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September 26, 2008

Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind

A little known treasure is winging its way to Flea Towers. Frank Herbert's Without Me You're Nothing (1981) is his commentary on home computers and the philosophy of computing. Butlerians everywhere take note.

Theres really too much in the book of interest. Promoted as a ‘how to use your computer’ book for early 48k RAM technology such as the atari 400, it ends up being much more interesting. Appendices titled “Computers are not People”, “the Biomachine”, and “Did a computer write this book?” flesh out lists of microcomputer accessories and manufacturers: Commodore and Byte, inc included. Chapters titled “computers are not oracles”, in which Herbert warns “dont get the idea these uses of computers are off in some far distant future.” and “A computer can listen for particular voices and alert you when those voices are nearby.” Other chapters are: “The Logical Crutch”, which proclaims in bold: “LOGIC IS A LIMITED AND LIMITING WAY OF THINKING” and discusses dreams.

My copy cost me one dollar (plus S/H) though avid collectors might consider a somewhat pricier signed first edition.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at September 26, 2008 04:43 AM