A stone’s throw

Today is the 75th anniversary of two simultaneous events: The birth of the transistor and the birth of the modern horror story. On the same day, June 26, 1948, William Shockley gave the world the bipolar junction transistor and Shirley Jackson gave the world “The Lottery”.

The world is now dealing with the latest manifestation of the power of the transistor — artificial intelligence which eerily mimics human communication. Soon we may find it easier to talk with bots that reinforce our prejudices, than with other people who may challenge them.

We are a stone’s throw from tribal echo-chambers and reflexive group-think becoming so normalized that we forget there was ever any other way of seeing the world. And then “The Lottery” will read like a documentary.

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