The network is reliable

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In the spring of that year, my travels brought me upon a previously undiscovered civilization. The people called themselves Ossians, and they lived in an isolated collection of villages in a remote part of South America.

Being remote as they were, their level of technology was understandably primitive. But I was surprised by the locals’ recent obsession with new forms of communication. It all started, they told me, when one of them discovered that by attaching a rope between two clay pots and stretching the rope taut, a voice uttered into one side could be heard on the other. (I neglected to tell them that even as a boy I had done this very thing with tin cans.)…

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