HAL 9000 - Shutting Down the Computer

Entering the 21st century, we knew it would be like no other ... all roads and prophecies leading us to 'now'.

January 2001 ... two weeks after returning from my adventures in Egypt ... I opened the year with a blog that referenced '2001: A Space Odyssey', 'Thus Spake Zarathustra' and knew that Z would speak that year as later witnessed by the events of 9/11 nine months later which I noted when I updated the file at the end of the year.

Eight years later ... the Ripple Effect from 9/11 on Wall Street has flowed into the economy as we experience global recession.

This energy surfaces today as we find a story from Wired - replete with metaphors and a knowing that something will happen this year - as is programmed.

When the program (HAL) is shut, it's all over and exist and exit will become one.

Jan. 12, 1992 or 1997 -- HAL of a Computer

Wired - January 12, 2009

HAL 9000, the master computer aboard the Discovery spaceship in the fictional film and novel 2001: A Space Odyssey, becomes operational. He will inspire millions of dreams - and some nightmares - of artificial intelligence. First, the year: When astronaut Dave Bowman is removing the hardware modules that govern the computer's higher cognitive functions, HAL regresses to his infancy and begins an eerie recitation of bits of his earliest knowledge: "I am a HAL 9000 Computer Production No. 3. I became operational at the H-A-L plant in Urbana, Illinois on the 12th of January, 1992." At least that is what HAL said in the 1968 film.

Director Stanley Kubrick and author Arthur C. Clarke co-wrote the screenplay, inspired by Clarke's 1950 short story "The Sentinel." The film was not based on a novel, but Clarke soloed the novelized version of the screenplay, and he changed HAL's birth year to 1997.

About the name: Chapter 16 of the novel clearly states that HAL stands for "Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer." Many film viewers, however, thought HAL was a one-letter-ahead cypher for IBM. In his book The Lost Worlds of 2001 Clarke dismissed that idea as embarrassing, given all the help IBM had given to the film: "We ... would have changed the name had we spotted the coincidence."

In fact, HAL's original name was Athena, goddess of war, wisdom and fertlity, but Kubrick decided a male personality and voice would be better for a menacing supercomputer. Martin Balsam was cast first for the role, but was dropped because his voice was too emotional. Canadian Shakespearean actor Douglas Rain won the role with neutral, unctuous tones.

The place: Urbana, Illinois is home to the University of Illinois and - since 1986 - the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, which developed the first web browser, Mosaic. HAL's lobotomy monologue in the book mentions his first instructor, Dr. Chandra. In fact, the only Chandra at UI in 1968, at least, was a Mr. Shasti Chandra. He was writing his thesis on spacecraft attitude control, but told a reporter he had nothing to do with making the film.

The Shutting Down of HAL 9000 YouTube

HAL 9000  Wikipedia