Modern Times

A Look Under The Hood.

How A Computer Reads Things.

It was while I was writing the last post that I dug into the html to adjust the positioning of the image, to be confronted with something looking like this:

<h3>A different look at what we’ve eaten.</h3><tabletext-align: cellpadding=”0″ cellspacing=”0″ class=”tr-caption-container”
style=”float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;”><tbody>
<tr><td style =” text-align:center;”> <a href=”http://2.bp.blogs
pot.com/-Dv5HKhGozRM/VySV6pkJzMIAAAAAAAAA/LoBVLl
UnjvcqYC8pN0DBfj3h6O57VcnNXQCK4/s160/%2B604%2Bch
icken_genome_image.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”clear: right
; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; marginright:<imgaut o;>gborder=”0″height=”253″src=”https://2.bp.blogspot.com/D
v5HKhGozRM/VySV6pkJzMI/AAAAAAAAAok/LoBVLlUnjvcqY

Which as you can see, is easy to read. If, that is, you’re a computer. Without gaps, punctuation and paragraphs, it becomes a little difficult to read. If, that is, you’re a human.

Because we all read by looking at words as images, and whilst we make this a little easier by adding spaces – and Asian languages largely do not – the ability to see several letters together as one word means we can read fluently. Those who can’t need to spell the letters out in their mind and work out what the letters mean, then what the word means. In becoming ‘fluent’ in reading means that we have established a whole panoply of images that we can readily recognize when reading.

Even the most intellectual of people will do this; the difference is that they don’t realize it, and merely assume their brain acts like a computer, compiling the letters and not considering the words to be images. That is what one might term a ‘high level task’. Certainly higher level than just plodding through the letters and processing each byte as it comes along – which is how a computer recognizes a letter.

This is what the computer sees. Remember that this stream of digits is automatically dissected into bytes that are placed before the inputs of the processor:

00111100011010000011001100111110010000010010000001100100011010010110011
00110011001100101011100100110010101101110011101000010000001101100011011
11011011110110101100100000011000010111010000100000011101110110100001100
00101110100001000000111011101100101111000101000000010011001011101100110
01010010000001100101011000010111010001100101011011100010111000111100001
01111011010000011001100111110001111000111010001100001011000100110110001
10010101110100011001010111100001110100001011010110000101101100011010010
11001110110111000111010001000000110001101100101011011000110110001110000
01100001011001000110010001101001011011100110011100111101001000100011000
00010001000100000011000110110010101101100011011000111001101110000011000
01011000110110100101101110011001110011110100100010001100000010001000100
00001100011011011000110000101110011011100110011110100100010011101000111
00100010110101100011011000010111000001110100011010010110111101101110001
01101011000110110111101101110011101000110000101101001011011100110010101
11001000100010000011010000101001110011011101000111100101101100011001010
01111010010001001100110011011000110111101100001011101000011101000100000
01110010011010010110011101101000011101000011101100100000011011010110000
10111001001100111011010010110111000101101011011000110010101100110011101
00001110100010000000110001011001010110110100111011001000000111010001100
10101111000011101000010110101100001011011000110100101100111011011100011
10100010000001110010011010010110011101101000011101000011101100100010001
11110001111000111010001100010011011110110010001111001001111100000110100
00101000111100011101000111001000111110001111000111010001100100001000000
11100110111010001111001011011000110010100100000001111011110001010000000
10011101001000000111010001100101011110000111010000101101011000010110110
00110100101100111011011100011101001100011011001010110111001110100011001
01011100100011101100100010001111100010000000111100011000010010000001101

As you can see, it’s very easy to read. I mean, you did read it, didn’t you? Every zero and every one? (Of course, for the comuter, each of these ‘0’s on your screen is actually the series of inputs – the byte – ‘00110000’ and each ‘1’ is the series of inputs ‘00110001’ – representing things for a human to read is no easy matter for a computer!)

Now anybody fluent in reading the 256 characters possible with these binary “letters” will be able to read this with ease. Naturally, this will mean that they’ve read these things enough to form them as images in their mind, rather than having to run their finger along the line. It’s when a person is unaware of this situation means that they’ve never really thought about what it is to read fluently – because if you had, you’d have unveiled the truth for yourself.

Of course, there is another problem which is a little more subtle, in that the letters on their own – which is what one must read here first – are not so easy to read when decoded. That’s because you need to read the letters and THEN read what it says.

Naturally, in amongst this jumble of 0s and 1s there are markers for spaces, the well known %20 symbol you see on some web addresses. Computers can’t see gaps, can they? It was several years ago that I noticed this and it made my ears prick. Because if you can’t see a space, you cannot imagine an image, be it a word or anything else. Computers are stuck with ‘reading’ (if one can call what a computer does when faced with electrical stimuli at its inputs) each letter and processing it accordingly.

Because that’s all a computer can do.

When it comes to passwords, the computer doesn’t even process the letters, it just makes a ‘checksum’ – a summation of the digital inputs – and if both are the same, you’re in. No thinking required! The computer didn’t even look at the letters, it just tallied up the electronic signals and that was it.

Computer Intelligence?

So the next time you hear a person say a computer can be intelligent, realize that your intelligence is based on your ability to imagine. The more you have developed your imagination, the more you will be able to form long-lasting images in your mind – the kind of thing that keeps people interested when there’s nothing to do.

Most people have a smartphone because they can’t, and because they can’t, need the images fed to them in the form of movies or words sent to them by their bosom pals.

 

Related:

Multiple Passwords: An Easy To Remember Strategy

One Easy Solution Which Uses The Human’s Ability To Imagine.

One of my emails was hacked, not an uncommon happening these days. Hackers and spammers could do nicer things with their brains only as ever the cart’s before the horse. Hacking and spamming is all they know, and they probably can’t see a way out. They probably enjoy the challenge too, so they don’t even want a way out. Which is a problem for us and it’s not as if we aren’t facing enough challenges as a species without their adding to them.

Read more, click HERE.

 

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