Once upon a nearly-endless time, somewhere in the late 19th century, there was a mummified monkeys’ paw. It might ruin the tale to tell you that it was one of those machines of the Universe which grants “wishes”. (Too bad, if so.)
If you know enough wishing stories (ah, but we don’t read many of those anymore; I wonder who wished for that) – then you realize that a “wish” is, clearly, an expression of the malevolence of Existence.
Now, philosophers argue whether this is a symptom of the Universe itself being, in essence, malevolent, or if this is the Universe attempting to pour malevolence into particular places and spaces, so as not to make it omnipresent.
(If you’re wondering which one it is: do you think philosophers exist because the Universe LIKES us?)
A Wish, in order to be anything less than essentially sheer existential monstrosity, needs generosity, a generosity which surely requires sentience.
(Every Wish, and every Wish-Granter, requires sentience. Or so we must hope. Would wishes be parsed so horribly if they were the actions of some kind of cosmic coder, and if so, is there a way to have that coder removed and safely put on duty doing something less dangerous, like controlling the eletrical fences and security defenses around a park containing angry, resurrected dinosaurs?)
There’s much more to say, but someone just used the Other Monkey’s Paw.
And I really, REALLY wish they hadn’t.