"Looking back through history, I see no evidence for humanity making the best of things, and I think it's a pretty safe bet that's an on-going trend."
This is really a remarkable idea for the eighteenth century. It is also a very effective satire on so-called scientific literature of the time, which was not always obviously the result of rational thinking.
Compare to the novel-writing machine from 1984 (Nineteen Eighty-Four) (1948) by George Orwell, the rthetorizer from The Penultimate Truth (1964) by Philip K. Dick, the electronic bard from The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age (1965) and the verse transcriber from Studio 5, The Stars (1971) by J.G. Ballard.
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