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

"When you're making a revolution in cyberspace, things look rather different from the way the 1980s cyberpunks wrote it."
- Charles Stross

Babble Machine  
  Not just television - this describes what we call 'the idiot box' (technology and media).  

When I was a boy - I'm that old -- I used to read printed books. You'd hardly think it. Likely you've seen none -- they rot and dust so -- and the Sanitary Company burns them to make ashlarite. But they were convenient in their dirty way. Oh I learnt a lot. These new-fangled Babble Machines -- they don't seem new-fangled to you, eh? -- they're easy to hear, easy to forget...

Asano touched his arm and gave him a warning look, and forthwith another of these mechanisms I screamed deafeningly and gave tongue in a shrill voice. "Yahaha, Yahah, Yap! Hear a live paper yelp! Live paper. Yaha! Shocking outrage in Paris. Yahahah! The Parisians exasperated by the black police to the pitch of assassination. Dreadful reprisals. Savage times come again. Blood! Blood! Yaha!" The nearer Babble Machine hooted stupendously, "Galloop, Galloop," drowned the end of the sentence, and proceeded in a rather flatter note than before with novel comments on the horrors of disorder. "Law and order must be maintained," said the nearer Babble Machine...

"I did not think," he began and stopped abruptly He went off at a tangent to ask for information about these Babble Machines. For the most part, the crowd present had been shabbily or even raggedly dressed, and Graham learnt that so far as the more prosperous classes were concerned, in all the more comfortable private apartments of the city were fixed Babble Machines that would speak directly a lever was pulled. The tenant of the apartment could connect this with the cables of any of the great News Syndicates that he preferred. When he learnt this presently, he demanded the reason of their absence from his own suite of apartments. Asano stared. "I never thought," he said. "Ostrog must have had them removed..."

Thence Graham was taken by Asano along devious ways to the great gambling and business quarters where the bulk of the fortunes in the city were lost and made. It impressed him as a well-nigh interminable series of very high halls, surrounded by tiers upon tiers of galleries into which opened thousands of offices, and traversed by a complicated multitude of bridges, footways, aerial motor rails, and trapeze and cable leaps. And here more than anywhere the note of vehement vitality, of uncontrollable, hasty activity. rose high. Everywhere was violent advertisement, until his brain swam at the tumult of light and colour. And Babble Machines of a peculiarly rancid tone were abundant and filled the air with strenuous squealing and an idiotic slang. "Skin your eyes and slide," "Gewhoop, Bonanza," "Gollipers come and hark!"

From When the Sleeper Wakes, by H.G. Wells.
Published by Unknown in 1899
Additional resources -

(Note: this item was formerly [and incorrectly] attributed to Jules Verne. Sorry about that.)

Comment/Join this discussion ( 1 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from When the Sleeper Wakes
  More Ideas and Technology by H.G. Wells
  Tech news articles related to When the Sleeper Wakes
  Tech news articles related to works by H.G. Wells

Articles related to Communication
Audiobooks - Fastest Growing Format In Publishing
Douglas Adams Your Babel Fish Is Ready - The Pilot By Waverly
Cortana Clip - The New In-Ear Wearables
FlexEnable OLED Bracelet SmartPhone Concept

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 Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Snap Specs - Snapchat Spectacles - Are Video Glasses
'The old woman laid her wire-knitting aside and fixed them with the bug-eyed, opaque gape...'

Reading A Scroll Burned To Charcoal
'The scope was adjusted to generate... an image of the lower section of the book.'

Robot Arrested In Moscow
They should have thrown a net over him.

Oh Great, Fence-Climbing Robots
How long till they add the acid-tipped stingers?

Software Agents Fight Unseen On The Web
'...Worms and counter-worms loose on the data-net.'

Sandisk 1 Terabyte SD Memory Card Surfaces
'They should be Welton Fine-Grains, or they would be too bulky to ship...'

Carbyne, The Ultimate Form Of Carbon
'A continuous pseudo-one dimensional diamond crystal...'

Bradbury's Method Used In Search For Bombing Suspect
'He imagined thousands on thousands of faces peering into yards, into alleys...'

New Laser Space Debris Clearing More Subtle Than Clarke's
Rather than nudge them up, nudge them down.

Robots Learn To Swarm Safely
'They were bronzy gleams of smooth motion...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

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

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.