I read this story in the 1990's or possibly the late 1980's, but I believe it was older than that, probably 1960's or possibly 1950's or 1970's. I do not remember if I read it in Swedish (my native language) or English, and I cannot say if it was originally written in either of those languages, or if had been translated.

In the story, someone makes his case to an assembly of some sort, e.g. a committee, a court or a board of directors, or something along those lines. During the story, it is made clear that people have become so dependant on technology that they've forgotten how to perform even the simplest tasks. The members of the assembly are astonished or even appalled when the man can do single digit addition in his head. I believe the case he was trying to make was that humans need to regain the knowledge lost. I don't remember if he was asking for funds for a project to improve people's knowledge, or if he was just trying to show that things like simple arithmetic can be done without the use of technology. If I remember correctly, an explanation was given about how things like pocket calculators can be manufactured although no one knows how they work, but I don't remember what the explanation was. I don't remember how the story ended.

  • 2
    "The Feeling of Power", Isaac Asimov Sep 18, 2022 at 7:54
  • @RossPresser I found that one here, and I'm fairly certain it's the one. Add it as an answer, and I shall accept. Sep 18, 2022 at 8:00
  • I agree with the dup close. Sep 18, 2022 at 8:17


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