As several people on reddit have pointed out, 1999 was post-Palm Pilot and the earliest Blackberrys, so Gerrold—also, incidentally, the writer of the classic Star Trek episode “The Trouble With Tribbles”—wasn’t pulling these guesses out of nowhere, exactly. That being said, it’s hard to deny the prophetic punch of that last line, with its harbinger of a world in which we’re all just a few button presses—and the corresponding buzzes, beeps, and calm-piercing chirps—away from each other and our stupid thoughts, feelings, and opinions at any given moment.