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"I share the view of Pythagoras that the world is number. The ultimate substrate of the universe is math. There's no way to test that - it's pure metaphysical speculation."
- Bart Kosko

Mech  
  An alternative name for simplified robot.  

Probably the first use of this word, short for "mechanical man", a simple robot.

"...[the robot] has sense enough, but she has no emotions, no consciousness of self."

"All right, that's the big trouble with the mechs now. But we'll get around it, put in some mechanical emotions, or something..."

Technovelgy from Helen O'Loy, by Lester del Rey.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1938
Additional resources -

Compare to the Meks from The Last Castle (1967) by Jack Vance.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Helen O'Loy
  More Ideas and Technology by Lester del Rey
  Tech news articles related to Helen O'Loy
  Tech news articles related to works by Lester del Rey

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