The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers. This quote, relayed by Sydney G. Harris, has many meanings to it. The basic meaning that Harris is trying to convey is that one should “open up his/her minds” and realize what is really occurring, not what is being covered up. These days, the tendency is generally for one to think about how one day, computers might be able to think like humans, and the problems that that might generate, but people don’t realize the real problem, which is if humans start thinking like computers, that would be by far more devastating than the preceding.
One of the meanings communicated through this quote is that we, as individuals, must comprehend that we are humans and therefore we should think and act as humans, and not computers. This statement is reinforced by the word danger in the quote. This word makes one think that this reality is, in fact, something that can have a negative effect on him/her or on his/her life. When one notices an abrasive word such as danger, his/her attention is immediately applied and set on the mindset that this is something out of the ordinary, and it is most likely treacherous.
Through this quote, a very extraordinary message is expressed, that of which is that although technology is very beneficial in the sense that it makes life much easier for us, if used inappropriately, it can also be as destructive as it is helpful. For example, a car helps us get around from point A to point B much faster than walking. Over the years, it has improved its durability and safety to better suit humans and their demanding requirements. However, there have been numerous accidents and many lives have been lost due to the automobile. This shows that if misused, cars can cause more destruction than they can help. The same goes for any technology. If any technology is misused, it can cause more destruction than it can help. The destruction may not be only death, but a variety of other things.
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Through this quote, Mr. Harris is trying to differentiate between a human’s lifestyle and a computer’s lifestyle. By saying that the real danger is that men will begin to think like computers, he is saying that when we go to the future, we will generally be lazy. We will look for shortcuts through our life and the events in our life, just as computers do, and we humans will always try to do things the easy way. Sydney Harris is saying that this is, in fact, the real danger, that we will get lazier and this will eventually end up having its consequences.
In general, Mr. Harris is using his quote to make us humans more aware of the real danger and its consequences. He is trying to get us off what most of us believe that the real danger is that computers will begin to think like humans. However, he is trying to turn us around and make us apprehend that, in fact, it is the opposite, that if we as humans begin to think like computers, the consequences will be far more severe. I believe that Mr. Harris has achieved his ambition by saying this quote.