Santa Claus machine

Santa Claus Machine

Santa Claus machine

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A Santa Claus Machine, named after the folkloric Santa Claus, is a hypothetical machine that is capable of creating any required object or structure out of any given material. It is most often referenced by futurist and science fiction writers when discussing hypothetical projects of enormous scale, such as a Dyson sphere. These types of future constructions would be too large for many civilizations to build directly, so they would need a series of machines to intelligently build the machine with little or no direct control.


The term was coined by Theodore Taylor in 1978:

<blockquote>It’s possible to imagine a machine that could scoop up material – rocks from the Moon or rocks from asteroids – process them inside and produce just about any product: washing machines or teacups or automobiles or starships. Once such a machine exists it could gather sunlight and materials that it’s sitting on, and produce on call whatever product anybody wants to name, as long as somebody knows how to make it and those instructions can be given to the machine. I think the name Santa Claus Machine for such a device is appropriate.


The Santa Claus Machine requires some great advances in technology to be possible, including the ability to take any collection of...
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