*When the Sleeper Wakes*

Reading this H.G. Wells novel (free on Kindle), I kept on thinking of Robin Hanson in the lead role, which I suppose means I enjoyed it.  The basic premise is that a man wakes up after a two-hundred year coma, and because of compound interest he owns half the earth.  He is also feared and worshiped, and over the previous two hundred years more than a few people have tried to speak and rule on his behalf.

The story predicts that future hypnosis techniques will allow everyone to calculate math problems and play chess like a savant, “relieved from the wanderings of imagination and emotion.”  Years of study will be replaced by a “few weeks of trances.”  Memories will be grafted, but not desires.  There will be silk-like threads running through all banknotes and they will offer the blurred image of a temple and promise miracles, sound familiar?

I consider Wells to be an underrated author, especially in some of the “minor” works.  There is all of Wells for $3.00 here.


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