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"The whole problem of energy sources is going to be solved by little solutions, not by some big new piece of technology that does everything. We got into this crisis by believing that we had one big piece of technology that would do everything (oil)."
- Gregory Benford

Thought-receptor Vote-counting Machine  
  That's one way to do a plebiscite.  

Now they were hysterical with fear of the unknown. Even as Mich'l Ares adjusted the parabolic antenna of the thought-receptor vote-counting machine, he knew what the verdict would be. In a moment the vote was flashed on a screen on the ceiling: 421 in favor of the Exodus and 2,733,485 against it. There was an eery cheer from the people, and they began to dissolve like smoke. Mollon rose, bowed politely and smilingly, and walked out to where his magnetic car awaited him.
From If The Sun Died, by R.F. Starzl.
Published by Astounding Stories in 1931
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