Earth's Largest Land Surveyor Community
Computer [kuhm-pyoo-ter] -noun - a catalyst for processing and storing human ideas by beginning with a logical input and proceeding illogically to a logical output.
Are the monkeys running the zoo again? Sometimes that's exactly how I feel when performing calculations or drafting maps with the aid of one of these diabolical devices. Things get a little bit abstract and removed from tangibility when performing math and making drawings with the now almost irreplaceable computer. It's a good thing that Pythagoras and Einstein did not have one. Likewise it is also a good thing that Leonardo da Vinci and Pablo Picasso did also not have to rely on one to create a masterpiece.
Nevertheless, it was indeed human intelligence that created the masterpiece we now call the computer to perform routine calculations and render graphics that should have taken much longer otherwise. The computers that most of us are familiar with do not think or know anything at all. They merely do what we "command" them to do.
On one occasion, a client of mine said something like "I want to know where the real property line is - not just where your GPS unit (a computer) tells you it is". Yes, wow!
I had to explain that my GPS equipment doesn't "know" anything and that it is only used as a measuring tool, especially between two points that you can't see between. Somehow that made sense, I assumed, by the blank look and the sound of crickets.
A computer is no more a mathematician than a piano is a musician. Yet, somehow we have venerated the computer as being more complex than it really is. To "know" your computer and how it produces the results that magically come out of it is only to "know" yourself and what you put into it. Garbage in, garbage out.
So the next time you don't understand why your computer doesn't do what you want it to do, make sure you are speaking the same language. Until then, don't expect your computer to help you do anything any faster or better than you could have done without one.
The profession of land surveying has come a long way with technology and it is surely headed toward the incorporation of more advanced "tools" to make life easier. Let's make sure "easier" isn't confused with "smarter".
This is as general and satirical as it gets. Now what sort of trouble or nonsense is your computer up to today?
-Scott D. Warner, R.L.S.
This Content Originally Published by a land surveyor to Land Surveyors United Network
I figured somebody would like that one. My computer has been on its best behavior ever since that post. I think it finally knows who's the boss! I hope it doesn't change its mind.
I change my mind every 3000 miles (at the speed of thought that's only a few seconds) but I won't tell my computer that. Good thing it doesn't “know” anything.
The only thing we (me and my computer) have in common is that we both need to change our minds when they become full of one thing or another (like a vacuum cleaner bag), or polluted with largely irrelevant or disorganized data. Everybody should go through a good defragmentation once in a while. It's like a good brain massage.
Keeping an open mind to the emerging technologies and sharing ideas from around the globe may be the only way to emerge from a constantly changing profession and world with a universal and acceptable standard of sharing geospatial data for the benefit of society as a whole.
Right now, I am using my computer as a tool to help inspire new generations of land surveyors to keep one foot in the past while maintaining a keen eye on the future
“We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” - Albert Einstein
Perhaps I should start a new discussion group called “The Future of Land Surveying”. Or perhaps one of you would care to launch such a forum. I would be the first to join!
-Scott D. Warner, R.L.S.
Knock on wood, all systems are running fine here. Even though I am a one-man show, I have three PCs, network-attached storage as a server, several printers, scanners, etc, not to mention software and mobile devices.
In short, we all have a lot of things to keep patched and working. I look forward to this group activity!