Mcpherson’s article was a bit dense for me (as noted in class), but there was one passage that really struck out to me and what I feel explained what the article was trying to say. There was a section talking about “lenticular lenses”, which meant that seeing multiple images at one time was a hard, and mostly impossible task. Since this article talked about technology, as well as race, I took this section (and the article as a whole) to mean that just as hard as it is to see technology in multiple forms, it was also hard for people to see races interacting together. But the reason that it was so hard for people to see races interacting together was because the technology systems were putting that idea into people’s minds. The technology essentially caused a whole lot of unnecessary havoc.
In connection to The Bug, I felt it was a lot more connected in the technological aspect than it did with the race aspect. In The Bug, the actual bug is designed to do what any bug does, and that is to create chaos. In Mcpherson’s article, the chaos had to do with racism. In Ullman’s novel, the bug doesn’t have to do with race, but it does cause chaos in the lives of Ethan and Berta. On Berta specifically, the bug, Jester, has taken over her life and made her immune to care about anything else. There are times in the novel when she feels no emotion about the AIDS case “surpassing 5,000 people” or when she has no idea the Michael Foucault has died. When her friend confronts her about all of these and asks her, “What world do you live in”, Berta internally replies with, “The world of pointers to pointers, arrays of pointers, pointers to structures containing pointers to strings” (Ullman, 176). This sentence alone makes my own mind feel jumbled up. One can only imagine one is actually going on in Berta’s mind. The common theme of pointers makes it as if a spider (accurately termed, in this instance, “pointers”) is weaving a web of structures, strings, and whatever else throughout Berta’s mind. A bug may have created itself into her programming, but it has also created itself in her mind.
While The Bug creates “Jester”, computer bugs are usually called computer viruses. This video is helpful with the fact that it tells people what to look for when coming across viruses, and more specifically, how they work. I chose this video because the narration made me think of specific moments throughout the novel. The opening line of this video says that computer viruses “wreck havoc”, which is exactly what Jester does to Berta and Ethan. Toward the end, the video says that viruses “require a human being to help them along”. In The Bug, it is originally Berta who accidentally creates the specific code that becomes known as “Jester” and innocently passes that code along to Ethan, even though she thought she had “killed” the code.