Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"My feeling is that the chance of our surviving into the twenty-first century as working civilization is less than fifty percent but greater than zero."
- Isaac Asimov

Mechanical Judge  
  A device that makes legal decisions.  

"What do you mean by a Mechanical Judge?" demanded Harry; while the iron worker took his right hand and made him hold a knob connecting with and electric wire.


(From Mechanical Judge from 'The Lord of Tranerica')

"A Mechanical Judge," the Cipher declared, "represents the height of judicial advance. Now that all decisions are machine-made, we can be sure they will be uniform quality. We can also be sure they will be swift, efficient, and positive. Besides, the Mechanical Judge cannot be bribed."

"No, but they say he can be fixed," contributed the Lightning Bolt.

"...The principle is really very simple. Why, didn't they have lie detectors long ago, so far back, I believe, as the twentieth century? We're merely enlarged upon the same idea. Everything that happens to a man, you see, leaves its reaction in his nervous system, and in his blood stream. Each incident, each thought arouses a faint electric current very weak, it is true; yet a sufficiently powerful machine, with strong amplifiers, can register it and interpret it by its wave-length. So, if a man has treasonous ideas "

From The Lord of Tranerica, by Stanton A. Coblentz.
Published by Dynamic Science Stories in 1939
Additional resources -

Quickly, a decision was reached:

"Sure the Mechanical Judge never makes mistakes?" Harry went on, a little nervously. "I'd hate to see the wrong decision."

"Have no fear," returned the Cipher, mournfully. "They say his record of convictions is nearly one hundred per cent."

The next instant there came a sudden snapping sound from inside the largest machine, and a red hand shot up, along with some crimson notations.

"Prisoner Number 1 ," read an arrow pointing in the Cipher's direction, "ZX i." . . . "Prisoner Number 2," said an arrow aimed at the Lightning Bolt, "ZX 2." . . . "Prisoner Number 3," announced an arrow that indicated Harry, "ZX 3."

"That's the decision, of course," stated the Cipher, extricating himself from the rubber tube and wire. "There's a table at the end of the room to interpret the code." AU three hastily made their way across the room, and could hardly keep from groaning as they read: "ZX 1, Guilty of treason in the third degree. Confinement for fifty years. . . . ZX 2. Guilt of treason in the second degree Confinement for life. . . . ZX 3. Guilty of treason in the first degree. Execution in thirty days.

Compare to the psychoprobe from Satellite Five (1938) by Arthur K. Barnes, the quizzer from Agent of Vega (1949) by James Schmitz, the psychic probe from Foundation and Empire (1952) by Isaac Asimov, the truth meter from The Star Beast (1954) by Robert Heinlein, the cephaloscope from The Houses of Iszm (1954) by Jack Vance, the veridicator from Little Fuzzy (1962) by H. Beam Piper.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Lord of Tranerica
  More Ideas and Technology by Stanton A. Coblentz
  Tech news articles related to The Lord of Tranerica
  Tech news articles related to works by Stanton A. Coblentz

Articles related to Culture
SUCHO Saving Ukraine's Libraries Digitally
Your Inner Sleeping Landscape Is An Advertiser's Dream
Gas Prices Worse Than In 'I Am Legend'
Cooler Screens Deliver Ads To You, Their Captive Audience

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Science Fiction Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Science Fiction in the News

Your Martian Dream Home, Made By Fungi
'... it was the cheapest building material known.'

The Dune Ornithopter, Movie And Book
'The wings were at full spread-rest, their delicate metal interleavings extended.'

100X Improvement In DNA Information Storage
'A record that wouldn't get lost and couldn't be destroyed.'

NASA 'Holoports' Doctor Onto Space Station
Star Trek Voyager Emergency Medical Hologram

Should We Train AIs To Imagine A Future Of Horrific Disasters
'LET ME TELL YOU HOW MUCH I'VE COME TO HATE YOU SINCE I BEGAN TO LIVE.'

Mouth Haptics Invented By Frederik Pohl In 1965, CMU Now Has Prototype
'What he got was indeed a kiss. It was disconcerting. No kissing lips were visible.'

Two Towns Linked By Sculpture Portal In Real Time
'I am the Guardian of Forever.'

3D Printed Robotic Tentacles
'... articulate ropes of steel dangling'

Update: Musk Doubles Down On Optimus Prime Humanoid Robot
'I shall introduce myself. I am R. Daneel Olivaw... I am a robot. Were you not told?'

Elon Musk: Production Of Robotaxis In 2024
'How about the steering wheel... I don't need one.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Science Fiction Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.