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

"The immediate problem with our meat brains is that they have no back-up. We can lose the most precious information we have from one bump on the head or stroke. You want a mind system with back-up that can access other databases."
- Bart Kosko

Neoterics  
  Pure engineering genius on tap.  

James Kidder, as the author says, was quite a guy. He pretty much invented everything useful. For Kidder, ninety-nine percent perspiration (like Edison) was not enough.

This, then, was the answer to his problem. He couldn't speed up mankind's intellectual advancement enough to have it teach him the things his incredible mind yearned for. he couldn't speed himself up. So he created a new race - a race which would develop and evolve so fast that it would surpass the civilization of man; and from them he would learn.

They were completely in Kidder's power. Earth's normal atmosphere would poison them, as he took care to demonstrate to every fourth generation... They would make ... their little trial and error experiments hundreds of times faster than man..

He called them Neoterics and teased them into working for him.

From Microcosmic God, by Theodore Sturgeon.
Published by Galaxy in 1941
Additional resources -

In the story, Kidder puts the Neoterics into life-and-death situations to force them to invent what he needed. The Neoterics were imprisoned in a shatterproof, chemical-proof sealed bubble. When Kidder needed to develop stronger alloys, he arranged for them to have only lighter metals and then started dropping the ceiling on their containment bin one millimeter per day. Only by inventing new alloys and structures could they save themselves from being crushed to death. And they did it!

I was thinking about this one at the Michigan State Fair the other day. My family was looking at the exhibit for honey, with a live bee display. Handy creatures, bees; they work hard all the time and make a unique and useful product.

What if you could have a tiny hive full of creatures who could make something other than honey? What could be sweeter than brilliant ideas?

Compare to the miniature universes from Fessenden's World (1937) by Edmond Hamilton.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 3 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Microcosmic God
  More Ideas and Technology by Theodore Sturgeon
  Tech news articles related to Microcosmic God
  Tech news articles related to works by Theodore Sturgeon

Neoterics-related news articles:
  - E. Coli Forced To Evolve: Old Bacterium Learns New Trick
  - Bacteria Torture Tests Demonstrate Evolution
  - 'Evolution Chip' Automates Evolved Change
  - Phage-Assisted Continuous Evolution

Articles related to Artificial Intelligence
Pickup Lines From Artificial Intelligences
Artificially Intelligent Poster - Advert That Writes Itself
LipNet Reads Lips - Until Disconnected, That Is
Pokerbot Libratus Learns To Lie (Bluff)

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

Cattle Avoidance Feature In Indian Autonomous Cars
'The driver went about the business of gently slipping the teflon-coated metal scoop beneath the first animal...'

Project KOVR Fashion Protection From Infosphere
'... the entire shroudlike membrane took on whatever physical characteristics were projected at any nanosecond.'

Twist Bioscience High Density Digital Data On DNA
'They tied the memory to the bloodline and that was their record!'

'We're Not Creating A Terminator' Say Russians About Gun-Wielding Robot Fedor
Nobody is thinking about the Terminator. Westworld, maybe.

Vantablack Now IMMEASURABLY Black
'a black coating now thatís ninety-nine percent absorptive...'

Mercedes-Benz Autonomous Taxi Fleet In 3 Years
'... the taxi utilized sophisticated electronic sensors to perceive its surroundings.'

Is 'The Pulsar Positioning System' Evidence For SETI?
'For a hyperspace jump, you need at least four beacons for an accurate fix.'

Someday, You Might Like VR Enough To Move In
'That barrier was going to melt away someday soon. The transhumanists had promised...'

Humans Use Mental Power For Turtle Slavery
Now we need to start looking for animals with fingers...

Solar-Powered Moisture Vaporator
'The atmosphere yielded its moisture with reluctance.'

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.