In today's pop culture, there is one very popular view of the future.
All humans will be free to do as they wish, because robots and computers will
work for us. Computers are viewed as the ideal slaves. They work non-stop, never
complain, and above all, never make mistakes. It is often said that computers
don't make mistakes, that it is the person using the computer who commits errors.
What is it that makes humans err, but not computers? I will prove that it is
simply the way humans are built that makes us commit errors. Unlike computers,
built of mechanical or electronic parts, humans are made of organic matter and
nerve pathways. These same pathways, with the help of the brain are responsible
for all the decision making. I shall demonstrate why humans err, despite the
fact that we have eyes and ears to sense with.
Before I can establish causes for error, I shall define the terms
"error" and "mistake". In the context of this essay, they will simply mean that
a human obtained a result different from the expected, correct one. Whether it
in be adding two numbers, or calling someone by the wrong name, these are all
errors that a computer would not make. An error can also be interpreted as being
a wrong physical move. If a person is walking in the woods and trips on a branch,
it is because the person erred in the sense of watching the path followed.
There is no doubt in anyone's mind that humans make mistakes all the
time. Let us simply analyze any process in which there is a chance for someone
to commit an error. Take for example a cashier in a grocery store. The cashier
obtains the total on the cash register, and receives a twenty dollar bill from
the customer. She must now give the patron back his/her change. The cash
register tells the cashier that the client is owed 4.60$. The cashier then
reaches into her change drawer to retrieve the proper set of coins. This is
where the opportunity for error increases. What if the cashier only gives the
customer back $4.55, because she mistakenly returned a nickel instead of a dime?
What caused this blunder? Would this blunder have happened if the cashier had
had 15 minutes to decide on how much change to return instead of 15 seconds?
Logically speaking, we can establish that if the cashier had 1...
... middle of paper ...
...rly clear. No matter how little attention she pays to the job she
is doing, that is not where the error lies. If she is distracted while picking
up the coins in question, then her senses are not receiving and analyzing the
sense datum properly, or thoroughly. This is simply a more complex case of what
I described earlier, with the man mistaking a 7 for a 1. The individual is not
drawing the right conclusion from the sense data received.
In light of the examples and discussions presented, I think is safe to
say that human error is due to the fact that the brain can only function
perfectly up to a certain speed. Also, the five human senses do not always
properly interpret the sense data received, causing the brain to make mistakes.
Not paying attention to what one is doing is not a reason for making a mistake.
It is the repercussions of this behavior that cause the error, because the
person is not using his/her senses properly. In conclusion, it is understandable
that humans make mistakes despite the fact that our senses receive sense data
from objects surrounding us. After all, if this weren't true, you would have
just finished reading a perfect essay!
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