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"Science fiction operates a little bit like science itself, in principle. You've got thousands of people exploring ideas, putting forth their own hypotheses. Most of them are dead wrong; a few stand the test of time; everything looks kind of quaint in hind"
- Peter Watts

Adjustable Television  
  A television that allowed viewers to adjust the content of political speeches.  

Should a government be receptive to what the people want? Why shouldn't you be able to adjust a presidential speech directly, on your TV?

He adjusted the n, the r and b knobs, and hopefully anticipated a turn for the better in the dire droning-on of the speech... however, no change took place. Too many other viewers had their own ideas as to what the old man ought to be saying, Vince realized. In fact there were probably enough other people in this one apartment building alone to offset any pressures he might try to exert on the old man through his particular set. But anyhow that was democracy.
From The Simulacra, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by 1964 in Ace
Additional resources -

Savagely, he went to the TV set and pressed the s knob; if enough citizens pushed it the old man would stop entirely - the stop knob meant total cessation of the mumbling speech. Vince waited, but the speech went on.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Simulacra
  More Ideas and Technology by Philip K. Dick
  Tech news articles related to The Simulacra
  Tech news articles related to works by Philip K. Dick

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