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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
The Brooklyn Brain

Pity poor Joe, who just wants to work hard enough to support his wife, if he could just talk Clarice into marrying him; not only is Clarice not inclined to hand out even tepid physical favours outside the boundaries of marriage, she's not keen on marrying a man as uncultured as working class Joe [1].

Happily for Joe, there's a scientist who needs a human subject to test his instant education machine and Joe's secretary Flora is the sort of observant woman who would notice an ad such a scientist might place in a paper looking for a volunteer for such a machine. In sort order, Joe has had "culchah" (which seems to be art and art history) poured into his head, enough to impress both Clarice and his weaselly rival.

Everything seems fine and then Joe finds out the effect is strictly temporary and worse, the professor has dismantled the machine so he can have it moved. No knowledge implants for at least a month and now Joe has to figure out a way to stall for time.

I'm pretty sure Joe's scheme is going to blow up in his face big time. Maybe he can gain enough time to learn the stuff for real. Maybe Clarice will forgive him....

Instant education machines used to be a thing in SF. Not sure why they went away.

The high points of this were the pride the professor took in knowing he had managed during animal trials to create a dog who knows "the Einstein theory" and his sadness at realizing there was no longer a dog that understood relativity. Although the conversation between the professor and his assistant as they suddenly wonder if it was a good idea to eject out into the street a guy who just had a million volts run through his brain had its moments.

I wonder if back in 1950 Clarice's cultural ambitions were meant to be seen as hilariously inappropriate for her class.


1: Although Joe's clearly management, I expect he got there the hard way.
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