Observations / Other Media / Thoughts

We are living in a digital world…

…and I guess that makes me a digital girl.

Amidst seemingly endless cracks about the innate tech savvy that seems to dwell in “digital natives” (a.k.a. the millennial generation), I find irony and comedy in the connection between digital functions and biological processes. The foundation of the digital world (and perhaps the least known and understood by the general population), binary coding, series of 0s and 1s that control every function a computer performs, are strikingly reminiscent of the neurons within our brain, as Professor Murray suggested in class.

To be frank, this realization immediately struck me, in part because of the Twilight Zone-esqueness of this conclusion. I find at least minimal comfort in recognizing that such similarities are not relegated to binary and neural coding alone. The all-or-none principle, both in a physical and metaphorical fashion, is applicable to other phenomena and behaviors in the world around us. How many classroom posters and coaches’ speeches have emphasized that you must give a goal or objective all you’ve got or you might as well give none? All or none. You’re in or you’re out. The digital world, relying on computations and formulas, merely refuses to admit the presence of anything outside of its discrete calculating capabilities. In the wise words of Yoda, “Do, or do not. There is no ‘try.'” Clearly our brain’s neurons got that memo, too. Send/Receive or don’t. I digress.

As a result of the connections my own personal brain functions were performing during class, I have come to a new understanding of what is analog and what is digital, and I have a newfound respect for both – for their capabilities, their weaknesses, and their relationship with one another.

We are all digital. Well, in the likeness of digital.

Actually, we came first. The digital world’s foundation is in the likeness of us.


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