Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: COMPUTER (05/19/16)
- TITLE: The Evolution of Tools
By Mike Hill
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I’m an enigma, a testosterone driven, right-brained male that loves to dream about what I could make with my tools. A perfect date night would begin with a wood grilled, rare, 2” thick dry-aged porterhouse followed by a trip to the hardwood lumberyard. For dessert, I’d eventually find myself at the local tool store, sauntering down the sawdusty aisles dreaming about what all I could build! My dreams that night would be based on the excitement of putting the finish on my new piece and seeing the beauty of the wood grain come to life! I’m not really that one-track, but you get the picture.
The evolution of tools is a fascinating study. Sometimes just a minor tweak or adjustment renders the tools much more efficient and useful. Sometime a large change, such as adding a motor, creates a new beast. Power is good, but the tactile feedback generated by using a well-tuned hand tool does something utterly outrageous to my sensorium. So, yes, Matilda, there are memories from the “good ole days” you reminisce and smile about.
BUT, there are some things upon which you reminisce that make you wince. Take computers for instance. They are a tool – aren’t they? A computer is a device or implement and you use one to carry out particular functions. Classic definition of a tool. Waltz down the developmental path of the computer and it is not strewn with daisies. Early on, they were miles of wires, full of glowing tubes and would fill up large rooms. They were cumbersome, slow and one-tracked in their capability.
My first close encounter with a computer was during my junior year in college where I got intimately familiar with the big monster of a computer they had on campus. They taught me FORTRAN so that I could communicate with “Big Bertha.” She did not have a keyboard or microphone or Siri – she had a card reader that read punched cards. Commands and inputs were in the form of the precise arrangement of holes punched in the cards. The cards had to be in perfect condition with holes in their proper places and all the cards in perfect order or she didn’t like it and spit them out. For one minor program, there could be hundreds if not thousands of cards. The contemporary pranksters loved to find your box of cards and mix them up a little. I hope God has a special place reserved for them.
I theoretically understand what is happening inside those little boxes, but I’m still blown away with the possibilities. You can be driving down the interstate and talk into your phone and a little voice will answer and will find the nearest BBQ joint with the highest ratings, will show you the menu, allow you to order, make reservations and get directions. My brain cells become bloated thinking of the possibilities. Yes, the internet is full of fluff, menial worldly pursuits, false bravado, lies, and just plain filth, but we need to praise God for technology. It can be used for much good.
The numbers of people that can be reached and touched with the use of a computer and the internet is staggering. It is as if we were sitting at the table with people from the darkest regions of the jungle. The opportunities, in your language, to read the bible, do bible studies, listen to sermons and inspirational messages is almost boundless. Prayer requests can be read, devotionals followed, and help with memorizing scripture obtained. Church services can be held even during inclement weather. These possibilities did not exist just a few short years ago.
Does the computer scare you or does it amaze and inspire you? Scripture tells us that whatever we eat or whatever we drink and whatever we do, we should do it all for His glory. In my mind this would include computers – a tool. A complex tool we can use to further God’s Kingdom.
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