Pelican read of the week: Inventing the Future – Dennis Gabor

Inventing the Future

I recently stumbled on a selection of Pelican books in a charity shop and have a new obsession. Eek.

I have already been to a local second hand book shop and trawled the shelves for more (thanks Gosford Books). The cover designs and content of the ones I have are fantastic.

Today I am reading ‘Inventing the Future’ by Dennis Gabor. I am finding it difficult to stop turning the pages, but when drawn away I was interested to find out about the writer. Apparently Gabor was an electrical engineer who invented holography. He was also a gifted physicist and discussed cybernetics. And, lived just up the road from Coventry, in Rugby, for a short while. Wow.


Phase Work Balance


TEXT: They were trying to achieve a phase work balance across all human resources, in order to maximise capability. Bay was a rogue. He knew that a balance wasn’t required for greatness. All it achieved was a standard, a measurable, steady level of work. But no one knew why the spark appeared, why connectivity happened. It was still a mystery of electricity, of thought. Bay declined the invite, avoided meetings, didn’t fill out the staff surveys, refused to wear uniform and missed the employee engagement sessions. For some reason, they hadn’t given him the sack. Bay couldn’t really understand why they kept him on. Maybe they just needed a circuit breaker in order to keep things exciting. It gave them something to talk about, he supposed.




Doctor Greig chewed on his bic biro. His teeth marks peppered the end of the pen with white indentations, making the once translucent plastic mottled. As he stared down at the evidence, he shook his head. The doctor had seen this so many times before. A discovery that would shock society to the core. But as with all scientific experiments, his work was closely monitored by the government, and the note book would be locked away. Probably along with all of the scientists who had made the discovery before him. Grieg took the pen from his dry mouth, and wrote on the blue lined book ‘Electricity, with it’s ever increasing presence in our habitat, has started to numb the neurotransmitters in our brains. The noise is constant, and our brains are too tired to shout over the static.’