Information Age Prayer Pray-O-Mat
Information Age Prayer is a site that charges you a monthly fee to say prayers for you. A typical charge is $4.95 per month to say three prayers specified by you each day.
We use state of the art text to speech synthesizers to voice each prayer at a volume and speed equivalent to typical person praying. Each prayer is voiced individually, with the name of the subscriber displayed on screen.
Prices, however, are dictated by the length of the prayer. As noted in the Information Age Prayer FAQ "A discounted prayer will cost less than other prayers of similar length."
I'm fascinated by the intersection between religion and technology, as are some of my favorite science fiction writers. For example, if a machine can say a prayer for you, why not have a fully robotic pope and clergy?
(Project Pope by Clifford Simak [cover])
In his 1971 story Good News From The Vatican, writer Robert Silverberg tells the story of a robot cardinal who might one day become pope.
Rabbi Mueller removes his sunglasses... "I can tell you that his Eminency is tall and distinguished, with a fine voice and a gentle smile..."
"But he's mounted on wheels, isn't he?" Kenneth persists.
"On treads," replies the rabbi, giving Kenneth a fiery, devastating look. "Treads, like a tractor has. But I don't think treads are spiritually inferior to feet, or, for that matter, to wheels..."
"Every era gets the Pope it deserves," Bishop Fitzpatrick observed somewhat gloomily today at breakfast. "The proper Pope for our times is a robot, certainly..."
(Read more about Silverberg's robot pope)
In Roger Zelazny's Hugo award-winning 1967 novel Lord of Light, he describes a pray-o-mat:
It was a machine, gleaming and metallic, before which they moved.
A man inserted a coin into the mouth of a steel tiger. The machine began to purr. He pressed buttons cast in the likenesses of animals and demons. There came then a flashing of lights along the lengths of the Nagas, the two holy serpents who twisted about the transparent face of the machine.
The man drew down upon the lever that grew from the side of the machine cast in the likeness of the tail of a fish.
A holy blue light filled the interior of the machine; the serpents pulsed redly; and there, in the midst of the light and a soft music that had begun to play a prayer wheel swung into view and began spinning at a furious pace.
The man wore a beatific expression.
(Read more about Zelazny's pray-o-mat)
Philip K. Dick fans will no doubt insist that I include the empathy box originally introduced in his 1964 story The Little Black Box:
Joan saw a metal box with two handles, attached by a lead of twin-cable wire to the TV set. Ray seized the two handles, and at once a grimace of pain shot across his face...
"This is the empathy box, my dear... when you take hold of these handles you're no longer watching Wilbur Mercer. You're actually participating in his apotheosis. Why, you're feeling what he feels."
(Read more about Dick's empathy box)
I should also note that one of the manifestations of Number Six in the most recent incarnation of Battlestar Galactica is very religious. "Head-Six" (or "inner six") often tries to get Baltar to believe in the Cylong God and to accept his place in God's plan.
(Baltar and Six)
Bow your head and click, that you might see these stories more clearly:
Read more at the Information Age Prayer site and the Information Age Prayer FAQ. Thanks to Moira for pointing this one out.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/22/2009)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 4 )
Related News Stories -
Singing Ringing Tree Wind-Powered Sculpture
'It was like no music Dirk had ever heard, It was eerie and wild...' - George RR Martin, 1977.
Magic Mushroom Nose Spray From Silo Wellness
'I don't need help... that's not my diagnosis!'
FlyZoo Robot Hotel By Alibaba
'... hotels that specialized in non-human service.'- Harry Harrison, 1970.
Implanted Memories Provide Songs To Birds
Finches can't tell the difference.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Cruise Autonomous Car Drives Aimlessly For An Hour
Convincing video shows progress (and limitations).
Fast Charging A Bus In 20 Seconds
'... in almost every town and village.'
Realistic Translation With The Waverly Labs Ambassador
'The speech patterns you actually hear decode the brainwave matrix which has been fed into your mind by your Babel fish.'
Biotech Firms Raised $Millions For Anti-Agathics (Longevity Drugs)
'Against Death doth no simple grow.'
Out-Of-Work Blue Collar Robots Need Your Help
'His legs relaxed with a rattle as he cut off all power below his waist... and ran his eye down the Help Wanted - Robot column...'
The Dawn Of Orbiting Manufacturing In 2020?
'It can be mass-produced only in the orbiting factories.'
Smart Contact Lenses Charges With 3D Printed Antenna
'He realized that it was not quite a clear lens.'
Segway S-Pod Fulfills Dire 1928 SciFi Prophecy
'Noiselessly, on rubber-tired wheels, they journeyed down the long aisles...'
Physicist Inspired By SciFi And Seeing Back In Time
'Here is the chronoscope... Scansion depends upon a special curved field...'
Airbnb Has AI Psychiatrist Looking At Your Facebook
'It's illegal to hold back information during a psyche test.'
NASA's Electric Motor Scooter
'...all the [lunar] prospectors took bicycles along as a matter of course'
Moving Suns To Different Galactic Neighborhoods
'...to swerve their star from its course, the globemen made use of a simple physical principle.'
Students Surveilled By School Phone Apps
Cheer up, students. '...cracking my SchoolBook had been easy.'
Massage Robot Has Soft Hands, Er, Pads
'The automatic massager began to fumble gently over my naked form.'
Medical Tattoos Are STILL Being Researched
'Following the current craze, she has had a subdermal pattern of micro-channels implanted.'
Elon Musk's Traffic Tunnel Challenge Is Boring
'The car vibrated... threading the maze of local tubes.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories