The Best of Creative Computing Volume 1 (published 1976)

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Computer Cartoons (humanized computer, computerized human, computerization penetrating daily life)

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ization. To illustrate these findings each of the
content categoriesis briefly summarized:

1. Humanized computer. A large portion of computer humor assigns human traits to

These cartoons are much more likely to appear in
literary rather than technical magazines, which
suggests that the human-computer identification
problem is greater in the general public than in the
computer world. The human-like computer cartoons attribute thinking, feeling,
socializing, misbehavior, and even sex drives to computing machines.

"Only once in every generation is there a computer that can
write poetry like this,"

The major preoccupation of the cartoons is the
issue of whether or not computers think and to
what extent computing resembles thinking. A more
playful trend is the emphasis upon emotional
problems, e.g., in 1957 (June 19), Punch shows
two tired engineers belatedly report on the state of
computer repair: "|'m afraid it needs a psychiatrist."

2. Computerized human. Several cartoons support
the contention of social critics that our society has
become robopathic and many people are losing
personal spontaneity and compassion for fellow
human beings. Sometimes the blame for this
condition is attributed to computerization;sometimes not. Usually the people
suffering from
dehumanization are those working close to computers.

These cartoons can be viewed as a positive aid in
identifying areas where people act like machines
forgetting traits that make one uniquely human.



3. Computerization Penetrating Daily Life. The
largest grouping of cartoons points toward this
theme. Computers are intentionally or accidentally
depicted as a normal, growing institution. Several
social sectors are emphasized: education, business,
and the family. Highlighting this type of humor are
those focusing upon the intertwining of computers
and social life in areas such as computer dating.

"Gee! my first computer date!

I wonder what he'll be like?”

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