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

Mall (Great City Bazaar)  
  An aggregation of shops under one roof.  

In this famous 19th century utopian novel, aristocrat John West suffers from insomnia. He consults a memsmerist (hypnotist) and sleeps until the year 2000. He finds many wonders there, among them a vast number of shops all under one roof.

"Meanwhile, without being in the smallest degree checked by the clamor against it, the absorption of business by ever larger monopolies continued. In the United States there was not, after the beginning of the last quarter of the century, any opportunity whatever for individual enterprise in any important field of industry, unless backed by a great capital. During the last decade of the century, such small businesses as still remained were fast-failing survivals of a past epoch, or mere parasites on the great corporations, or else existed in fields too small to attract the great capitalists. Small businesses, as far as they still remained, were reduced to the condition of rats and mice, living in holes and corners, and counting on evading notice for the enjoyment of existence. The railroads had gone on combining till a few great syndicates controlled every rail in the land. In manufactories, every important staple was controlled by a syndicate. These syndicates, pools, trusts, or whatever their name, fixed prices and crushed all competition except when combinations as vast as themselves arose. Then a struggle, resulting in a still greater consolidation, ensued. The great city bazar crushed it country rivals with branch stores, and in the city itself absorbed its smaller rivals till the business of a whole quarter was concentrated under one roof, with a hundred former proprietors of shops serving as clerks. Having no business of his own to put his money in, the small capitalist, at the same time that he took service under the corporation, found no other investment for his money but its stocks and bonds, thus becoming doubly dependent upon it.
From Looking Backward, by Edward Bellamy.
Published by Not known in 1888
Additional resources -

This is an amazing prediction of the rise of stores like Walmart. A proposed Walmart (in California) was recently turned down for exactly the same economic causes cited in the above passage.

Thanks to the miracle of copyright laws, you can read this classic online - see Looking Backward. Thanks to Carl Anderson for pointing this one out.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Looking Backward
  More Ideas and Technology by Edward Bellamy
  Tech news articles related to Looking Backward
  Tech news articles related to works by Edward Bellamy

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