halt without those little bits of silicon. Commerce, navigation, even transportation wouldn’t function without some form of computer.
But who controls these all important slaves of the modern world? The computer literate. Before the computer all one needed to know was how to read, write, do a little math, but now, one who cannot control a computer to some degree, is at a huge disadvantage. Today, a computer illiterate person will simply use a computer literate one for whatever purpose. This can range from a business man hiring an IT guy, to the average Joe buying software. It’s a long chain of command so to speak, the consumer depends on the business which depends on the computer which depends on the programmer or technician to tell it what to do. This brings me to my point, and also why I love computers so much. If one knows the ins and outs of a computer to any minute degree, one has a key to the modern world. This may not be apparent to many people now, but as technology progresses people will realize more and more the necessity of knowing the important things about a computer.
When I say the important things, I don’t mean how to change your wallpaper, or tweak our operating system. I mean how to program, how to dive into the computer’s brain, and tell it what you need it to do. As computers become more advanced, one who knows these important things will gain more influence, and (pardon the cliché) power.
Hacker, the word alone gives most people a cold chill. To these people, the hacker is the one that cost their company millions, or who crashed a computer full of priceless family pictures and data. Honestly, I can’t blame one who would think this. The media has pounced on the fear aspect of the hacker, using it to sell their papers and up their ratings. But consider one thing, think of a computer as an explosive. This explosive, placed in the hands of someone who knows how to use it, can clear paths for roads, break through rock for miners, and even level ground for houses. But, if this explosive was placed into the hands of someone malicious, with just as much knowledge of how to use it, it could kill, destroy, and cause chaos. The same is true for hackers, and their explosive, the computer. It’s a battlefield out there, with good and evil sides. No blood is spilled, no shots are fired, and even a seventeen year old living in a small town in Oregon can fight for what’s right, all because of computers.
Up until this point I’ve left out another aspect of my love for computers, the Internet. In the past five or ten years, computers have had another important use, connecting people to the infamous Net. Nowadays what would a personal computer be without a modem and an ISP. It has given the human race the ability to communicate on an entirely new level. A fifteen year old living in Detroit can now communicate with another like minded fifteen year old living in Hong Kong. Some might say, that’s neat, but it accomplishes nothing, wrong. What that allows us to do is broaden our horizons, think beyond our national boundaries and touch the rest of the world, all from our very own home. It’s a new era of business, life, and even relationships. If it was our ability to communicate that allowed us to evolve past the animals, then our ability to use the Internet will bring us to new heights.
The computer has the power to make nearly every dream achievable. One might think this to be impossible; it is after all, just a computer. I say, look at what the computer has given us thus far, an entirely new world. What could possibly stand in the way of the computer doing such a thing again, remaking the world as we know it over and over. When I realize this possibility, I am eternally thankful for the computer, and I continue to embrace it. Only when one truly embraces the potential of the computer to change our lives for the better, will this come true.
Fear of the computer has prohibited this from happening on any grand scale. Movies depict the computer enslaving mankind, killing us and using us. Computers do only what they are told to, only what they are meant to do. The idea is impossible, the truth is that computers are our key, one only needs the will to turn it.
With the invention of the first computer we began a journey into the cyber world that will continue to grow and evolve as long as human kind has imagination and the ingenuity to make it all become real. This is why I am passionate about the computer.