Wikipedia: A Rube Goldberg machine is a deliberately over engineered machine that performs a very simple task in a very complex fashion, usually including a chain reaction.

The expression is named after American cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg. Since then, the expression has expanded to denote any form of overly confusing or complicated system.

Here’s a recent example, a 2010 music video by rock band OK Go entitled This Too Shall Pass

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One thought on “What is a Rube Goldberg machine?

  1. What a wonderful, ingenious, mesmerizing, awe inspiring, useless installation. I love it. I love it. I love it.