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"Early Predictions of the Internet Date Back to 19th Century " Topic

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Science Fiction

291 hits since 4 Jan 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP04 Jan 2019 1:02 p.m. PST

….Sci Fi.

"Science fiction writers are professional future-dreamers, imagining worlds far beyond their own. With technology advancing at astronomical rates, real life feels more and more like sci-fi every day (for better or worse). So it's fun to look back at those writers who, decades and even centuries ago, imagined what life would be like now—and some of their predictions were surprisingly accurate.

It's difficult to pin down exactly who was the first to predict the internet, because the further back we go the more abstract these predictions become. However, these three authors are the best contenders for the title—within the very limited confines of Western European fiction—and you can decide which one of them was truly the first to predict the internet as it works today…."
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Covert Walrus05 Jan 2019 4:09 a.m. PST

The best contender in this century are the networked household computers called Logics in "A Logic Named Joe" by Murray Leinster ( Will Jenkins ) –
"You know the logics setup. 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. Or you punch "Sally Hancock's Phone" an' the screen blinks an' sputters an' you're hooked up with the logic in her house an' if somebody answers you got a vision-phone connection. 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, with a "Advice to the Lovelorn" thrown in. The only thing it won't do is tell you exactly what your wife meant when she said, "Oh, you think so, do you?" "

Now that was written in 1946, when as Heinlien put it " You could ask a computer out on a date – No guarantee she'd say yes" ( 'Computer' was still used as a term for the technicians who ran Hollerith calculators, and were indeed often female, especially in the armed services.)

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP05 Jan 2019 11:52 a.m. PST



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