Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"We were essentially being shell-shocked by rapid change. That was one of the things you needed science-fiction writers for back in the Sixties, because we could cope with the future."
- Peter Watts

Cephaloscope  
  A device used to detect lying.  

I don't know if Vance was aware of it, but the Cephaloscope was an actual device invented in 1842 for use by physicians who worked with hearing problems. "Cephalo" refers to the head.

Farr knew there was a cephaloscope focused on his brain. Any pulse of excitement, any flush of fear would be recorded on a chart. He brought the image of a hot bath to the brink of his mind.

“Do you plan to steal houses, Farr Sainh?”

Now: the placid cool porcelain, the feel of warm air and water, the scent of soap.

“No...”

After the samples were collected, Kirdy stepped into the saloon and made a statement. “I will question you separately. Those who so desire will be allowed to give their evidence with the cephaloscope as an adjunct, and these responses will naturally take on more weight. I remind you that cephaloscope evidence can not be introduced in court to prove guilt—only to prove innocence. The cephaloscope at worst can only fail to eliminate you from the suspects. I remind you further that refusal to use the cephaloscope is not only a privilege and a right, but considered by many a moral duty. Hence those who prefer to give evidence without cephaloscope verification incur no prejudice. Use of the instrument is optional with you.”

From The Houses of Iszm, by Jack Vance.
Published by Better Publications in 1954
Additional resources -

The modern lie detector was invented by Dr. William M. Marston in the 1917. The machine was also called a polygraph - literally "many writings", referring to the method of recording several physiological responses at the same time. He also wrote under the pen name Charles Moulton - creating the Wonder Woman comic strip. Wonder Woman, as you may recall, had a magic lasso that caused anyone she caught with it to tell the absolute truth.

Compare to the truth meter From The Star Beast (1954) by Robert Heinlein, the Veridicator, from the 1962 novel Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper.

Also, see the cephalochromoscope from A Scanner Darkly (1977) by Philip K. Dick.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Houses of Iszm
  More Ideas and Technology by Jack Vance
  Tech news articles related to The Houses of Iszm
  Tech news articles related to works by Jack Vance

Articles related to Surveillance
Largest Micro-Drone Swarm Release Successful
HyperFace Aims To Foil Facial Recognition
Woolim DPRK Surveillance Tablet And Doctorow's 'Schoolbook'
Your 'Odortype' Is Unique!

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

More News

Cormorant Flying Car
'The cab came floating down out of the sky...'

ElliQ Robot To Help Israel's Grandmas And Grandpas
'The robant and the tiny old woman entered the control room slowly...'

EU Debates Kill Switches For Robots
'I have a mechanism which our autofac on Mars builds as an... emergency safety...'

Scotland Set To Implement Basic Income
'Earned by just being born.'

Sales Robots More Persistent Than Humans
'Robot-salesmen were everywhere, gesturing,,, shrilling...'

AI Identifies Suicidal Behavior With 93 Percent Accuracy
'...He padded into the living room, and seated himself by the suitcase; he opened it, clicked switches, and turned on Dr. Smile.'

Razer Project Valerie Laptop Unfurls
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled silently...'

Dust Movement On The Moon, Saturn's Rings Solved
'...The dust normally on the surface picks up and keeps a charge.'

Largest Micro-Drone Swarm Release Successful
'... Programmed to hang in space in a hexagonal grid pattern.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.