Chapter 3: Life, the Universe, and Evolution
Chapter 6: Thinking Machines
Down the Yellow Brick Road
Strange Days in a Dream World
We live in strange times, in case you have not noticed. Here we are
with our home computers and other high-tech appliances, living what we
regard as a normal life. Next door lives a retired schoolteacher from
Flatwillow, Montana, who taught math to a young boy whose parents
homesteaded in the Flatwillow community at the turn of the century. To
get there, the family traveled 653 miles by stagecoach and covered
wagon all the way from Denver. The young math student, with memories
of cowboys at the Yellow Dog Saloon, grew up and became an engineer
and the project director for one of the first communication
satellites. Both of his parents were with him at launch time. From
covered wagon to orbiting satellite in only one generation. As much as
we may think we are used to our surroundings, in the back of our minds
a voice keeps saying...
"You know, this is really strange."
The world we are living in - a world that couples Homo sapiens with
fast-paced hypertechnology - is strange to us because sometimes it
feels like what it is, a transient dream.
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