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 entitled
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*. My comments
look like this, and the supporting text
looks like this.
An introduction to Joe (a PC?) ; he is omnipotent - like
"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. "
The ubiquitous 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 his 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
Get any 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 logic's screen...
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 do it.
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
"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:
"You can't 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 Internet:
"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
Al Gore 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..." What an ignorant buffoon!
Posted June 8, 2020 (updated from original post on 8/2/2011)
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