By the late 1960s, technologists were already inventing the future we now inhabit. Arthur C. Clarke peered into the future and saw a wired world where information and communication would be immediate and borderless. Marshall McLuhan foresaw the rough outlines of what we now call “social media.” And others predicted that email and ecommerce were on the not-so-distant horizon. It should perhaps then come as no surprise that, just a few years later, The Artificial Language Laboratory at Michigan State developed a way for the computer to start doing some everyday commerce — like ordering pizza.
In 1974 Donald Sherman, whose speech was limited by a neurological disorder called Moebius Syndrome, used a new-fangled device designed by John Eulenberg to dial up a pizzeria. The first call went to Dominos, which hung up. They were apparently too busy becoming a behemoth. Mercifully, a humane pizzeria — Mr. Mike’s — took the call, and history was made. It all plays out above, and we hope that Mr. Mike’s is still thriving all these years later….