SF significant

Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise jenne at fiedlerfamily.net
Fri Jan 21 15:47:34 EST 2005

> So yes, perhaps a little short on expected SF elements: he hadn't thought
> to include the computer in his worldview; which is strange, considering
> that they were already a commonplace of the genre by the fifties.  Maybe
> everyone was too busy depicting them as either taking over and running
> everything and being AIs and benign or ditto but hostile to humanity, and
> just didn't think to show a computer doing the job they would be good at,
> storing data?

In the early fifties, people hadn't really begun to think of computers 
as information-storage/searching entities. Mathematics, yes. And from 
there, to logic, and thence to reasoning. But because the data was 
stored on punchcards or tapes, using a computer to *hold* and *retrieve* 
large amounts of data wasn't on the horizon.

At that point we are still in the world of Vannevar Bush's original 
Memex, where the data is stored on microfilm (still a relatively new 
technology in wide use) and locations on the rolls of film are 

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net 
"Information wants to be a Socialist... not a Communist or a 
Republican." - Karen Schneider

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