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Chapter 8 Devices are Service Avatars - Pg. 99

Chapter 8 Devices are service avatars Just as water, gas, and electricity are brought into our houses from far off to satisfy our need in response to a minimal effort, so we shall be supplied with visual or auditory images, which will appear and disappear at a simple movement of the hand, hardly more than a sign. Paul Valery, La conquête de l'Ubiquité, 1928 (quoted in Benjamin, 1936) What is money? Is it the paper in your pocket? Is it a signed check? Is it an entry in a spreadsheet? Is it an encrypted packet transmitted by a credit card process- ing terminal to a cascade of electronic devices, leading to the subtraction of a number from one entry in a database and the addition of a number to an entry in a database elsewhere?