The Human Supercomputer

I'm trying to work through a physics book that a friend from work lent me. It's hard going - I have to read each new concept over and over again, until finally "inspiration" hits and I find a way of understanding the concept that they are trying to express.

I think that what makes a lot of it so much "hard work" is that I am having to translate from the author's "view"of things into my own. I suspect that it's like this for most people. Mind you, I'm not claiming that my way of seeing and understanding things is better than the author's - I reckon most times it's far inferior. Most times, my different "viewpoint" simply makes it harder for me to learn and understand things that other people already know.

It would all be a lot simpler and more efficient if I just saw things the same way as the person who is trying to teach me... Then, there would be no ambiguities, or opportunities for mis-understandings. I wouldn't have to "backtrack" and learn whatever things they implicitly "knew".

But then, also, I would be them. And maybe, say one time in a couple billion, my perspective ends up being unique and better, and I get to see something that, perhaps, no-one else in the world would have been able to recognize. That time, I would be able to contribute to the sum of human knowledge, in absolute.

In fact, I had this "revelation" today that this is one way of seeing the human race - it's like all 5 billion of us are individual "nodes" in a massively parallel human "supercomputer", set to the task of discovering the answer to life, the universe and everything.

So maybe Douglas Adams wasn't so far from the truth after all!


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