The optimum computing machine is a subject which many of us have studied. If you were building one, how would you design it?
First, the machine should be able to compute with perfect accuracy on any problem in the universe and produce answers which were always and invariably right.
Second, the computer would have to be swift, working much more quickly than the problem and process could be vocally articulated.
Third, the computer would have to be able to handle large numbers of variables and large numbers of problems simultaneously.
Fourth, the computer would have to be able to evaluate its own data, and there would have to remain available within it not only a record of its former conclusions but the evaluations leading to those conclusions.
Fifth, the computer would have to be served by a memory bank of nearly infinite capacity in which it could store observational data, tentative conclusions which might serve future computations and the data in the bank would have to be available to the analytical portion of the computer in the smallest fractions of a second.
Sixth, the computer would have to be able to rearrange former conclusions or alter them in the light of new experience.
Seventh, the computer would not need an exterior program director but would be entirely self-determined about its programing guided only by the necessity-value of the solution which it itself would determine.
Eighth, the computer should be self-servicing and self-arming against present and future damage and would be able to estimate future damage.
Ninth, the computer should be served by perception by which it could determine necessity-value. The equipment should include means of contacting all desirable characteristics in the finite world. This would mean color-visio, tone-audio, odor, tactile and self-perceptions for without the last it could not properly service itself.
Tenth, the memory bank should store perceptions as perceived, consecutive with time received with the smallest possible time divisions between perceptions. It would, then, store in color-visio (moving), tone-audio (flowing), odor, tactile and self-sensation all of them cross-coordinated.
Eleventh, for the purposes of solutions, it would have to be able to create new situations and imagine new perceptions hitherto not perceived and should be able to conceive these to itself in terms of tone-audio, color-visio, odor, tactile and self-sensation and should be able to file anything so conceived as imagined-labeled memories.
Twelfth, its memory banks should not exhaust on inspection but should furnish
to the central perceptor of the computer, without distortion, perfect copies of everything and anything in the banks in color-visio, tone-audio, odor, tactile and organic sensations.
Thirteenth, the entire machine should be portable.
There are other desirable characteristics, but those listed above will do for the moment.
It might be somewhat astonishing, at first, to conceive of such a computer. But the fact is, the machine is in existence. There are about two billion1 of them in use today and many, many more billions have been made and used in the past.
In fact, youve got one. For we are dealing with the human mind.
The above is a generalization of the optimum brain. The optimum brain, aside from the fact that it is not always capable of solving every problem in the universe, basically works exactly like that. It should have color-visio (in motion), tone-audio (flowing), odor, tactile and organic memory recall. And it should have color-visio (in motion), tone-audio (flowing), odor, tactile and organic imagination, also recallable after imagining like any other memory. And it should be able to differentiate between actuality and imagination with precision. And it should be able to recall any perception, even the trivial, asleep and awake from the beginning of life to death. That is the optimum brain, that and much, much more. It should think with such swiftness that vocal pondering would be utterly unable to keep pace with a thousandth part of one computation. And, modified by viewpoint and educational data, it should be always right, its answers never wrong.
That is the brain you have, potentially. That is the brain which can be restored to you unless you have had some section of it removed. If it does not do these things, it is slightly out of adjustment.
It took a long time to arrive at the data that this was an optimum brain. In the beginning, it was not realized that some people had color-visio (moving) recall, for instance, and that some did not. I had no idea that many people imagined, and knew they were imagining, in tone-audio, et cetera, and would have received with surprise the data that somebody could smell and taste last Thanksgivings turkey when he recalled it.
In 1935, when the researches which culminated in Dianetics (Greek dia through, and noos soul) were started in earnest, no such high opinion of the human brain was held. In fact, the project was not begun to trace brain function and restore optimum operation, but to know the key to human behavior and the code law which would reduce2 all knowledge.
L. Ron Hubbard
1. This text was originally written in 1950, when the population of Earth was approximately two billion people.
2. reduce: to bring into a certain order; systematize.