Chapter One: January 1, 1916
Is this thing on?
I have recently come into the possession of the queerest of machines! It is a small wooden box that, when opened, reveals a typewriter flanked by an array of light bulbs and vacuum tubes. And yet, despite its simplicity, I have been told it will revolutionize the way humans interact with one another.
Imagine the panoply of possibilities! Evidently, this futuristic contraption allows one to sit in his home and type messages that are then transferred to other people within a network comprising those with similar machines. Who can conceive of what will happen when useful information is shared during the course of these conversations! Rumor has it that at least two people within this current “web” of users even have access to sets of encyclopedias. A complete world of knowledge – or “INTER-LOGS” – now available at our fingertips!
Imagine, reader, all the erudite conversations and sharing of facts that are soon to follow now that we are interconnected.
I have been told that the existence of this machine is still very much a secret. In order to obtain one, a customer must sign a lengthy document deemed the “terms of service” that prohibits speaking publicly about the machine. It also states the manufacturer is not liable if someone says something untoward or salacious using the machine – but imagine the public condemnation if someone were to utter a baseless, licentious comment about another human being! Who would run such a risk?
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