Generations ago, a thinker was sitting on an old oak log, chin resting on palm, staring intently at the grassy ground a few feet away.
Imaginary steam rises from a shallow pool of knowledge, filled only with spoken word and dusty scrolls, into wispy thoughtful clouds drifting above.
Charged with restless mental electricity, rapid bolts of lightening arc between cloudy thoughts flashing creative new possibilities.
Mental gears grind fuzzy details into clear logical structures, connected and rearranged, until a visual image is perfectly constructed.
A goat’s panicked baah brings reality back to focus. A sudden wind rustles dried leaves and wisks hazy conclusions away. The thinker let’s out a sigh, stands up, and gently pats the goat on the head. Thoughts about how to make a softer wool jacket start drifting up…
Somewhere tonight, a modern thinker is alone in a dark room, haunched over a glowing screen.
An artificially intelligent oracle eagerly awaits any queried question. Searching through a vast library of knowledge that puts all of the great libraries - combined - to shame, the answer is retrieved and given in microseconds.
The kindling of knowledge fuels the furnace of imagination.
Rhythmic clicks and clacks spark calculated keystrokes that forge the thinker’s visual picture and logical structures, into a blueprint of monotyped characters and mathematical symbols.
With bloodshot eyes and a deep exhale, the last detail is scribed. The blueprint ready for mass production, is pressed by the computer, into a long series of simple 0’s and 1’s instructions, for other machines to simply read and replay.
This magical medium where all the world’s 0’s and 1’s are stored, was invented by a brilliant thinker named Alan Turing, sometime around WW2.
He was laying out in a wheat field daydreaming thoughtful clouds dripping with possibilities, when a thunderous bolt broke through, and an image flashed which changed the world forever.
Turing constructed a simple machine which could be programmed to compute anything. A digital tape etched with 0’s and 1’s would be fed to it, and as long as the program could fit on the tape, the machine would calculate the results.
He then imagined that same digital tape stretched to infinity.
He accurately predicted that the efficiency of the machine’s ability to process those 0’s and 1’s will increase exponentially, but the simple mathematics of storing and retrieving 0’s and 1’s will remain the same.
All knowledge, problems, and thoughts, could be logically scribed and forever stored on an ever expanding medium that copies and distributes information faster than it could ever be destroyed.
With a simple press of a cheap plastic button, blue electric currents shoot through a vast silicon valley of microscopic electronic channels flowing through millions of sparking transistors - busy projecting recorded 0’s and 1’s onto a pixel canvas painted by logically designed blueprints.
The thinker’s mental image virtually constructed in a glowing screen across the sea.