The idea that the Oracle Machine would poll people’s opinions and choices, didn’t come from Google or Facebook ad-tracking – because it was first jotted down in about 2003, before those sites existed or became what they are today. Instead, the inspiration was this 1964 classic – ‘Counterfeit World’, by Dan Galouye.
In that book, to escape incessant pollsters pestering everyone, scientists create an artificial simulacrum world, complete with ‘citizens’ who start to believe they are real. Truly great mind-stretching Sci-Fi reading.

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