display | more...
Written in 1946 by Murray Leinster, A Logic Named Joe is a one of a kind short (about ten pages) story combining the possibility of too much information and a quietly efficient AI. Think of the word computer every time you read the word logic, and you've got a tale of today's "information age". Of course, astute readers will immediately pick up the modern parallel to everything2, which is the real reason I noded this in the first place. By going a step farther and imagining the central logic "tank" as e2 (like I did), one begins to wonder about the possibility that immediately accessible omniscience isn't nessecarially a good thing. Definitely a must-read for anyone thinking about E2's possible self-awareness or noding HOWTO: Do-Something-Entertaining-Yet-Illegal.

What's really intriguing about this story is it's timing. In 1946 computer miniaturization was still a long way off, so computers were massive, expensive behemoths owned only by the government or large corporations. Therefore, no one writing science fiction in the 1940s or even the early 1950s imagined a future in which the home computer was a common appearance - except Murray Leinster. The story is even prophetic enough to imagine computers as one day replacing the telephone, television, etcetera, something we're undeniably moving slowly towards even now.

What used to follow in this writeup was a brief summary, but these days a quick Googling will pull up a handful of direct links - give it a read!

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.