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"...a market economy is essentially a genetic algorithm for solving resource allocation problems..."
- Charles Stross

Diaspar Memory  
  The city's memory could store works of art, and reproduce them upon request.  

It was the custom of the city's artists - and everyone in Diaspar was an artist at some time or another - to display their current production along side of the moving ways, so that the passers-by could admire their work. In this manner, it was usually only a few days before the entire population had critically examined any noteworthy creation, and also expressed views upon it. The resulting verdict, recorded automatically by opinion-sampling devices which no one had ever been able to suborn or deceive - and there had been enough attempts - decided the fate of the masterpiece. If there was a sufficiently affirmative vote, its matrix would go into the memory of the city so that anyone who wished, at any future date, could possess a reproduction indistinguishable from the original.
From The City and the Stars, by Arthur C. Clarke.
Published by Unknown in 1956
Additional resources -

I note in passing that Clarke sees no future for intellectual property law in Diaspar...

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