Thursday, March 20, 2008

Are you a Gmail Transducer?

In The Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan asks whether we have domesticated Corn, or whether Corn has domesticated us. Strange inversion of reasoning you might think. Isn't it evident that we are in charge, controlling where corn is grown, how much of it, etc? Sort of... and after all, we have free will, right?

So how is your free will coming along recently, as you are consuming a constant stream of incoming messages, reacting to it by producing a stream of outgoing message, slavishly following a Getting-Things-Done scheme?

Wikipedia says:

A transducer is said to transduce (i.e., translate) the contents of its input tape to its output tape, by accepting a string on its input tape and generating another string on its output tape. It may do so nondeterministically and it may produce more than one output for each input string. A transducer may also produce no output for a given input string, in which case it is said to reject the input.

Sounds familiar? Doesn't this idea of being a Gmail Transducer give the notion of Office Automation a totally new meaning? It used to mean that we tell the machine what to do. The tedious, repetitive stuff. But things change and life co-evolves with those changes. We have now perfectly adapted to our new, self-inflicted work environment. A toast to plasticity and adaptation! We have turned ourselves into the cogs of the meme replication networked mega-machine!

Welcome then to the Wonderful Life of gmail transduction -- and enjoy your stay!
And please don't forget to output a comment after you've input this message...

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