Monday, 25 August 2014

The Intelligence Revolution Continues

Poul Anderson, Brain Wave (London, 1977).

The computer malfunctions.
Scientific instruments have errors.
Many Institute scientists suddenly have new projects and must wait for access to major instruments.
Checking, the scientists find that electromagnetic phenomena have changed:

measurable changes in the resistivity and permittivity of insulators make them better conductors;
electrical impulses flow more rapidly and intensely in the human cerebral cortex;
laboratories report anomalies to the Bureau of Standards.

Corinth reads the Times' front page in ten minutes.
Its phrasing is more literate.
Foxes open the door to a hen house.
Farm animals fidget.
Horses refuse to pull the plow, then deliberately break it.
Pigs cooperate to open the gate of their pen and escape.
I have had copies of two editions of Brain Wave but can only find one and that one lacks a line in which apparently the dog Joe displays above canine intelligence.
Rural people discuss politics and car design more, the weather and neighbors less.
Archie Brock wonders, remembers, speaks out more and borrows books from his employer.

Could anyone else have imagined such a world wide change or described it better?

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