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"We didn't have a telephone and our family until I was about 15, in high school."
- Ray Bradbury

Ring-Table  
  A device that creates a 'group mind', a single mind, from the many gathered around it.  

The great circular compartment was as empty of life as the one which we had just left, the twilight dusk in it dispelled somewhat by the soft-glowing disks in its walls. The great ring-table in it had in the seats around it no Neptunians of the Council now, but at that table's center stood still the great metal globe whose strange mechanism made of the thirty minds of the Council members a single mind, in perception and action. Knowing even as we did that it was but a lifeless mechanism now, without the Council's members connected to it, it was yet with some awe that we stared toward that great mechanism, to whose voice we had listened so short a time before.


(Ring-Table from 'The Universe Wreckers" by Edmond Hamilton)

Technovelgy from The Universe Wreckers, by Edmond Hamilton.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1930
Additional resources -

Here is the ring-table in action:

AS we stood there the Neptunian leader before us spoke in sharp snaps, as though explaining; our presence, hut not to the thirty around the table; it spoke to the great central globe of metal! In amazement we watched him, and then we saw that the globe was turning upon its pedestal, turning toward us a small circle of clear glass set in its opposite aide, that surveyed us for the moment exactly like a single calm eye. Then the globe turned again, the opening in its side a^ai" facing us, and then from that opening came a stacatto answer to our leader, a swift question, apparently, in the snapping speech-sounds of the Neptunians! The globe was hearing our captor's report, was questioning him concerning that report, while the thirty around the table uttered no sound, and turned not toward us.

"Good God!" I muttered at that astounding spectacle. "That globe of metal, Marlin — it hears him, answers him! The thing must be alive!"

"Not alive. Hunt," Marlin said swiftly, his own eyes startled, though. "Those conncctions that run from the thirty to the globe — they center in that globe's mechanism in some way the minds, the intelligence, of all the thirty!"

Swift light Hashed upon me at Marlin's words, and as I gazed astonished toward the thirty Neptunians and the central globe I knew that Marlin's explanation was the only logical one. Tnese thirty Neptunians, it was apparent, were the supreme rulers, the highest council, of all the Neptunian race. And since it was necessary that they use all of their differing minds as one in directing ±he destinies of their strange race, they had in some way devised a mechanism for that purpose, which synthesized the intelligence, the minds, of the thirty into one single mind by means of that strange mechanism. So that it was literally as one mind that the thirty perceived and thought, when gathered here together, the central globe speaking out the synthesized thoughts and questions of all the thirty!

Other examples of group minds (a version of the hive mind idea) can be found in the group ego from Methuselah's Children (1941) by Robert Heinlein and in Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke. See the entry for hive mind from Face of the Deep (1942) by Edmond Hamilton, probably the first use of the phrase.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Universe Wreckers
  More Ideas and Technology by Edmond Hamilton
  Tech news articles related to The Universe Wreckers
  Tech news articles related to works by Edmond Hamilton

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