He’s Mad!

“He’s mad,” said Ryger explosively, staring at the door as though Villiers were still standing before it.

“Is he?” said Talliaferro thoughtfully. “I suppose he is, in a way. He hates us for irrational reasons. And, then, not even to scan his paper as a precaution —”

Talliaferro fingered his own small scanner as he said that. It was just a neutrally colored, undistinguished cylinder, somewhat thicker and somewhat shorter than an ordinary pencil. In recent years, it had become the hallmark of the scientist, much as the stethescope was that of the physician and the micro-computer that of the statistician. The scanner was worn in a jacket pocket, or clipped to a sleeve, or slipped behind the ear, or swung at the end of a string.

Talliaferro sometimes, in his more philosophical moments, wondered how it was in the days when research men had to make laborious notes of the literature or file away full-sized reprints. How unwieldy!

– Isaac Asimov, Nine Tomorrows, 1959.

Lady, where’s my spy camera.

Bart Simpson, 1994

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4 Comments

  1. Posted 8/24/2004 at 2:59 am | Permalink

    Which is why I have found my Pocket Reader http://www.pocketreader.com/eng/index.htm useful (though it is a bit clunky!)

  2. Posted 8/24/2004 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    David: That’s cool, though the link is broken :). A.

  3. Posted 8/25/2004 at 2:13 am | Permalink

    Try this

  4. Posted 8/25/2004 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    That’s neat. I remember when similar devices started coming available a few years ago. At the time, they seemed too spendy (~US$200), despite the fact that whole hours of my day were spent copying out chunks of text to notecards that ended up being used only rarely in papers I was writing. Truth is, I spend far less time in the library these days, since so much of the literature is available online.

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