Where is Sam?

Mark Pottenger

9/26/2004, updated 10/6/2004 & 12/9/2004

“Where is Sam?” is an instructional graphic CCRS has used for several years.

It is used to try to help convey the concept that we don’t respond directly to the world--that we respond to our evaluation of the world.

I am offering a new supplement to the “Where is Sam?” graphic, changing the observer from a person to a computer to make certain issues easier to convey.

The physical components of the system are the person observed (Sam), the camera (CCD), the cable to the computer CPU box, the CPU box (with RAM, disk & video RAM), the cable to the screen, and the screen showing an image of Sam.

All those physical components would not result in an image on the screen without power.

Even more important, and the reason for showing a computer instead of a person, all those physical components would not result in an image on the screen without specific software actively running on the computer. Software is needed to convert the signals from the camera into a data format the computer can record. Other software is needed to actually store that data. Other software is needed to take the stored data and use it to produce an image on the screen. A wireless network connector is shown to remind us that a connected computer can receive new software from the wider world at any time.

People familiar with computers understand that the hardware does nothing without software running.

This gives us an analogy to help us understand that there is also software not shown in the original “Where is Sam?” graphic showing a person as the observer. The eyes, nerves and brain are the human hardware, but we can’t see a person without the software of our training from earliest childhood. In addition to the software necessary to simply see something in the world, we have other software running in the form of acceptances and beliefs that label the image as good/bad, friend/enemy, relative/stranger, etc. So when we react to “Sam”, we are reacting to the end result of a lot of subjective processing, not to the actual person in our world. We also have our own wireless connections when we are open to the infinite.

Copyright © 2004 Mark Pottenger

Musings Home