Wednesday, April 3, 2013

C is for Computers

I Love Sci-Fi/Fantasy Because...

 ...of computers.  What would science fiction be without them?

They inform.  They serve.  Some, like Star Trek's holodeck, entertain.  But sometimes, they turn on us like the Cylons of Battlestar Galactica or SkyNet of the not-too-distant future.

My Favorite Computer
But usually, they just do what they're told, good or bad, like the Terminator or the HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

And then we have computers that we learn to love.  Like Lt. Commander Data of Star Trek or David from A. I. Artificial Intellegence.

Who doesn't love a little A. I.?
Computers come in almost every size and shape imaginable.  They have been a part of my life--and my job--for many years.  And they're yet another reason why I love science fiction and fantasy.



And for my brief IWSG portion of today's post, an encouragement:

If I hear you ask, "Can I?" then my answer is, "Yes! You can!"

There are at least three-hundred-sixty-five days in every year. Few of them come to pass without us questioning ourselves in some capacity.

Will I ever be a good writer?  A successful one?  Do I have what it takes?

I've come to believe that questioning ourselves is prudent, even healthy. A little doubt can balance a swollen ego.  But doubt--like ego--is good only in smaller doses.

You can write.  You can learn, improve. And with a fair amount of effort, you can succeed.

The only sure way to fail is to never try. 

52 comments:

  1. I remember when we got our computer. My sister and I thought it was the coolest thing ever! We used to love playing solitaire and pinball on it :)

    Thanks for those words of encouragement. I definitely question myself a lot, so it's nice to read something positive!

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    1. I played those very same games and still think the computer is the coolest thing ever! LOL And you're welcome.

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  2. Cool post man! I can safely say that I am a fan of every sic-fi you mentioned. I'm going to nerd out some more here though, and add the robot dog sidekick 'K-9' from Doctor Who! :-D Good luck on the rest of the Challenge!

    Cheers!

    Erick @ A Brief Sinfonia: Loving Your Wife From A-Z

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    1. I'm going to have to get around to watching some Doctor Who sometime. Only seen one show so far and that was a good while back.

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  3. A.I. is a wonderful yet sad movie. Computers are very important today and like you showed have so many uses in the real and fictional world. Nice choice for A-Z and love your encouraging IWSG post. You bet your ass we can!

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    1. Yes we can! :) And I totally agree about A.I.

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  4. Hey, I love HAL, too. How many other computers sing to you? Hmmm? Hubby works in computers. I find them to be a necessary evil. :D

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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  5. Computers have really come a long way. I remember when they used to be these gigantic mainframe boxes. And now a computer can fit into a filing folder.

    I think everyone questions their writing abilities from time to time. Just keep doing what you're doing, and the rest will come.

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    1. Yeah, they can do things today that were science fiction last decade.

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  6. I remember back when I was a kid I used to love the computers on the enterprise, because you just asked them a question and they gave you the answer. I always wanted something like that!

    Of course, now we have it with the internet!

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    1. And I still remember Scotty in Star Trek IV speaking to the mouse. "Hello, computer." Cracks me up to this day.

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  7. I couldn't imagine life without computers now. Great ISWG post, very inspiring!

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    1. Thanks, Laura. We're definitely dependent on them, like it or not.

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  8. So true, that doubt is actually needed in small doses.

    Hard to think of the world without computers...

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    1. The doubt and ego are like ying and yang. We need them both.

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  9. Amen to your IWSG post! Awesome:) Data is my favorite computer too, just last night I watched the episode where Data tries to be a comedian, so funny :)

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    1. That was funny. "Maybe it's your timing," Whoopie says. "My timing is digital." hehehe

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  10. The only sure way to fail is to never try

    Love that! And I love computers. I don't understand them and I have some strange power that will break or corrupt computers (and cars and appliances) just by my being near them, but I love them.

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  11. Great writing advice Jeff, and I totally agree with it!

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    1. Thanks, Mark. I like it when folks agree with me. Makes me feel smart and all. ;-)

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  12. I adore Data! I miss that series. I'm such a geek. ha ha ha

    I agree with you, Jeff. Having a good balance of ego and a smidge of doubt to keep us in check is a good thing. It helps to keep us motivated. Thank you.

    Elsie
    IWSG co-host

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    1. Balance is everything. And yes, I miss it too. Still watch episodes frequently though.

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  13. I love Data! Miss that show...

    "A little doubt can balance a swollen ego."
    Very true. Great posts--both of them. :)

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    1. Thanks, Melissa. I'd like to see another Star Trek-based series on television, although I do like the movies.

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  14. Lots of great examples in this post. It's interesting to see how many different ways computers factor into stories and worldbuidling.

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    1. Oh yes, it's difficult to have sci-fi these days without some sort of computer appearance.

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  15. I dont think i can live without computers! Writing would be oh so difficult with my terrible handwriting --and editing would be hell without a pc :)
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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    1. I'm not sure I'd have the stamina and patience to write (and especially edit) my novels without them.

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  16. My new favorite computer is Jarvis from the Iron Man movie. :-) I remember when computers used tapes and were big unwieldy machines. Now I carry my life around in my phone. Crazy.

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  17. I don't know what we did before computers! I couldn't live without mine. Can't imagine writing by hand - or typewriter, lol!

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    1. Me neither. I think I'm addicted to them--ALL of them.

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  18. Your IWSG post makes me think our minds are still connected, Sir Jeff. This is the answer to the post I should have written for today IWSG but didn't. Nice!

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    1. I'd like to think our minds are still connected. Anything that might enable some of that creative talent of yours to bleed into me is welcome.

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  19. Whenever I wonder how far computers have come I watch WarGames. LOL

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    1. Been a long time since I watched that. Global Thermonuclear War, was it?

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  20. Hey Jeff,

    What with so many of you doing the alternate alphabet challenge to mine, I'm having a tough time keeping up. So much so, I haven't even done another of my um must read postings :)

    Did you know that computers are now blaming it on human error?

    And this "IWSG"? I thought it meant, "I Was Seeking Gary". Seems I got that wrong. Jeff, you will be an excellent, successful writer. Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar has told me so!

    Have fun.

    Gary :)

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    1. I know, Gary. I'm such a conformist at times. Makes up for all those times I'm not. hahaha.

      Being a computer programmer, we blame computer errors on the humans all the time. And are you sure Penny isn't just in pawlitician mode? :)

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  21. Awesome post - but then I never expect anything less from you, Jeff.

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  22. What was science fiction before computers?
    As for the ego being good in small doses - so very true!

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    1. Even in the days of Edgar Rice Burroughs, with his Princess of Mars series, employed computers in his tales. Only the terminology was different.

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  23. I always thought that kid in A.I. was seriously spooky. No cuteness there.

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    1. Kinda like him seeing dead people in Sixth Sense? ;-)

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  24. It's good to have some doubt. It'll keep you a better writer. We all just need a little encouragement from time to time to make sure doubt doesn't become the only thing in our lives.

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    1. Right. Most things are good in moderation and balance is always key.

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  25. You're right, it's hard to imagine a sci-fi story without computers!

    Also, love your words of encouragement! Doubt is most definitely better in smaller doses. (Too bad my own doubt hasn't gotten that memo yet, haha.)

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    1. Just show Dr. Doubt your fabulous creations. No cause for doubt there!

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