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"In WWII, they had a saying that there are no atheists in foxholes. I think the modern equivalent of that is that there are no jaded, bored people in the high-tech industry, in the land of really good hardcore geeks."
- Neal Stephenson

Swibble  
  An artificially evolved telepathic metazoan-based mind control device.  

What exactly is a swibble? Let's let the repairman explain.

Patiently, the repairman explained elementary physics. "Swibble-culture is an organic phenotype evolved in a protein medium under controlled conditions. The directing neurological tissue that forms the basis of the swibble is alive, certainly, in the sense that it grows, thinks, feeds, excretes waste. Yes, it's definitely alive. But the swibble, as a functioning whole, is a manufactured item. The organic tissue is inserted in the master tank and then sealed. I certainly don't repair that; I give it nutriments to restore a proper balance of diet, and I try to deal with parasitic organisms that find their way into it. I try to keep it adjusted and healthy. The balance of the organism, is, of course, totally mechanical."

"The swibble has direct access to human minds?" Anderson asked, fascinated.

"Naturally. It's an artificially evolved telepathic metazoan. And with it, Wright solved the basic problem of modern times: the existence of diverse, warring ideological factions, the presence of disloyalty and dissent.

From Service Call, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Not Known in 1955
Additional resources -

The swibble makes sure that, in the words of the prison warden in Cool Hand Luke, you "have your mind right." Peace of mind, that's what you get.

"Well, as a new swibble owner, you've found out the advantages. You know the sense of security and satisfaction in being certain that your ideology is exactly congruent with that of everybody else in the world..."

It was MacDowell who managed to pull himself together first. "Yeah," he said ironically. "It certainly sounds like what the missus and I want."

"Oh, you ought to have a swibble of your own," the repairman urged. "Consider -- if you have your own swibble, it'll adjust you automatically. It'll keep you on the right track without strain or fuss. You'll always know you're not going wrong -- remember the swibble slogan: Why be half loyal? With your own swibble, your outlook will be corrected by painless degrees . . .

Excellent story - well worth reading.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Service Call
  More Ideas and Technology by Philip K. Dick
  Tech news articles related to Service Call
  Tech news articles related to works by Philip K. Dick

Swibble-related news articles:
  - Living Robot Has Biological Brain
  - Lung On A Chip - Electronics Plus Human Cells
  - Hybrid Chips: Solid-State Device With Integrated Biological Cells
  - 3D-Printed Biohybrid Is A Tissue-Engineered Robot

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