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"I believe in limited government, and the 20th century has been the century of government. The data is uniform. The government has failed at every single task it has set out to do, with the exception of waging war."
- Bart Kosko

Membrane  
  A listening device.  

She was somewhere behind me, near the closet door. The unif was rustling, falling. I was listening, all listening. I remembered - no, it glistened in my mind for one hundredth of a second - I once had to calculate the curve of a new typeof street membrane. (These membranes are handsomely decorated and are placed over all the avenues, registering all street conversations for the Bureau of Guardians.) I remembered a rosy, concave trembling membrane, a strange being consisting of one organ only, an ear...
From We, by Yevgeny Zamyatin.
Published by Not Known in 1922
Additional resources -

Compare to the telescreen from George Orwell's 1984.

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