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What is a "goldberg machine"?

A goldberg machine is complex series of chain reactions set up to perform one simple task, usually resulting in amusing outcomes. For example, to turn on a light, one may push a ball which knocks over a set of domino blocks, that last of which falls on a switch causing a projectile to fire at the switch, causing the light to turn on. Phew that was tiring - but isn't this a cool alternative to mundane option of standing up and flicking the switch with your finger?

Figure 1.1:

Fig1.1 came from: David's Medienkritik