Does That Sound Familiar?

Murray Leinster, in his 1946 science fiction story entitled A Logic Named Joe, seemed to anticipate the advent of the Internet. Most of his description of what would be called the Internet in the near future were spot on. Here is an extract:

I got Joe, after Laurine nearly got me. 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?’ in that peculiar kinda voice. Logics don’t work good on women. Only on things that make sense.

It only took two decades before this became a reality, somewhat. And in the 1990’s, the average consumers were able to access the web a lot easier.


About Edmark M. Law

My name Edmark M. Law. I work as a freelance writer, mainly writing about science and mathematics. I am an ardent hobbyist. I like to read, solve puzzles, play chess, make origami and play basketball. In addition, I dabble in magic, particularly card magic and other sleight-of-hand type magic. I live in Hong Kong. I blog at You can find me on Twitter @EdmarkLaw and Facebook. My email is
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8 Responses to Does That Sound Familiar?

  1. Pingback: Links (2018-07-25) | Featured Futures

  2. Muy curioso…y acertado…


  3. Always interesting to find out how many predictions were right. This story from E.M. Forster, published in 1909, might interest you, as well — The Machine Stops — seems to predict Facebook, though rather ominously.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s really interesting and I love his added humour at the end! It makes me wonder what books are out there right now that are predicting the future…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. shoreacres says:

    I don’t know. The presence of a hidden SNAFU button on my own magic box could explain a lot of things. I’d best look again.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. masercot says:

    I’m disappointed that he didn’t see the advent of “” in our future. He never understood cats or their need to has cheezburgers…

    Liked by 3 people

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