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"[Science fiction is ] That branch of literature which is concerned with the impact of scientific advance upon human beings."
- Isaac Asimov

Membrane  
  A listening device.  

She was somewhere behind me, near the closet door. The unit 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 type of 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...
Technovelgy from We, by Yevgeny Zamyatin.
Published by Not Known in 1922
Additional resources -

Compare to the telescreen from George Orwell's 1984.

Compare also to this stele found in ancient Egypt!


(Egyptian stele with ears, dedicated by Amenemope
to the sky-goddess Hathor “who listens to prayers”.
From Thebes, c.1100 BC
)

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from We
  More Ideas and Technology by Yevgeny Zamyatin
  Tech news articles related to We
  Tech news articles related to works by Yevgeny Zamyatin

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