Do you remember MS-DOS?
As far as I remember, (and my memory isn’t brilliant), going back to around 1982, when you turned on your home PC, if you were lucky enough to have one, you were faced with an almost blank green or blue screen with a flashing “cursor” much like your text cursor in modern text fields.
The top left-hand corner was where the cursor, or “blip” as I like to call it, would flash awaiting the first command line to be typed. It was, essentially, the birth of a new era.
Here’s a screen capture video of the start screen of a Commodore 64, which was very similar to MS-DOS.
MS-DOS was the architecture upon which all future programming was built. It was the screen upon which games and other information, such as a database, could be written.
Now, all of the above is going from a very murky memory, and the details, for the purpose of this post, are not so important.
The point is that there is a certain blankness in the architecture interface. MS-DOS is still used today in some form by some people in certain circumstances, but it was phased out by Microsoft in 1993 with the release of Windows NT 3.1.
So, why am I going on about MS-DOS anyway?
You always seem to ask the right questions around here… 😉
I’ll tell you.
I want to use it as my metaphor for something extremely important – humans in society:
10: Switching on the PC is like the very first breath of life.
20: The cursor is like a heartbeat.
30: The MS-DOS is the substratum upon which the heartbeat, (cursor), exists and is the cause of its existence.
40: The first command line, (or line of programming), represents the gender of the child to whom the heart belongs.
50: Each line after the first is another layer of programming, (e.g. name, resemblance, character traits, etc.).
60: Programmers include parents, siblings, school teachers, peers, etc.
70: We see only what is taught to us as that which is normal, (anything different is not normal).
80: We forget that we are completely reliant on the substratum for keeping us alive, and in fact, that we are not only derived from the architecture upon which we live, move and have our existence, but that we, indeed ARE that substratum.
90: We can never be separated from that which is responsible for our existence.
100: However, by now we have completely forgotten the true nature of our existence and we believe that all the programming that has been fed into us, and that we have chosen to “feed ourselves” is not who we are, or we never think about our origins or we deny that inherent nature.
[Note: By way of explanation only, the numbers at the start of each line, (above) were called command lines, (these are how the prgrammes were written), and the word “RUN” and the enter key were how the programme was started]
The programming, in sociological terms, is known as the “socialisation process”.
The programmers, in the above metaphor, (teachers, peers, etc.), are known as “socialisation agents”.
In my next post, I will talk about the same thing using a different analogy.