Unspecialist

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Author: Murray F. Yaco
Published: 1960
Language: English
Wordcount: 5,381 / 23 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 84.2
LoC Category: PS
Audiobook: librivox.org
Downloads: 1,986
Added to site: 2007.11.11
mnybks.net#: 18990
Origin: gutenberg.org

A machine can be built to do any accurately described job better than any man. The superiority of a man is that he can do an unexpected, undescribed, and emergency job... provided he hasn't been especially trained to be a machine.

Show Excerpt

t the air lock!"

It was fifteen minutes before they could get anything out of him, and then he wasn't too coherent. They gave him an injection of herodine to quiet him down, but his eyes still rolled wildly and all he could manage was: "Big hunk of rock ... big hunk of rock ... rock, quick ... monkey ships."

"Any idea what he's talking about?"

"No," Banner said thoughtfully. "There was a sizable meteorite that came pretty close while you were on your way back to the ship, but I'd already tracked it before either one of you went outside."

"How close?"

"Hm-m-m. Visually, a dozen kilometers, I'd guess. I could run the tape if you--"

"Velocities almost the same?" asked Harcraft, who was now fiddling with the viewscreen controls.

"Yeah. Shouldn't be too hard to find. How about lugging Bean Brain back to his bunk. I'll run the tape, then you can plot it on the screen."

When Harcraft returned to the control cabin, Banner had already plotted it on the screen.

Reviews

Average Rating of 5 from 1 reviews: *****
2012.02.13
Don Benish
*****

This is one of my favorite short stories. It is hilarious. Yaco also wrote No Moving Parts which is also very good and about a similar technological theme.


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