Brain Wave (SF master series) by Poul Anderson

By Poul Anderson

A transcendent examine the prospective results of improved intelligence on our planet.

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The slamming of the door was loud and empty as she drove off. Corinth stood looking after the car till it was out of sight. Then he turned slowly and entered his building. CHAPTER 8 Supplies were running low—food for himself, feed and salt for the animals left to him. There was no electricity, and he didn't like to use fuel in the gasoline lamp he had found. Brock decided that he would have to go to town. "Stay here, Joe," he said. " The dog nodded, an uncannily human gesture. He was picking up English fast; Brock had a habit of talking to him and had lately begun a deliberate program of education.

Quite apart from those who've gone insane, and they're an important factor, there remains the necessity of not only having something to think with, but something to think about. You've taken millions—hundreds of millions—of people who've never had an original thought in their lives and suddenly thrown their brains into high gear. They start thinking—but what basis have they got? They still retain the old superstitions, prejudices, hates and fears and greeds, and most of their new mental energy goes to elaborate rationalization of these.

He drove back at a reckless speed. On the way, he noticed a machine out in a hayfield: a big enigmatic thing of flashing arms, doing the whole job with a single bored-looking man to guide it. They'd probably build a robot pilot as soon as they could get the materials. So what? He still had two hands. Further along, a patch of woods came down to the edge of the road. He thought he glimpsed something in there, a great gray shape which moved quietly back out of sight, but he couldn't be sure. His calm temperament reasserted itself as he neared the estate, and he settled down to figuring.

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