dear xkcd guy, how many telepaths would you need to transmit 4k video at 60fps

reported in Chevreul's _De la baguette divinatoire_ (1854): a chair that writes novels. A chair that writes novels, a chair... that writes novels. "JUANITA, a Novel, by a Chair, followed by a Proverb and some Select Pieces of the same Author... The literary productions of the Chair are merely the preface of a mystic book, which it will unroll, page by page, before the dazzled eyes of the believers..."

these are all from the following paper:

Enns, Anthony. “The Undead Author: Spiritualism, Technology and Authorship.” The Ashgate Research Companion to Nineteenth-Century Spiritualism and the Occult, edited by Tatiana Kontou, Routledge, 2016.

(which is also the source of the translation)

in the past there have been times when I feel like I've been blowing smoke up people's asses when I insist on the surprisingly long (pre-Internet, pre-digital computer) history of hype cycles around automatically-produced creative writing, but no longer, because now I know that someone in 1854 said that a book written by piece of furniture will DAZZLE YOU

@aparrish I wonder if this happens with all new technology.

I'll bet that RIGHT NOW somebody out there thinks their Amazon Echo is channeling a dead relative.

Or perhaps there is someone, somewhere who believes that the Google Deep Mind is an actual mind, stolen from a spirit.

@apLundell I guarantee that there are many many people who believe both of those things

@aparrish also in this series: a table that publishes accounting textbooks, an autobiographical armoire, and a sideboard which cooks up dubious Wikipedia articles

I'm liking this idea that Everything Has Opinions

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