Mixsonian Larry


The Human Computer

The following day I had more thoughts about the mind and computers…

Journal Entry
January 23, 1978

Thoughts are flashing at a furious rate though my mind. What am I becoming? I ask myself. My mind is becoming more and more collective, patterns are forming. These personal patterns govern  my life, they are what I am. With each passing year these patterns, programs, habits, become more complex, thus more difficult to understand and change. The mind is not unlike a computer operating system controlling, manipulating many processes and functions. Just as a computer operating system can become increasing complex as they evolve, so does the human mind. Computer OS’s can be very small and simple to extremely large and complex. The best and most efficient computer OS’s have a very small, and relatively simple nucleus or kernel which everything that the OS does is based upon. The kernel performs the most basic of tasks, but tasks that are the most important and most often used. It is really what determines the functions, capabilities and efficiency of the computer. It determines who many, what type, what priority, scheduling of tasks. It controls the overall flow of data though the system.

The similarities between the human brain and computer fascinates me to no end. Man, the thinking animal, has created a machine in the likeness of himself.  Man can be programmed like computers, this capability is what has made man such a successful species. Hs adaptability is his ability to be reprogrammed. He has few basic instincts, about the only to that he has are to survive (live) and to reproduce, everything else that man does is part of his programming.

I shake my head, thoughts become scrambled for a moment, the body tires but the mind keeps on. I tell it to stop but it keeps on with a power of its own. People, places, things of the past, present, possibly even of the future, flash scene after scene.  Like watching an old movie picture, flick, flick, flick the screens go by. I look up, thoughts cease for a moment as I gaze into her eye. She looks back but not at I but of the scene I create. The music says one, one, one two three four and the beat starts. This is a fine time, yes a fine time I know but do you know me, should you be wasting your time,,, with me?

I feel like my life has been brief, when I’m old will I have time to remember these fine times, times that are so short now? I only hope that someday I will have time to sit in the warm sun on a cool day and to think back and remember those find times of when I was younger.  I long for the wisdom that comes with a long life and old age but I don’t want to grow old. It is hard for me to realize what it would be like not to have this young and healthy body.

I got up to turn the record over, thoughts skip to other things, like changing the channel on the TV, glimpses of scenes unknown but familiar flash by.

My writing, my insights interrupted by the technology of the time, the LP Record coming to the end of the side.  I most likely wrote the journal entry listening to the first side of the album, twenty to thirty minutes.  Unknown what I was listening to, but since it didn’t mention my plight with women, it probably wasn’t Dylan.

Now at the age of 70, as I write this and look upon what I wrote, I remember those times as being golden years, years of discovery, years of growth but also years of loneliness. The concept of time interested me, particularly the concept of the “present” in relation to the past and the future.  I wrote in my journal…

January 25, 1978

The present does not exist, for it is like a point in geometry, infinitely small, all that really exists is the past and the future! If on must really have a present it can only be obtained by repetition, that is repeating an event until it is the past and can be assumed to be part of the future. The present, this dot, at this moment, the future, blank page opposite this page, the past the same page filled with words.

Later I drew the following illustration where time is an infinitely thin line between past and future.

Sketch - past-present-future

[sketch Past-Present-Future, p 35]

I was trying to understand how we, humans perceived time when the very instant, the very second, the very microsecond, no how matter how small of time we make it,  moves to the past that we remember but yet we cannot even see a microsecond into the future.  We perceive we do, a ball bounces down the street, we expect it to, perceive it to, predict it will continue bouncing down the street into the future but it is not some we actually see, only project.  What is it about our minds that we perceive the present as if it second, minutes or even hours.  Live in the moment they say, but can we actually live in the infinitely small moment of true present?    Well, anyway, I still think about it.

Updated: 03-28-2023

Valentines Day