A Logic Named Joe

I recently heard an old radio show ("X Minus One" from 1955) based on a sci-fi short story from 1946 called "A Logic Named Joe." It is said that the personal computer was not predicted by sci-fi writers, but this one came quite close. The "logic" was a box something like a TV, but with a video screen, keyboard, microphone, and speaker. The main interaction with it was speaking, and the "logic" would speak in return. When questioned, it might ask a question in return to clarify.

Here is a list of some of the things predicted in this story. There are more I can think of. What I found most amazing was the prediction of something like the Internet, including voice and video phone conversations, online banking, etc. It appeared to work in a wireless fashion, also, since it just had to be plugged in like any other appliance. The author basically abandoned the idea of regular phone service in favor of this wireless computer-based telephony. Keep in mind he was writing in 1946!

One thing he did not see was video games. The boy in the story only wants the computer to help him to make real things (no virtual reality here). He still prefers to play outside.

Another thing that was predicted was a danger of the Internet. What if someone wanted help in doing something evil? At the beginning of the story, the answers to dangerous questions are protected and cannot be accessed, but things begin to change…

In the end, the author Murray Leinster recognized that massive access to tons of information would cause lots of trouble (or I would say aid in the spread of sin), and thought that it could actually be the end of civilization, because many people would give in to the temptation to use it in bad, even the worst ways.

This is happening somewhat ‘ey?

Living without Videogames

Yes, friends, it can be done.

When I saw images of people trampling each other to get a PlayStation3 console, I wondered how someone could end up like that.

Actually, perhaps I could have ended up like that. I have a feeling that I would be quite unhappy in such a state, however, because living a materialistic life is a continual "grasping at straws" and the straws keep slipping through one’s fingers (i.e. they get old). The very fact that people were trampling each other for this one is a sign that they will do it again, and mainly because the PlayStation3 will not be enough. Its "golden value" will tarnish quickly.

Where are the long lines of people waiting to volunteer at a soup kitchen? If only people knew how satisfying serving the poor is, there would be long lines. (Actually in some places, there are more than enough volunteers).

Ok, by itself serving the poor is of limited satisfaction, but to know that one is serving God and earning treasure in heaven?

Rushing to buy a new videogame machine is not an example of storing up treasure in heaven. It is a rush toward an eventual disappointment.  But did I really have to say that?

Such limited pleasure is so not worth it.  Treasure in heaven is so much more worth it than we could ever imagine.

Be not afraid.

"In this hour put away our fearfulness and apprehension!  Cast aside anxiety and dread!  Place behind us all misgiving and suspicion!  ‘Do not let your heart be troubled, or be afraid.’"

Remember Confirmation Day, when we were made soldiers for Christ.

"Today we are a solider once again, even if we have forgotten how to be.  Today we find ourselves armed well…"

"Pentecost," McNally, Make Way for Mary, 147

November 11 — Consecration of USA to IHM

On Saturday, November 11, in the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., a re-consecration of the United States to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary in the presence of the Papal Nuncio to the United States, His Excellency Archbishop Pietro Sambi, will take place.

EWTN will cover it live.  The Mass starts at Noon EST.

For further info:  Blue Army website