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"I suspect that religion is a necessary evil in the childhood of our particular species. And that's one of the interesting things about contact with other intelligences: we could see what role, if any, religion plays in their development."
- Arthur C. Clarke

Great Ear  
  An electronic telepathic listening device that monitors thousands of people simultaneously.  

Well, the Great Ear experiment is just rolling merrily along, he thought sardonically as he read:

Thought to be beyond the scope of probability, work on the first purely electronic telepathic listening device advances at a reassuring rate, officials of McMally Corporation, the designer and builder of Great Ear, as it has come to be called, said today in a press conference attended by many skeptical observers. "When Great Ear goes into operation," Munro Capp opined, "it will be capable of telepathically monitoring the thought-waves of tens of thousands of persons, and with the ability - not found among Unusuals - to unscramble the enormous flood-tides of...

From Our Friends From Frolix 8, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Ace Publishing in 1970
Additional resources -

Compare to the espionage machine, a device for monitoring the thoughts of a single individual, from No, No, Not Rogov, a 1958 cold war classic short by Cordwainer Smith.

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  More Ideas and Technology from Our Friends From Frolix 8
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