Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

Predicting the Internet
In his recent editor’s letter “On Science Fiction” (March/April 2007), Jason Pontin writes that “Older computer scientists and electrical engineers such as Marvin Minsky and Seymour Cray, born in the mid-1920s, pursued a vision of humanlike artificial intelligence and mainframe computing ­popularized by science fiction after World War II (see Isaac Asimov’s ‘Multivac’ stories).” Minsky and Cray just missed the right story, as did a lot of other folks. Murray Leinster, in his story “A Logic Named Joe,” predicts a version of the Internet and the home computer. Astoundingly, it was published in 1945.
Alan Dean Foster
Prescott, AZ

Taking Exception to the Rules
I enjoyed Jason Pontin’s editor’s letter about the expression of ideas (“On Rules,” January/February 2007). But in closing, he writes, “The best expression of ideas occurs in forms that are strict and simple.” I take issue with this notion and the thrust behind it: the belief that ideas should be conventionalized and rule based. Envisioning ideas in a form–as expressed by a software language or by a poem–limits the possibility of expression and the development of new form.

In my opinion, it only makes sense to think of “mature” ideas in a strict and simple form. Ideas that are under development are messy and complicated things. It is the process of interacting with, and distilling, an idea that shapes it into a useful form.
Michael H. Felberbaum
Milford, CT

Correction
An item in the “10 Emerging Technologies, 2007” feature in the March/April issue incorrectly identified Ed Boyden as a postdoc at Stanford University. He was a Stanford graduate student when he performed the research described.

How to contact us:
E-mail letters@technologyreview.com
Write Technology Review, One Main Street,
7th Floor, Cambridge MA 02142
Fax 617-475-8043
Please include your address, telephone number, and e-mail address. Letters may be edited for both clarity and length.

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Tagged: Communications

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me
×

A Place of Inspiration

Understand the technologies that are changing business and driving the new global economy.

September 23-25, 2014
Register »