"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."
Wouldn't it be great to "shine a light" into an enclosed space, and see everything inside without opening it?
Compare to the eavesdropping ray from Brigands of the Moon (1930) by Ray Cummings and the subphoton search ray from The Shining One (1937) by Nat Schachner. See also this real-life device in LEXID Sees Through Walls To Next Apartment.
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