Re: This makes me so happy
@Phuq Witt - " I think you mean "posterity""
Yes, well spotted. Cheerfully withdrawn.
"(with the disclaimer that I've not actually read Going Postal*) I feel 'compelled' to point out that, everything I've read about 'The Clacks' (including the above quote) suggests that, far from being an original, genius, Pratchett invention, he's pretty much just copied the concept of the 'Guild of Signallers' from Keith Roberts "Pavane", published over thirty years earlier.
[*I've tried a couple of his books and they didn't do anything for me.]"
I would disagree with your assertion, as someone who didn't get Pratchett (and there's nothing wrong with that) and therefore didn't read much of his work, it may not have been apparent how much well researched satire (both recent and historical) and parody Pratchett put into his books. Such as the passage I included where he clearly understood enough about the workings of the net. There are so many references, parodies and pisstakes that I got a whole load of new jokes when re-reading them as an adult and still probably missed hundreds (much like The Simpsons).
He may well have taken up the idea from Roberts (I have no idea) but The Clacks became an integral part of the world in several of the later Discworld books (it was introduced before Going Postal) and certainly took on a life of its own but it was never the plot of any books, just a plot device and a part of the evolving environment.
Side point - Even if you didn't like his books, I would suggest that you might find love for him in his fight for rights such as the right of people in terminal illness to die and defending atheism/humanism*
*I always thought it was funny that he was knighted despite having displaying a dislike for Monarchy in much of his books.