Quotes from Books: The Mind Cage

A. E. Van Vogt: The Mind Cage

A short story about two people having their brains switched and consequences from that.

Does this sound like a biometry today and voice patterns decoded by your cell phone to call someone? Sure, 66 years later and the whole system is digital as opposed to mechanical described here. Voice recognition by A. E. van Vogt:

Trask had only this one unit in his apartment.


The button activated a servomechanism, which was then ready to record his words when he spoke them; another mechanism made a graph of the electrical impulse created by the sound.


A scanner next examined the graph, classified it as belonging to a certain group of sounds. A servo-mechanism rejected all other groups, and a scanner looked over three-dimensional plastic models of the graph — which had been previously constructed — and selected one that represented Tilden Arallo from a score or so of similar words.


Another servo-mechanism, in series, selected another three-dimensional plastic model, this one representing a phone number, and the process was carried through to the point where still another servo-mechanism electrically dialed the desired number.

And we also have voice to text and realtime translation (as Google Translate does) mentioned here:

A similar technique was used for automatic language translation and for speaking directly into a typewriter.

E-paper (e-ink) used in e-book readers is mentioned as well:

The instructions were not written in ink. They were impressed electronically on a special substance that looked like paper.

How about disappearing messages in messengers such as Signal or Whatsapp?

“Each of you will be given a list of what must be done. Commit this list to memory, since it will be written in ink that will fade suddenly.”

And what about remote de-licensing and removing content from a device. It rings a bell, doesn’t it? Yes, Amazon Kindle, I am looking at you:

The electronic pattern on each sheet would be destroyed by remote control, and another pattern in the ‘paper’ would be activated briefly and then nullified. Any subsequent attempt to reproduce the patterns would bring out a confusion of meaningless forms.

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