Feeling

Of Power By Asimov

What would happen if technology became so advanced that people did not need to
compute for themselves, and over time eventually forgot that there ever was a
time when they did? Isaac Asimov must have asked himself this question, and
wrote, the classic short story, "The Feeling of Power." He wrote this
to warn everyone not to rely solely on computers, and the dangers of
"forgetting" our mathematical skills. Since everyone has lost the
ability to do math in their heads, computers now run everything including the
war against Deneb. Aub has taught himself how to do math by studying how the
parts of antique computers work. This was just a hobby for Aub, but to Jehan

Shuman, a profound programmer, it is a way to regain control of mathematics. As
soon as Jehan discovered Aub's talent, he quickly set up a meeting with General

Weider and Aub. When the General was first introduced to Aub's ability to
multiply numbers by hand he was skeptical. He thought it was possible that Aub
had simply memorized a few calculations, so he tried to trick him; but Aub
really had mastered the process of multiplication on paper. General Weider and

Aub were not thinking about using Aub's talent for the same purposes. Aub was
not looking at the "big picture" like the General was. Aub simply
thought they could teach mankind how to calculate in their head and on paper,
while also reducing the reliability on computers. On the other hand, General

Weider was thinking about how useful this new knowledge could be to help win the
war against Deneb. He also thought this new way of calculation could save money,
regain control, and offer unlimited possibilities for man. Aub could not stand
the fact that his discovery could lead to missiles being flown by men. This
would only lead to their ultimate death, and the destruction of many others. Aub
had never imagined his knowledge could have such a great effect on the war, and
this was the total opposite effect he had desired. He thought his ideas would
open up new job opportunities for people, instead of computers doing all the
work. Aub felt that he could not live with himself knowing he contributed to the
death of others, so he sadly decided to commit suicide. The death of this
incredible genius and caring sole was a tragedy. Aub only wanted to help
mankind, not create another way to harm them. If General Weider had not been so
set on using Aub's talents for the war against Deneb, maybe Aub could have lived
to see all of mankind learn "graphitics." It seems as though, whenever
people come up with new ideas and inventions, they always end up being
manipulated for an evil cause, instead of for the well being of everyone.