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

Quadraturin  
  Substance that creates more space when applied to walls, floors and ceilings.  

In his fanciful story, Krzhizhanowsky provides a fanciful answer to the problem faced by Soviet citizens like Sutulin, who have been assigned strict housing limits: eighty-six square feet per apartment.

So then: we have discovered - this is a secret now - an agent for biggerizing rooms. Well, won't you try it?"

The stranger's hand popped out of the briefcase and proffered Sutulin a narrow dark tube, not unlike a tube of paint, with a tightly screwed cap and a leaden seal. Sutulin fidgeted bewilderedly with the slippery tube and, though it was nearly dark in the room, made out on the label the clearly printed word: Quadraturin...

On closer inspection it turned out that this zinc packet was tightly fitted - as is often done by the makers of patented agents - with a thin transparent paper whose ends were expertly glued together. Sutulin removed the paper sheath from the Quadraturin, unfurled the rolled-up text, which showed through the paper's transparent gloss, and read:

DIRECTIONS
Dissolve 1 teaspoon of the Quadraturin essence in 1 cup of water. Wet a piece of cotton wool or simply a clean rag with the solution; apply this to those of the room's internal walls designated for proliferspansion. This mixture leaves no stains, will not damage wallpaper, and even contributes - incidentally - to the extermination of bedbugs.

From Quadraturin, by Sigizmund Krzhizhanowsky.
Published by Not Known in 1925
Additional resources -

Sutilin carelessly spills the concentrated Quadraturin onto the floor of his room, which grows larger and larger.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Quadraturin
  More Ideas and Technology by Sigizmund Krzhizhanowsky
  Tech news articles related to Quadraturin
  Tech news articles related to works by Sigizmund Krzhizhanowsky

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  - Brine Wells May Swallow Towns

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