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"In 1977, it took about eight months for a slightly faster more refined mechanism to put punk in the window of Holt Renfrew. It's gotten faster ever since."
- William Gibson

The Book of the Machine  
  The only book needed for life in the vast Machine.  

Vashti had all the modern conveniences, but still needed a reference book. Just one book.

Then she switched off her correspondents, for it was time to deliver her lecture on Australian music. The clumsy system of public gatherings had been long since abandoned; neither Vashti nor her audience stirred from their rooms. Seated in her armchair she spoke, while they in their armchairs heard her, fairly well, and saw her, fairly well.
Technovelgy from The Machine Stops, by E.M. Forster.
Published by Oxford and Cambridge Review in 1909
Additional resources -

Human beings still felt the value of ritual, even in the age of advanced machinery:

Sitting up in the bed, she took it reverently in her hands. She glanced round the glowing room as if some one might be watching her. Then, half ashamed, half joyful, she murmured 'O Machine! O Machine!' and raised the volume to her lips. Thrice she kissed it, thrice inclined her head, thrice she felt the delirium of acquiescence.

There was no need to worry if it temporarily left your hands or your table:

The man in front dropped his Book - no great matter, but it disquieted them all. In the rooms, if the Book was dropped, the floor raised it mechanically, but the gangway to the air-ship was not so prepared, and the sacred volume lay motionless.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Machine Stops
  More Ideas and Technology by E.M. Forster
  Tech news articles related to The Machine Stops
  Tech news articles related to works by E.M. Forster

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