Now the police dreams that one look at the gigantic map on the office wall should suffice at any given moment to establish who is related to whom and in what degree of intimacy; and, theoretically, this dream is not unrealizable although its technical execution is bound to be somewhat difficult. If this map really did exist, not even memory would stand in the way of the totalitarian claim to domination; such a map might make it possible to obliterate people without any traces, as if they had never existed at all."The Origins of Totalitarianism"
Virtual reality, the computer science that brings artificial worlds to life, is in its infancy. Today, it allows adventure-seekers wearing stereoscopic headgear to fly on the backs of pre-historic birds, but in the future, with the use of stereo TV cameras and robots, it could allow surgeons to operate on patients who are one hundred miles away.