David Gelernter goes on about “machine beauty,” but these days the term mostly exists for me only in the most abstract sense, in the elegance of Unix file descriptors, ML polymorphism, and (credit where it’s due) Windows IO completion ports: not things given over to aesthetic visualization, or even easy explanation. But occasionally there’s something like the Curta, which is one of the few things that seems to justify the retro analog fetish. There’s a Flash simulator, but it’s just not the same.

The Merzcar lives. (Why not the Merzcedes?) It’s purely conceptual, but justified in that I really am curious to see what it would be like to drive around in an old Mercedes uncontrollably blasting high-pitched noise at top volume…for about two minutes.