The theory of Morphic Resonance predicts that once one author has imagined a device for which the circuit schematic is as effective as your actual hardware wire-and-capacitors circuit, it becomes easier for other authors to invent devices of their own. Especially when the resonance is enhanced by reckless and hubristic experiments bordering on scientific malpractice with the Morphogenic Field Flux Intensifier, such as anyone might commit after a few pints of the Winterstipple Scrumpy with Nightshade for Vitamin C. Sure enough, here are Pratchett and Baxter with the Stepper:
To be all scholarly with the attributions and precedents, Shaw was not first either and Ground Zero Man was only possible because John W. Campbell Jr. had earlier dreamed up the Symbolically Functioning Hieronymus Machine.
It is not known how Campbell felt about the cargo cults springing up across Melanesia in the wake of WWII troop movements... he might have dismissed them as superstitions of ignorant magical-thinking tribes, or recognised that a bamboo scaffolding can channel eloptic energy and become a symbolic machine as fit for purpose as a physical flight tower. Libertarian, after all.
Results not guaranteed for on-screen versionscircuit schematics and assembly instructions for the Morphogenic Field Flux Intensifier are available in the Riddled Gifte Shoppe, in illuminated and non-illuminated formats. They are printed in conductive ink and therefore work in their own right without the need for actual construction. The price may seem high but remember that when purchasers can memorise and visualise the diagram, they no longer need it and can on-sell it to some
Sadly, wearing a tattoo of a transistor ladder filter on one's arm does not turn one into a Moog Synthesiser. Still it was worth a try. If this cycle of morphic facilitation continues, eventually I will be able to have a tattoo of the circuit diagram for a tattooing machine and it will be able to copy itself onto other people's skin.**
Also it will be possible to draw a flow chart on a screen, and that will be equivalent to writing an actual computer program.
* Bonus Ground Zero.
** All my tattoos are in invisible ink, so they will only show up (briefly) in the crematorium.