Electricity is the most adaptable, efficient, and economical agent for performing the ordinary work of the twentieth century. It is the only agent for performing extraordinary work, the complex processes of the most advanced technologies."" Thus Mann summarizes his short (some 168 pages), rapid-fire dissertation on the marvelous, almost magical, strides of the last few decades in solid-state physics, games theory, and practical applications of electric energy. The average reader who has not been exposed to very much modern physics will gape with wonder at Mann's declaration that solid function blocks, formations of energy-bearing crystals, ""bear a startling resemblance to biological systems...it now seems possible to devise electronic imitations of natural systems"". He passionately that such claims are no longer in the province of science fiction, but are already in ""the state of the art"".