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March 13, 2015
Posted at 12:03 am
 

A.I. - Chapters 45-46

A lot of readers have e-mailed me with suggestions of what Spook might do to let Jack easily surmount the peril he's facing. There seems to be a fairly broad feeling that Spook is all but omnipotent because of his domination of the electronic world.
That attitude kind of bespeaks our contemporary world-view. Back when I was a kid electronics was a virtually non-existent discipline. There were telephones (all analog), there was radio, TV was just coming into commercial use (with little tiny screens, so you either had to sit real close or buy one of the big magnifying glasses that stood on a stand in front of your new black-and-white TV and gave you a clear picture only if you were looking through it just about dead on), and that was about it for publicly consumed electronics. These days, of course, there are electronic doo-dads all over the place, and we've become heavily dependent on them.
But the reality remains that, as important as they are, electronics remain far short of the totality of human existence. Spook can do a lot; perhaps in the foreseeable future he and his kin will be able to do yet more, overcoming their lack of corporeality by use of robotic servo-mechanisms and the like. But this story doesn't deal with such a possible future, the time frame is pretty much contemporary. So Spook's ability to protect Jack, Lisa and little Johnny is limited; he can help, but somebody else, someone with a physical body, has to do the actual job. That's what's going on at this point in my story.