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get Al Gore on the phone - preferably using Skype. It appears
that maybe he did not invent the Internet after all. Sci-fi
writer William F. Jenkins, who went by the pen name "Murray
Leinster," wrote a short story titled A Logic Named Joe, that
appeared in March 1946 issue of
Astounding Science Fiction. In the story, an amazingly prescient description of the modern Internet is laid
out. The works is copyrighted so I will not replicate the entire thing here, but these are a few excerpts that
sound a lot like Mr. Leinster was in cahoots with DARPA during the development*. Before I forget, thanks to RF
Cafe visitor Terry W. for sending the link. My comments look like this.
An introduction to Joe (a PC?) ; he is omnipotent - like the Internet:
"It was on the third day of August that Joe come off the assembly line, and on the fifth Laurine come into
town, an' that afternoon I saved civilization. That's what I figure, anyhow. Laurine is a blonde that I was crazy
about once—and crazy is the word—and Joe is a logic that I have stored
away down in the cellar right now. I had to pay for him because I said I busted him, and sometimes I think about
turning him on and sometimes I think about taking an ax to him. Sooner or later I'm gonna do one or the other. I
kinda hope it's the ax. I could use a coupla million dollars—sure!—an' Joe'd
tell me how to get or make 'em. He can do plenty! But so far I've been scared to take a chance. After all,
I figure I really saved civilization by turnin' him off. "
presence of the Internet:
"I'm a maintenance man for the Logics Company. My job is servicing
logics, and I admit modestly that I am pretty good. I was servicing televisions before that guy Carson invented
trick circuit that will select any of 'steenteen million other circuits—in
theory there ain't no limit — and before the Logics Company hooked it into the tank-and-integrator set-up
they were usin' 'em as business-machine service. They added a vision screen for speed—an' they found out they'd
made logics. They were surprised an' pleased. They're still findin' out what logics will do, but
everybody's got 'em."
information you need on your computer - it's connected into the Internet (aka, "tank"):
"You got a logic in your house. It looks like a vision receiver used to,
only it's got keys instead of dials and you punch the keys for what you wanna get. It's hooked in to the tank,
which has the Carson Circuit all fixed up with relays. Say you punch "Station
SNAFU" on your logic. Relays in the tank take over an' whatever vision-program SNAFU is telecastin' comes on your
But besides that, if you punch for the
weather forecast or who won today's race at Hialeah or who was mistress of the White House durin' Garfield's
administration or what is PDQ and R sellin' for today, that comes on the screen too. The relays in the tank
The tank is a big buildin' full of all the facts in creation an' all the
recorded telecasts that ever was made—an' it's hooked in with all the other tanks all over the country —
an' everything you wanna know or see or hear, you punch for it an' you get it. Very convenient.
Also it does math for you, an' keeps books, an' acts as consultin' chemist,
physicist, astronomer, an' tea-leaf reader "
The Internet has
changed the way we conduct our lives:
"Logics are all
right, though. They changed civilization, the highbrows tell us."
Internet censoring, anyone?
"'Whadda you know?' he says when he comes back. He tells us about
the flash. 'We shoulda been warned about that. There's gonna be a lotta complaints.
Suppose a fella asks how to get ridda his wife an' the censor circuits block the question?'"
The Internet has plenty of get-rich-quick schemes:
kick on stuff like that. But a ambitious young fourteen-year-old wanted to buy some kid stuff and his pop wouldn't
fork over. He called up a friend to tell his troubles. And his logic says: 'If you want to do something and don't
know how to do it—ask your logic!' So this kid punches: 'How can I make a
lotta money, fast?'"
Lots of practical science info on the
"One bright fella demands, 'How can I make a perpetual motion machine?'
And his logic sputters a while an' then comes up with a set-up usin' the Brownian movement to turn little wheels.
If the wheels ain't bigger'n a eighth of an inch they'll turn, all right, an' practically it's perpetual motion.
Another one asks for the secret of transmuting metals."
You can't hide
from the Internet - early Facebook?:
"'Logics special service will work upon your question.
Please punch your logic designation and leave it turned on. You will be called back.'... The screen says, 'Service
question: What is your name?' She is kinda puzzled, but she punches it. The screen sputters an' then says:
"Secretarial Service Demonstration! You —'It reels off her name, address,
age, sex, coloring, the amounts of all her charge accounts in all the stores, my name as her husband, how much I
get a week, the fact that I've been pinched three times—twice was traffic stuff, and once for a argument I got in
with a guy—and the interestin' item that once when she was mad with me she left me for three weeks an' had her
address changed to her folks' home. Then it says, brisk: 'Logics Service will hereafter keep your personal
accounts, take messages, and locate persons you may wish to get in touch with. This demonstration is to introduce
the service.' ... And you know that Blossom woman who lives next door! She's been married three times and
she's forty-two years old and she says she's only thirty! And Mrs. Hudson's had her husband arrested four times
for nonsupport and once for beating her up. And—' Hey!' I says. 'You mean the logic told you this?' 'Yes!' she
wails. 'It will tell anybody anything!'"
Well, you get the point. It's a quick read, just 6,732 words. Look for the
similarities to today's Internet as you go; you'll be amazed.
Algore Claiming to Have Invented the Internet in a 1999 CNN Interview w/Wolfman Blitzer
* Note to Gore - when you were inventing it, the name was still DARPANET, not Internet. Next thing
you know he'll be telling us the earth has a fever, and that "2 km or so down" the temperature of the earth
is "extremely hot, several millions of degrees...," Buffoon.
Posted on 8/4/2011
These items are an archive of past Topical Smorgasbord items that have appeared on the RF Cafe homepage. In keeping with
the "cafe" genre, these tidbits of information are truly a smorgasbord of topics. They all pertain to topics
that are related to the general engineering and science theme of RF Cafe.