59
The Word-Processor and I

In the previous chapter, " I Am a Signpost," I mentioned that a word-processor had entered my life and described the manner in which I faced it—head high, eyes flashing, fists clenched, and brain paralyzed with fear.

Let me give you the details. When Byte let it be known that, in their opinion, a word-processor would look good in Isaac Asimov's office, Ed Juge of Radio Shack, down in Fort Worth, Texas, thought, in his warm and loving heart, that that might be a good idea. * On May 6, 1981, therefore, a word-processor arrived.Or at least, two big boxes and a small one, each presumably filled with arcane incunabula, came.

I managed to hoist them from the lobby of the apartment house, where the delivery men left them, up to the thirty-third-floor apartment where I lived. Fortunately, that was not as difficult as it sounds, since I used the elevator.

I then placed the boxes in my office and practiced walking around them until I got the route memorized. To make sure, I practiced it in the dark, then with my eyes closed, then in the dark and with my eyes closed.

In a few hours, I was able to walk through my office without ever making contact with the boxes, or even looking in their direction. In this way, I was able to pretend that they didn't exist. Unfortunately, part of my library shelves were blocked by them, but I decided not to use those shelves. If I needed data contained in the books there, I could always make it up.

____________________
*
Only today, I asked Ed (whom I have come to know and revere) whether he, down there in his Fort Worth office, ever recognized the existence of Dallas. "Do I ever recognize the existence of what?" he asked.

-334-

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The Roving Mind
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Roving Mind *
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword Isaac Asimov: Science Popularizer, Skeptic, and Rationalist xi
  • A Celebration of Isaac Asimov — a Man for the Universe xv
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I the Religious Radicals *
  • 1: The Army of the Night *
  • 3: The Reagan Doctrine 20
  • 4: The Blind Who Would Lead 24
  • 5: Creeping Censorship 27
  • 6: Losing the Debate 29
  • Part II Other Aberrations 30
  • 7: The Harvest of Intelligence *
  • 8: That Old-Time Violence 37
  • 9: Little Green Men or Not? 40
  • 10: Don'T You Believe? 43
  • 11: Open Mind? 47
  • 12: The Role of the Heretic 49
  • Part III Population *
  • 13: The Good Earth is Dying *
  • 14: The Price of Survival 66
  • 15: Letter to a Newborn Child 72
  • Part IV Science: Opinion 74
  • 16: Technophobia *
  • 17: What Have You Done for Us Lately? 84
  • 18: Speculation 88
  • 19: Is It Wise for Us to Contact Advanced Civilizations? 92
  • 20: Pure and Impure 97
  • 21: Do We Regulate Science? 104
  • 22: For Public Understanding of Science 107
  • 23: Science Corps 110
  • 24: Science and Beauty 113
  • 25: Art and Science 116
  • 26: The Fascination of Science 120
  • 27: Sherlock Holmes as Chemist 127
  • Part V Science: Explanation 132
  • 28: The Global Jigsaw *
  • 29: The Inconstant Sun 139
  • 30: The Sky of the Satellites 151
  • 31: The Surprises of Pluto 157
  • 32: Neutron Stars 160
  • 33: Black Holes 162
  • 34: Faster Than Light 165
  • 35: Hyperspace 169
  • 36: Beyond the Universe 175
  • 37: Life on Earth 183
  • Part VI the Future 188
  • 38: Transportation and the Future *
  • 39: The Corporation of the Future 200
  • 40: The Future of Collecting 208
  • 41: The Computerized World 214
  • 42: The Individualism to Come 228
  • 43: The Coming Age of Age 237
  • 44: The Decade of Decision 244
  • 45: Do You Want to Be Cloned? 251
  • 46: The Hotel of the Future 256
  • 47: The Future of Plants 262
  • 48: Bacterial Engineering 266
  • 49: Flying in Time to Come 272
  • 50: The Ultimate in Communication 278
  • 51: His Own Particular Drummer 285
  • 52: The Future of Exploration 295
  • 53: Homo Obsoletus? 300
  • 54: Volatiles for the Life on Luna 307
  • 55: Touring the Moon 312
  • 56: Life on a Space Settlement 317
  • 57: The Payoff in Space 324
  • Part VII Personal *
  • 58: I Am a Signpost *
  • 59: The Word-Processor and I 334
  • 60: A Question of Speed 337
  • 61: A Question of Spelling 340
  • 62: My Father 344
  • Acknowledgments 348
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