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(Jon sez:)

Your Writer: Jon Kilgannon When I was a lad, I read a lot of science fiction from the 1940s and 1950s. (This probably explains a lot about me.) I remember clearly the mad rush of calculations and slide rule work which was required in one of those stories to make a change in a ship's orbit. One had to know exactly where one's ship was, and where it was currently going, and where all the planets were, then one had to do all the laborous calculations involved in determining a new course and figuring the engine burn required to put one on that course.

In this page of A Miracle of Science, Caprice asks the ship to find the best course within certain rather broad parameters and then trusts the ship's computer to do all the calculations and change the ship's trajectory in the blink of an eye.

In reality, it is entirely possible that by 2148 we humans would expect our computers to determine there is a problem, decide to get the ship out of danger, and make the course correction all without bothering us with the trivial details. However, as I've mentioned in this column before, such computer power makes for awfully boring stories.

I'd like to thank Mark for giving me the idea for this column in a discussion a few months ago.

(Mark sez:)

Your Artist: Mark Sachs Heck, long before 2148 I imagine will be impossible to tell where the human stops and the computer starts, which will mean many exciting and disgusting new employment opportunities in the tech support field.

Let's see... what comic should I plug today... Actually, I think I've gone through my backlog. But most if not all of the webcomics I've linked to here (as well as some others) are listed on my personal website's links section, so drop by there. I suspect you'll find something you'd like.