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  1. Senior Member
    Interested in Language
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      • Native Language:
      • Czech
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      • Czech Republic
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      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2014
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    I would like to ask if the background means knowledge/education and if wired means wired to electricity.

    “Oh yes. All kinds of machines have been built. Even Thomas Edison tried his hand at one. But of course he never completed it. He had not the background, for one thing ... In any case, these machines have had one element in common. They have proceeded upon the principle of delicacy. The men who built them apparently believed that sensitivity of mechanism was the most important thing. So they used delicately balanced scales, or needles. Or they created, in a room where all other conditions were controlled, a diaphragmed pressure chamber, wired to reveal whether there was any sentient control able to alter pressures on either side of their instrument. And so on. Hundreds of such experiments must have been made. I surveyed them all years ago. All were failures. Inevitably, because they proceeded on the wrong basis. Radio itself, for example, would have failed as an important medium of communication had it been compelled to rely on nothing but the old-fashioned crystals. It was the vacuum tube, or valve, that opened the way . . .”

    William Sloane, Edge of Running Water, 1939.

    Thanks a lot.
    Not a Teacher. A guy who is fond of old horror and weird literature and who is interested in English language.

  2. jutfrank's Avatar
    VIP Member
    English Teacher
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      • English
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      • England
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      • England

    • Join Date: Mar 2014
    • Posts: 10,650

    Re: Background

    1) Yes.

    2) wired means something like 'connected to a measuring device' able to detect pressure difference.

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