Acceleration of microelectronics throughout the last 35 years is a process that had not been foreseen in the 50's. It led to far-reaching developments in technology and culture and is about to alter the way of working and living all over the world. Distances tend to dwindle in a society which is beginning to resemble more and more the virtual reality of cyberspace where everything is in reach...
If you read books, fiction or nonfiction, from the 50's and early 60's, you will not find the least idea of what was soon to come. The future seemed to lie in the widths of space or in the depths of the oceans.
Even considerations about electronic brains and robots seemed to be sheer speculative. Remember all the Robot tales by Isaac Asimov and his inventory trick of introducing the Positronic Brain which was described as sort of a metallic sponge that was somehow capable of doing what computers and silicone chips now are going to do.
Most people thought the stories to be quite entertaining, but nevertheless pure fictitious.A technical approach to these matters seemed to be unlikely.
But as the spirit of space conquest exhausted during the course of the Apollo missions in the times of the war in South-East Asia, data processing techniques evaluated in a never-knewn way.
And there is another approach in looking at it:
And on the opposite: is the only reason for hindering mankind from technological progress the need for fully-concentrated work on computers? If so, what might be the reason for it?
Someone told me the other day, there might be forces at work from outer space, or even from the future or a possible future. (Don't we all remember Murray Leinster's "Sidewise in Time"?) Sometimes I think, that at a specific time around the early sixties, somewhat around 1963(?), there might somewhere lie the starting point for this development. Remember the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Vietnam....
Even though the
Project has been carried out to the once-planned extent,
NASA and the US
Government seemed to be glad to quit the pursuit of
discovering outer space
for the one or the other reason.
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