How many of you have read that excellent novel, Gateway? And, pray tell, how many of you remember the novel’s most important character? No, I’m not talking about Robinette Broadhead, though it’s true that he gets more space then the other guy. I’m talking about the wise, kindly and super-smart computer who goes by the name of “Sigfrid von Shrink.”
Happens I know that there were groups of readers who paid special attention to Siggy because I know that a couple of them, one around MIT in Massachusetts and the other in England, tried to build working models of Sigfrid for themselves.
(Actually that’s not hard. I believe both groups were inspired by a math-teaching program that I had seen in operation in, if I remember correctly, North Carolina and written something about at the time. These pseudo-Sigfrids were not really at all intelligent, but they could carry on a conversation, and if you looked at a transcript of it it looked pretty much like a real psychologist and couch session.)
Anyway, for reasons connected with the movie business, I’d like to know if any old Sigfrid-builders are still around. If you are, or if you know of someone who is, please drop me a line c/o this blog.