I'm not talking about people with an obvious answer like a business or someone crunching numbers for scientific purposes. Rather, I mean people who are just sending e-mail and making funny pictures with a paintbrush program (and the like). How do such people justify such an exorbitant expenditure? The computer industry would lose the bulk of its' PC sales if people who really have no use for them didn't buy them anyway.
That's what I'm looking for: Why did "I" buy a computer?
A computer is the concretization of rationality as no other device could ever be. In a world where irrationality is often the driving force on the planet, here is an enclosed, artificial world of absolute rationality.
When I say absolute I mean it in the most literal sense possible. You may be thinking "Well, I've seen plenty of irrational things on my computer like total lunacy on the web, stupid programs that don't work, etc.". That's not it. The absolute rationality is in the functioning of the machine itself. Unless you adhere to absolute, rigid, structured rules it won't work. To run a computer you must think rationally. No amount of wishing or anger will make the slightest bit of difference.
You could say that the man-generated rules by which the computer runs are not completely rational and that would be partly true. It would more appropriate to say that they are under development. Nevertheless, you will follow the developing rules with absolute faithfulness as though they were 100% rational or it's a no go on your terminal.
What do you get from running a computer?The experience of rationality. That is, an answer to the question "What would it be like to live in a totally rational world and what would that be anyway since we would have to build it as well?".
When you buy a computer in the mid 1990's you are buying actual participation in the development of a completely rational system, i.e. you are putting your two cents into the definition of what is rational. You are participating in something of lasting importance. Be assured that computers, the WEB, etc. will not continue to develop at the present rabid pace forever. There is an end to everything, at least a gradual slowing down as things reach their optimum state. That state is to be constructed in part by you, personally.
"For those who have bought and those who are about to buy"Computerdom is like a huge (now) river flowing to God knows where and its course is determined by the people in the river, not one of whom has a complete picture of even what is presently known let alone where the river is going to end up.
[ It will end up in the 'SEE, I told you so'... maybe.]
You jump in, not knowing how to swim, and immediately start drowning. As you learn to claw and tread water, you move into deeper water where you begin again (sometimes desperately) to stay afloat.
The people in the deepest water (tekkies, nerds, supremo programmers and visionaries) are also drowning. They determine in what direction to push the river based on what your reactions are to the present state of the art. If there are howls of discontent, the course is changed ASAP.
And this I know
YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN . . . USER FRIENDLY ? NO WAY
Got a problem? No experience? Need answers yesterday? Hah!
Lastly ... This is importantGET FOCUSED . . .
You will never enjoy your time on a computer until you can do something well. Since you can't do everything well (nobody else can either) do something well. Something you like. Concentrate on it. Explore it thoroughly.