How Human Senses are Like Computer Ports

How Human Senses are Like Computer Ports

Humans aren't computers, but they are the designers of them. Computers, in all their complexity, derive inspiration from the sophisticated neural processes and activities of human bodies.

The similarity between computer ports and sensory processing centers starts in their work as transformers, intermediary agents that interact with input data and convert it into signals to be sent to the brain for reinterpretation. In people, the central process is the brain. In computers, it's the central processing unit or CPU.

When considering how odors, sights, and experiences are processed in the human brain, it's evident that it isn't a straight process. Instead, it's a multistage event of mediated chemical networks, layers of functions, and transformations.

Information is first captured from the outside world via sensory ports, which include the nose, eyes, skin, and even the intuition. Every sense has specialized cells that imprint incoming information and structure next steps for processes that stimulate neural activity and subjectivity.

The experience of "scent," for instance, doesn't reside simply in the molecules that enter our nasal passages. Instead, the aroma is a later subjective product of interacting with molecules and undergoing transformations that produce olfaction. Olfaction, or the sense of smell, is the detection of odor molecules in the nasal cavity by specialized olfactory receptor neurons.

When odor molecules attach to these receptors, electrical impulses are generated that travel to the olfactory bulb in the brain via the olfactory nerve. Input signals in the nose first undergo transformations that are rapidly but sequentially processed by the brain and associated them with specific odors. It's a mediated loop that can be compared to the the input, output, and feedback systems of computers.

Like sensory organs, computer ports serve as interfaces for receiving external information. They accept data, alter and encode it, pack it into messages, and send them to the computer's CPU which is analogous to the human brain. Just as our brain interprets sensory input from the senses and produces subjective experience in response, the computer's CPU decodes and processes information to produce relevant feedback.



The transition from receiving data from the outer world to the inner realm of subjectivity is a fascinating one marked by mazes of activity that take place largely outside of conscious awareness. Sensory organs serve as the first point of contact between the external environment and our inner experience. External stimuli are picked up by sensory organs and converted into electrical signals, which pass through our complicated cerebral pathways, link to various brain areas, and in turn, stimulate the brain as a conductor of subjective experience. This mediated process is aided by various biological functions, chemical transmissions, memory and storage, learning, as well as the development of tools like limbs and organs, or ports for computers, that serve as access points for central processing and human subjectivity.
Revealing the body's complexity can inspire us to capture magick and enchantment in being an ordinary person. It may feel basic and mundane being human, but that is an illusion. It's extraordinary.
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