The Human Operating System

The Real-Time Human
Some of us need to be real-time-like systems - people who work in operations for example - making important decisions quickly, switching contexts and the job they're doing as soon as something of higher priority interrupts them. Take an air traffic controller at a busy airport for example. The person is bombarded with constant information, performs calculations, has to maintain composure under pressure and makes important decisions based on short-term memory in a fixed time.

The GPU-like Human
There are then GPU-like humans that can only do a very particular task, but do it very well. A very busy cashier for example - can swipe hundreds of items at a supreme pace, bill and move on to the next customer like slime rolling down the line - but as soon as one of the customers in line asks them a question, or speaks in a language they don't understand, the cashier crashes to a halt, almost as if they've malfunctioned and has a stress attack! (This happens, especially in Europe. I speak from experience.)
Yup cashier is confused.
The Single-Threaded CPU-like Human
A major chunk of us are single-threaded CPU-like systems that can only do one thing at a time. They can't switch context very easily, and when they do, they take significant time to go back to the previous task they were doing. This is usually the case with people working with a lot of data, academicians, researchers. This doesn't mean they can't do many things from within the field they're working on - they just can't be driving while making an investment of 100K dollars in a company and have kids in the back of their car.

The Multi-Threaded CPU-like Human
Another major chunk are multi-threaded CPU-like systems that go overdrive on multithreading but then switch contexts so much it's like they're doing everything at once. These humans are prone to feeling overexerted, exhausted just by scheduling and planning the amount of work they have to do - even before they started all that work. All managers take on / ideally should take on this role - be it the manager of the home - a homemaker, or the boss at a tech company. A senior manager of a good-sized company, for example, is constantly in the middle of a hundred things - managing and planning the years work, dealing with the finance team for procuring material, preparing for the board meeting, talking to potential customers, following up with a whole lot of teams to finalize designs, outsourcing work as necessary, and the list goes on.
I'm doing too many things!

Most of us are a mix of all of these - and change under different situations. For most of it though, I think I am a Multi-Threaded human aspiring to be a Single-Threaded CPU-like human.


Popular posts from this blog

Firebase Auth | The Debug vs Release Signature Problem

A Letter To An Old Love

Things I Could Do (ft. Homer)