Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Economic Benefits Of Personal Computers

Some people (engineers and fascists, not that those two terms aren't almost synonymous) have difficulty grasping that modern personal computers have vastly increased productivity of individuals. They say correctly that big mainframes greatly helped the record-keeping of large corporations. And that smaller computers helped the lesser record-keeping of smaller corporations. And that's it, because individuals can't possibly be doing any record-keeping.

These people also get greatly upset over computer games and other modern "distractions" and are dismissive of the fact these things are more enriching and valuable than other equally mindless age-old pastimes of chatting over the water cooler, being brainwashed by the idiot box, square dancing, and bobbing for apples. Never mind those, age-old means traditional and there can't possibly be anything wrong with that! In fact, when people aren't slaving for a corporation they should just go to bed like the good slaves they are.

Never mind the benefits of automation. The order clerks that don't have to be paid for because web sites are processing their orders. The large retail warehouses (not a new phenomenon) where order pickers are aided by autonomous robots. The ATM machines everywhere. The self-checkout machines. Being able to do your banking and taxes online with the aid of software. No, we're not going to go into those. It's not like they greatly benefit individuals and the economy and are aided by small computers.

No, we will here talk about individual record-keeping. Because individuals DO in fact keep records. These are called "notes". And in the bad old days which the engineers are conveniently forgetting, individuals had to keep records ANYWAYS. They were just on this thing called "paper" which had no search functionality, random or fast lookup. In the bad old days, people used these things called "index cards" as meta-records. They were shit! In the bad old days, people did linear searches through all of their records instead of using 'grep' or 'google'.

People DID have records in the bad old days, and they DID engage in record-keeping. But in the bad old days, even though you could write at as much as 1/10th the speed of typing, getting writer's cramp a hundred times faster than RSI (and infinitely faster if you're smart enough to switch to Dvorak keymap and/or get a Kinesis keyboard). Hmm, a 10-fold productivity improvement you say? Nay! Because in the bad old days, retrieval of records was so difficult it was prohibitively expensive. Yea, in the bad old days, in order to be able to maintain any kind of records, you needed very high intelligence to remember where your records were.

And nowadays ... intelligence no longer matters. You want to remember something? Type it up. If you're moderately organized, you'll be able to remember it. So that nowadays, it's possible for someone to function with as low as 2 slots in working memory when people normally have 4, in other words at less than 50% capacity. You know those times when your head is fuzzy and you're braindead? Well, it's actually possible to measure numerically how far your mental capacity has gone down. And it no longer matters. Because you can still do productive work ... with your cybernetic memory.

Thanks to personal computers, everyone now has an IQ of roughly 150. An enormous boost to personal productivity and the economy. Sure, people aren't any more logical than they ever used to be, and they aren't any more creative than they used to be. But in terms of raw intelligence, raw memorization ability, the boost provided by computers is phenomenal!

Of course, none of that matters as individuals cannot possibly matter to slaves or insects. Which is what the typical engineer is.

And to think, this is all without the computer / Internet revolution having happened yet. Because it still hasn't. For all that you morons believe it's taken the world by storm, it is barely inching its way through the world. It still hasn't happened in any meaningful way as cybernetic memory (or dirt cheap social organization provided by the Internet) is nothing compared to what's coming.

Speaking of dirt cheap social organization provided by the Internet. That was pioneered by people illicitly sharing porn and movies. It took over two decades for business finance to move to take advantage of it. So no wonder fascists and engineers, to whom only corporations and governments could possibly matter, would be utterly blind to the phenomenon. After all, it's not like dirt cheap porn brings any value to anyone's life. Certainly not to someone who takes seriously the notion of sexual abstinence for adolescents.

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