(This is a dumb picture, who puts sparklers on a pie?)
by: Lucy Heat IG:@capturebylucy
I mean, I think we deserve it. The virus is clouding the news, Facebook newsfeeds, and just media in general. The corona virus popped up in my Reddit timeline as well. Mastodon, not so much, Instagrams had a few mentions here and there. I am actually just self isolating myself, despite not even having travelled at all this year.
I’ve taken it upon myself to learn a computer language, I picked up the book Learn Python the Hard Way (3rd edition). I can’t say that I hate it either, learning how to code made me realize just how dumb computers are. Yeah, capabilities, yeah, faster processing, definitely more than my brain can, or any other brain can process information and decipher information.
But, we told it to do that.
A computer doesn’t do anything, that we don’t tell it to do. Not really that shocking, I suppose. But as I am learning this code, and the jargon associated like strings, arguments, expressions and statements (you’d think it’s really straight forward, but trust me; a statement the way English uses the word statement doesn’t translate exactly. Or I am just a moron, really, you have to go and learn code for yourself to figure this out.) I can see how it gets more complicated, or can get more complicated; yet, consider this next example.
The Computers Memory is Fixed.
It’s as if the computer has dementia, where it can’t learn new things. Remember that old saying You can’t teach an old dog new tricks (I hope it’s not that old of a saying, like I am some pastor reading scripture wrote a time a yonder)? Well, much to my distaste, if I define a variable equal to a value and then later change the value, it doesn’t change any calculations of that variable before the change.
Say I have the variable, favourite_pie = Apple Pie, and then I get the computer to say “Do you know what’s Andrew’s favourite type of pie? Apple Pie, of course!”. Now, theres news that blueberry gives you extra loving power (like I need anymore, I laugh at your premise puny human!) and I now tell the computer favourite_pie = Blueberry Pie, and someone runs the little code I wrote and the computer will say “Do you know what’s Andrew’s favourite type of pie? Apple Pie, of course!”.
See, “silly computer, Andrew likes blueberry pie for the love power!”
Basically, because I wrote that my favourtie pie was apple pie, and then the code, then I changed my mind about my favourite pie, it doesn’t care. When I told the computer what my favourite pie was, then I told the computer to tell you, rather to let you know, that’s all the computer knew at the time. If I change my mind and tell the computer my new favourite pie is blueberry, it doesn’t care. Like a stubborn child, “You said your favourite pie was apple and then told me to tell people, and now your favourite pie is blueberry? Sorry I don’t work like that, I’m still saying your favourite pie is apple.”
I could easily fix this problem by asking the computer to once again, say “Do you know what Andrew’s favourite pie is?” and the re-insert that variable after I had re-defined it. Although unless I type out that variable again with the question, the computer will never let you know that the variable has changed! So let’s say I am typing out a shopping list “What to buy to make Andrew’s favourite pie, well the main ingredient is in the name! Blueberry Pie!”
“What, the. F. computer.”
See, computers are dumb. Rather, they aren’t that dumb, it knew that my new favourite pie was blueberry (It’s not, Apple till I die, bitches!). A computer, is a psychopath, a selfish psychopath. Did it care to tell you that my new favourite pie is blueberry (again, it’s actually apple), no it did not. If I were to send this computer to find me a new girlfriend, because I am a fantastic catch, and make the computer tell my new girlfriend to make me my favourite pie; it’s going to, rudely, put girls through psychological trauma at the supermarket.
I don’t want to write on COVID-19, although I do, because oddly enough crunching numbers and gather insights and then writing a report or an article is my idea of a good time. But I felt that I needed to share my “thoughts while I am coding” because I have parts of a working brain, yet the majority of you have a full working brain. Maybe this article will make you want to read up on the different types of memory we have and use everyday. Perhaps I will also write an article on memory, since I am the writer, that’s kind of my job wouldn’t you say?
I definitely want to write on COVID-19, in Canada, we are doing really well. Despite how early on we have been exposed to the virus, so far the mortality rate has been dropping rather quickly. Today, 37 out of 336 resolved cases have ended in mortality, and we have 3, 897 cases nationally. March 22nd, we saw a death rate of 58.82%, which has drastically dropped to todayes rate of 16.29% (all numbers 3:25 EST on March 26, 2020).