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

"People ask me how I do research for my science fiction. The answer is, I never do any research. I just enjoy reading the stuff, and some of it sticks in my mind and fits into the stories."
- Frederik Pohl

No Human Programmers  
  The idea that computers are too complicated and too important to be programmed by human beings.  

This is an early direct reference to this idea.

There are nine people on the Council. I donít know why, though the BC might tell me if I asked, since it nominates and elects Council members. Iíve always fancied itís so in case we ever screw up so totally that the universe does come apart at the seams and all eras coexist, we can field a team in the Never-neverland World Series.

Technically itís called the Programmersí Council. Thatís a polite fiction. They donít do any programming. Computers long ago grew too complex and too accurate to allow a mere human to fuck around with their instructions.

Yet there are qualities no one has ever succeeded in placing into the memory banks.

Donít ask me what they are.

Imagination might be one of them, empathy another. Or I could just be giving the human race credit for more than it deserves. Maybe the BC supports and maintains the Council to keep itself in check, to prevent it from actually becoming God. There is that hazard. Possibly the BC needs an element of fool-hardiness and prejudice and meanness and ornery self-interest to give it perspective. Or maybe, like the rest of us, it just needs a giggle now and then.

From Millenium, by John Varley.
Published by Berkley Books in 1983
Additional resources -

Compare to the City Fathers from Cities in Flight (1950's) by James Blish and Vulcan 3 from Vulcan's Hammer (1960) by Philip K. Dick.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Millenium
  More Ideas and Technology by John Varley
  Tech news articles related to Millenium
  Tech news articles related to works by John Varley

Articles related to Weapon
ZKZM-500 LASER Assault Rifle
Drone Assassin Fails To Kill Venezuelan President
Musk's Boring Flamethrower
Poland Starts With 1000 Warmate 'Suicide Drones'

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

Soon, Your Tesla Will Follow You Like A Pet
'... follow him as faithfully as a well-trained hound.'

Chinese Watrix Gait Recognition Watching You Always
'... those pesky gait-recognition cameras.'

FlexPai Foldable Phone By Royole
'...A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled.'

Oh Yes, We're Building The Rotating Tower In Dubai
'Give me an old-fashioned tetragon on a central pivot every time.'

Bioreactor Helps Legless Frogs Get Their Jump Back
'An alien drug... Used by an insect race... It can repair bones and organs. It can grow new tissue."

Xinhua AI Anchor Puts CGI Face To Automated News
'...a congeries of software agents.'

Wirewax Watching You Watch, Adjusting Your Experience
'He adjusted the n, the r and b knobs, and hopefully anticipated a turn for the better...'

LawGeex AI Beats 20 Top Lawyers
'The Law Society has strict rules on the use of pseudo-intelligent software - terrified of putting... its members out of work.'

ROAM Robotics Skiing Exoskeleton
'The real genius in the design is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it...'

MIT Headset Lets You Communicate Without Speaking
'The subvocal read nerve signals, letting her enter words by just beginning to will them...'

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.