Posted in 2023
 Catagories: Quotes

Ode to the Quick Computer

Ray Bradbury

I would deny
The right of those who terrify
And use as constant tools of trade:
“Aren’t you afraid? Aren’t you afraid?”
Of what? I ask.
“Computers! Aren’t they monsters?
Aren’t they bad?”

That makes me mad, that maddens me.
The fools! Good Grief, they’re blind.
Refuse to find and see
What damned computers mean to me!
Their digitals which perk and hide
Inside electric circuitries,
Provide with ease such medicines
As we most need, and find within:
They make a digitalis!
Which sums the substance in the blood
And quickens odd-shaped humanoid
To fill my void with swift replies.

Where boredom once let ennui in,
Computer says: take heart – begin!
Much more than brute machine I’ll be,
And constantly your whims attend,
Show ends where no ends were before;
And, more! Show starts as well as finishes.

Your Will diminishes at thought of sums?
So! quick computer this way comes!
As out in mystery of Space
We race a similar mystery: Us,
And need the plus and minor factors
To teach reactors how to stride
And fill lost human souls with pride;

And all by, quickly, under breath
Do Death in which such computations
As would force-feed nations of dreams;
Build schemes on air that ratify
Grand architectures in the sky –
Whole cities beehived in one ship
To solve a trip and save a Race,
And multiply Man’s hopes in Space.

So microprocessor takes breath and air
And manufactures rare and simple words
That aviaries are to boys like birds
To fount them high in July rockets
With seedpod futures in their pockets;
Decisions bought from indecisions,
Collisions of free-fall thought fused one,
The fun of mathematics nimble
In thimbles plug-tamped in your ear
And cheerful wisdom played like drum
On listening learner’s tympanum.

We are, at last, a traveling feast,
With yeast that spawns electrically,
And teaches children what they’ll be
If with tape libraries they keep
And wake the processors from sleep.
To ask us questions, then stand mum
As proper answers thrive and sum.
So, look!
This is a book!
But no page turns.
Only beneath the metal burns
Such stuffs as all new times are made of.
So, Cowards, what are you afraid of?