In the very recent past, people all over the world have been using their computers and asking themselves "what is a meep?". Very few people are comfortable until knowing the answer to this question, as seen by they way that when asked to meep, they are totally dumbfounded and either leave abruptly or search themselves deeply for enlightenment. When they attain this level of enlightenment, the profound relief at that understanding pervades their entire being bringing them to a new level of consciousness as if a new world is opened up to them. But what is this "meep"? To answer this question, the history of the meep and it"s connection with computers has to be reviewed.
The theoretical existence of the meep was realised when Archimedes jumped out of his bathtub screaming "Eureka" at everyone and was promptly arrested for public disorder offences. Inspired by his experiences in the bathtub, he theorised about the weight of sound while being held in jail overnight, . His theory went along the lines that if a machine capable of producing sound, for instance an eep, was fully immersed in water and then allowed to make that sound (to "make eep"), the amount of water that was displaced would indicate the weight of the sound. Unfortunately, this was never proven since the theory was written on the cell walls, mistaken for grafitti and lost for centuries.
Later on, the study of "make eep" was nearly discovered again in Newton's law of graffiti which said what goes up must come down. Since Archimedes had written his theory up on the wall where is was seen as grafitti, it should be passed down the centuries. Newton was deep in thought about this and almost rediscovered Archimedes' principles when an Apple accidently fell on his head. At that time, electricity had not been invented and Newton could not plug the Apple in, thus failing to even demonstrate whether machines could "make eep".
The first occurrance of "make eep" was rumoured to have occurred in the early days of computing machines when Charles Babbage designed and built his Difference Engine, the first programmable calculation machine. Lady Ada Lovelace, the first programmer and namesake for the moden programming language, was rumoured to have heard "a curious and intermittant meeping noise" from within the brass mechanism. Unfortunately, since this remark was not deemed to be significant, it was not subsequently permanently recorded and it has not been fully established whether the noise was the fault of badly oiled mechanism or whether the world's first meep had been discovered.
As electronic computers developed through the 1960's and 70's, it was realised that computing machinery was a) slow and b) had many errors. These caused the computer to stop and sit there happily doing nothing while the operators and progammers assumed they had enough time to go and get a cup of tea while waiting for the computer to do something. A solution to this was found in the "beep thingy", a small electronic circuit that produced a tone generated by the computer when it got confused and had to tell someone about it. This simple device advanced the progress of computing phenomenally since the computer could now tell people that it was confused and get someone to pay attention to it, thus saving copious amounts of time and resource usage. It also completely reversed the role of people being in control of computers; before the beep thingy operators could get on with their tea, but after the beep thingy was installed, operators would be interrupted by the computer, thus introducing the situation where the computer was now in control of the operators and programmers.
To understand how the computer beep evolved into the meep, it is necessary to delve into some contemporary music history when the the Beatles used "meep" in their early psychedelic days. While practising Transcendental Meditation, they would be filled with a strong sense of oneness with the world, universal peace and harmony with nature. This state could be sustained until any mention of the word "meep" immediately brought them out of that meditative state and into a state of confusion. At one point, this got so distressing that they abandoned anything to do with Transcendental Meditation, blaming their Guru for always saying "meep" just as they got to the best bit with the "Plasticene Porters with Looking Glass Ties". John Lennon once managed to get to this level before being interrupted and this resulted in the song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds".
The connection with meep and beep was established in the late 1980's when Apple Computer completed their legal wrangle with the Beatles over the use of the name "Apple Corps". The successful purchase of the name brought with it a number of documents by the Beatles which explained their dissatisfaction with Transcendental Meditation. Apple used this in the design of their computers, by obscuring all transcendental mathematical functions deep inside the ROM and programming the error tone to be a "wild eep" instead of a beep. When a complex transcendental mathematical function was required and could not be satisfactorily resolved by the computer, an error would occur and the "wild eep" tone was sounded.
Since then, the "beep" and "wild eep" have been universally recognised as signifying when a computer is confused, but since there has not been any equivalent for human users, there has been an emphasis on the user to resolve the confusion. This has put much stress on the human users who may be just as confused as the computer, resulting in disharmonious relationships between man and machine.
The solution lay in the "meep" that caused the Beatles to realise that Transcendental Meditation was not all it was cracked up to be. The "meep" had the tonal equivalent to the "beep" but with the characteristic of the self-pointing personal pronoun "me", thus indicating that "meep" was a sign of individual confusion. This can be seen the reactions of people unfamiliar with "meep" when confronted by it for the first time. For instance, take the IRC channel #virtue where newcomers may be required to demonstrate their knowldge of self and acknowledgement of their physical, emotional and intellectual state. Immediately they become confused, and for a text based communications medium the sense of confusion can be clearly seen and felt as newcomers attempt to overcome their psycho-social programming in which they are told to surpress all indication of confusion since it represents a weakness in the face of a dog-eat-dog society.
It is not until now that the significance of the meep or "make eep" principle has been fully realised as a parallel between the symbiotic confusion between man and machine. Now that this link has been established, man and machine can co-exist in harmony where both can demonstrate their confusedness at the technological progress of the modern world. There have been moves by operating system manufacturers to obscure this beep in order to hide the fact the the machine is confused and needs attention, since this highlights possible programs with the operating systems. This has been done by the introduction of programs to replace the beep with all manner of sampled sounds, for instance, quotes from television programs or sounds taken from nature. However, they have not been able to remove the fundamental default beep tone that indicate that the computer is confused.
The fundamental effect of meeping has two effects - it alerts the computer that the user is also confused so that it will do it's best to be helpful, and it allows the user to acknowldge that there is a problem, then contemplate on why the problem has occurred in order to determine ways to solve that problem. The relationship between computer confusion and human confusion is therefore clearly demonstrated through the meep, and acknowledgement of this allows both man and machine to understand each other and try to come to an understanding in which both can work in hamony.