This homework is dedicated to our dogs, who did not eat it. If they had, I would have sent them to Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Dogs.
They are named Ladybug, Sputnik, and Mitzi. Ladybug (German Shepherd) and Sputnik (Border Collie) are 13 and 7 months old. Mitzi (Cockapoo) is 14 years old and mostly sleeps. Though there is some sleeping in my generated poem, I mostly visualized the energetic puppies as I pondered words.
There are so many levels of processing for this data.
Raw: Dogs jump and run and play and do what dogs do.
Process: Imagination – I remember the sensory experiences. Images of jumping, running, playing, resting dogs; the feel of a slobbery ball, playful teeth, warm fur under my fingers.
Process: Language – I dredge up words from the recesses of my mind. I’m doing the same thing now, but processing the words into grammatically correct sentences.
Process: Coding – I enter the words into the source code for an HTML file. As I do this, images flash in my mind again.
Process: Running the code. When I open the HTML file on my browser, the script will manipulate my words so they combine in random but mostly coherent phrases. There is information about how to display the page – the background, text color, the way the poem generated from my words scroll from the bottom of the image I inserted.
Process: Displaying the page – One might argue that this is the same as running the code. After all, the code tells the computer how to display the page. But on a deeper level, the machine must translate the HTML code into pixels. Pixels do not move, they only change color. So when the words scroll down, pixels are turning one color or the other, continually redrawing the image.
Process: A human reads the page, and tries to make sense of the words.
And what about that picture? That is an image of Sputnik my husband took in our garage. It also had several layers of processing, different from that required by text and code. But interestingly, the procedure of pixel display must eventually be the same.