God’s helicopter and computer brains

Filling the pail

There’s a modern parable about a man whose rowing boat loses its oars and is swept out to sea. Onlookers at the shore’s edge call out to the man. He shouts back that they are not to worry because God will save him. The onlookers alert the coastguard who send a helicopter which lowers a rescuer down to the man. The man refuses to take the rescuer’s hand and reassures the rescuer that God will save him. Eventually, as the boat drifts further out into open water, a large wave causes it to capsize and the man drowns. On entering heaven, the man asks God why he didn’t save him. In frustration, God replies, “What more could I have done? I sent you a helicopter!”

In the summer of 1994, I was sent a reading list to prepare me for university life. All of the books were interesting, but two…

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