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A UNIVERSAL COMPUTER

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Writings by Louis Kahn in "Silence and Light" and Neil Gershenfeld's "Fab" present two intriguing points: Nature is its own computer, storing and transforming information. Nature shares this technology with man, giving man their Mind and Brain to build computers of their own, storing information which becomes ordered, yet more complex.

Gershenfeld states "The universe is literally as well as metaphorically a computer. Atoms, molecules, bacteria, and billiard balls can all store and transform information." Kahn elaborates stating "Nature, in what it makes, it records how it was made. In the rock is the record of the rock, and in the man is the record of man." This transitions to my second point that man is a lot like nature, in that it works as its own computer, operated by the mind and the brain. Kahn states that the brain is an instrument and the mind is the "instrument and the soul".

"Brain is - the machine we make now, for calculating, for putting into, these computers. These are brains. Never the mind. The mind makes it but it never will really give you anything that brain can do".

Gershenfeld states "Today we talk about technology as though our minds will be surrendered to the machine." If we substitute machine with brain, the message is a bit more clear. Today we talk about technology as though our minds will be surrendered to the brain. I interpret this to mean that people are afraid that technology will reduce Man's ability to use his mind, his soul. He will resort to depending on the brain, like a machine, to perform actions.

Kahn believes states that "What nature gives us is the instrument of expression which we all know as ourselves, which is like giving the instrument upon which the song of the soul can be played". Therefore, nature created man with the gift of being his own instrument, capable of using his mind, his soul, to express himself. Therefore presenting the unique situation in this universe where "what nature makes it makes without man, and what man makes nature cannot make without him".

Man and Nature work simultaneously building a universe from order to complexity to chaos, each with creations that record their own existence much like a mainframe's computer that records computed data digitally in 1's & 0's.