When we think of machines, we tend to see PCs and GPSs and other inventions with complex acronyms that run through, and occasionally actually run, our daily lives.
As was touched on at the beginning of the chapter, however, whatever the current technology offers is considered state of the art. That is, the idea of a machine-run world isn’t super new.
As an example, think of the abacus. A collection of movable beads on parallel strings, the Chinese abacus was the first known device made specifically for counting. It was a precursor to the calculator, which we could call a machine. Lowering the innovative abacus to “precursor” status both belittles its impact, then, as well as its foundation for the construction of modern machines. ...