Beyond IT “potato sorting” to nonmaterial reality

potato sorter

Computers are glorified potato sorters (separating electrons rather than potatoes). People translate data into electronic codes and then a computer sorts, arranges, categorizes, stores, and retrieves those coded electrons as directed by a person (or a program written by a person). Then the computer deposits the electronic codes back into words, images, and/or sounds. Electrons stream through it like potatoes through a potato sorter.

A computer is no more cognizant or conscious than a potato sorter. It doesn’t express care or concern. It doesn’t believe or trust. It makes no choices. It has no perception or understanding of what it is doing. A computer has no hopes or dreams — no motives or sense of purpose — no opinions or philosophy — no meaning, no inspiration, no intentions, no disappointment, no guilt, no shame, no sorrow, no grief, no loneliness, no sadness, no joy, no frustration, no anger, no happiness, no desires, no longings, no opinions, no pride or humility.

A person, however, experiences all of that — not just as images and words on a screen — but as direct interaction with nonmaterial reality. We experience our thoughts to be real, not just electronic potatoes being passively sorted by our brains. Even materialists (people who claim to  believe that nothing exists but matter) live their lives as if their thoughts are real (not just electrons being sorted by their brain). (Take Stephen Hawking for example.)

However, unlike a potato sorter, our thoughts don’t just passively run through a physiological processing system called a brain. Instead we actively experience nonmaterial reality by choosing to originate thoughts, to control them, to embrace them, or even to reject them. We are the programmer, not the electron sorter!

Computers don’t experience or perform any of these nonmaterial things (but you do):

Awareness, Belief, Consciousness,

Apprehension, Cognizance, Trust,

Understanding, Concern, Care,

Insight, Wisdom, Evaluation,

Perception, Intuition, Inspiration,

Revelation, Motives, Ideas,

Intention, Hope, Purpose,

Concepts, Meaning, Hypothesis,

Aspiration, Expectation, Mission,

Proposition, Proposals, Conclusions,

Analysis, Premise, Suppositions

Theorems, Thesis, Philosophy,

Presuppositions, Principles, Proposals,

Reason, Speculation, Suggestion,

Conjecture, Explanations, Assumption,

Guesses, Interpretations, Discernment,

Opinions, Reflection, Pondering.



About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I co-lead a non-traditional expression of the body of Christ in Nashville based on open participation and Spirit-led sharing. We long to see the power and passion of the first Christ-followers come to life in our time. I have written a book about our experiences called, "Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible--Ekklesia" that is available in Kindle & paperback @
This entry was posted in a healthy mind, apologetics, atheism, determinism, free will, harmful thinking, high tech, information processors, information technology, IT, making decisions, materialism, mind, positive thinking, power of choice, pro choice, rationalism, renewing your mind, science, scientific theory, self-control, self-esteem, self-help, self-image, spooky action, Stephen Hawking, Theory of Everything, Uncategorized, victim of disorganized thinking and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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