Pressing a button......by Don Bernal
Press a button. Any button. And watch.
The dots of white invade the black void, snowflakes falling down, in order, in a line, in a pattern. And slowly the black disappears from your sight, as shapes form from the blocks of white dots. And then you can see.
What happens? Press a button, and a thing called electricity, goes blink, blip, pause, bob, whatever electricity thinks is going on, but it burps and goes on. A burp of a particular pattern; rapid and consistent, 99.99% of the time, usually even better. That burp travelling through the wires, finally reaching the complex thing called a poor replication of the mind, the computer.
The true computer, you might say. Not all the jingles and jangles with monitors and mice, but that rather, tiny, palm-fitting wafer sized chip. The processor. The proverbial "engine". Where burps and blips go and get turned into something rather weird, and comes out as a burp again. The rather weird thing? Well, let's say, you have thing called x, and today, x is 2. Now, assuming x is the burp, then that x goes through the wires, and hits the "engine". And let's say the program you were running, the thing that was on when you pressed the button, says that is x goes in, and since x is 2 today, then do this: x + 10 = y. So that x goes in and x is 2, remember, y comes out, with the value being 12. So a burp of 2 goes in, and a burp of electricity of 12 goes back to the screen, and that 12, which means something to the program, shows up as those quirky little white dots on the screen, or whatever the hell "12" means today.
"How," you see is merely what the thing you do means to the thing doing it, mainly the program, and technically, the processor.
For example, word processing. You press that button with that funny little mark of "k", and wait. That hiccup of electricity goes through till it reaches the processor. That hiccup is then dissected as on or off. Hiccups, you see, of electricity. The processor has a funny little habit of only dealing with on or off, 0 or 1, commonly known. And that pattern of 0's and 1's get figured out by the engine, the processor, using the instructions by the word processing program, hiccups out 0's and 1's that the program understands, realizing that the pattern means to put a "k" up on the screen, and pooh!, a "k" shows up on the screen, usually fast enough that didn't really have time to think about burps, hiccups, bleeps, pauses, whatever you think electricity does.
And so the human mind. We want to do something, so the little sparks of electricity in our head are going through our wires, the nerves, and pooh!, we do stuff. And things happen.
Like if I said to someone I will be always their friend, always, because when I thought of it then, always was how I felt. Even if I knew it wouldn't be forever, even if I felt it wasn't going to last, I would say it, because, well, my reasoning is still underconstruction. So I say 'forever', meaning soon, yes, today, tommorow, why not, but I know forever is just a dream. And when you finally get to dream's end? Remembering back to memories of "forever" again, distant, lost thoughts that are simply unreal, made by a different me for sure. I wonder how it ended this way.
And just like then, when I didn't know why I said forever, I don't know how now. Even if I do. Even if I can't point to the exact details of how forever ended when she paused, said, "You just don't understand" and wandered off away, I don't know. Because even if you know when you press that button and you know it burbs and bleeps while it goes off into that thing that does things, and you know exactly what you're going to get back, something you probably don't want, you still press it. You still press it. Because as many times you see it happen, you still want to see the pretty shapes you form, even if they're ugly shapes, and you get mesmorized by it anyway. You do it because you like to press buttons. And watch.
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