The Hollerith 1890 Census Tabulator.
The world’s first underground railway line opens in London.
Japan’s first written constitution came into effect (Meiji year 22).
Francis Galton inaugurates the scientific understanding of human fingerprints.
A fictionally embedded citation from Samuel Butler’s Erewhon:
“There is no security” — to quote his own words — “against the ultimate development of mechanical consciousness, in the fact of machines possessing little consciousness now. A mollusc has not much consciousness. Reflect upon the extraordinary advance which machines have made during the last few hundred years, and note how slowly the animal and vegetable kingdoms are advancing. The more highly organised machines are creatures not so much of yesterday, as of the last five minutes, so to speak, in comparison with past time. Assume for the sake of argument that conscious beings have existed for some twenty million years: see what strides machines have made in the last thousand! May not the world last twenty million years longer? If so, what will they not in the end become? Is it not safer to nip the mischief in the bud and to forbid them further progress?
“But who can say that the vapour engine has not a kind of consciousness? Where does consciousness begin, and where end? Who can draw the line? Who can draw any line? Is not everything interwoven with everything? Is not machinery linked with animal life in an infinite variety of ways? The shell of a hen’s egg is made of a delicate white ware and is a machine as much as an egg-cup is: the shell is a device for holding the egg, as much as the egg-cup for holding the shell: both are phases of the same function; the hen makes the shell in her inside, but it is pure pottery. She makes her nest outside of herself for convenience’ sake, but the nest is not more of a machine than the egg-shell is. A ‘machine’ is only a ‘device.'”
The concluding exhortation from the 3D Additivist Manifesto:
Life exists only in action. There is no innovation that has not an aggressive character. We implore you – radicals, revolutionaries, activists, Additivists – to distil your distemper into texts, templates, blueprints, glitches, forms, algorithms, and components. Creation must be a violent assault on the forces of matter, to extrude its shape and extract its raw potential. Having spilled from fissures fracked in Earth’s deepest wells The Beyond now begs us to be moulded to its will, and we shall drink every drop as entropic expenditure, and reify every accursed dream through algorithmic excess. For only Additivism can accelerate us to an aftermath whence all matter has mutated into the clarity of plastic.
(Future Mutation cited.)
Natasha Dow Schüll in the Casino (p.217):
The gambling industry invests a great deal of resources and creative energy into the project of helping gamblers to ‘lose’ themselves — experientially and financially. Slot designers’ goal is to build machines that can extract maximum ‘revenue per available customer’, or revpac, and of this all-consuming objective they talk freely and explicitly among themselves — on conference panels, in journals, and in the aisles and meeting lounges of exposition floors. How to get people to gamble longer, faster, and more intensively? How to turn casual players into repeat players? How, in other words, to design the zone?