(From “Absinthe Heroes: The Steampunk Rock Opera”.)
ANTIKYTHERA (enters): You’re no patriot, Mayor.
MAYOR: I owe my allegiance, not to England, but to the Human Race.
ANTIKYTHERA: You want to better its lot?
MAYOR: I want to increase human knowledge and understanding.
ANTIKYTHERA: Because it will save us?
MAYOR: Because it will presumably drive us mad and, as a race, we have not done well with sanity. We know too much to have stayed in caves or trees – but much too little to destroy ourselves properly. Why must we go about it in such a slow, haphazard fashion? It is positively slothful!
ANTIKYTHERA: But our knowledge advances every day, and we get closer and closer to a better world.
MAYOR: And a better time. A time of ceaseless wonder.
CHAS (entering) Ceaseless wonder!
ANTIKYTHERA: Great happiness!
MAYOR: Logic and reason!
CHAS: I have devoted my life to those things..
ANTIKYTHERA: It is the most rewarding life imaginable.
CHAS: If one doesn’t mind being a servant of numbers.
MAYOR: Beg pardon?
CHAS: For every great truth we discover, we discover ten million falsehoods or lies or pieces of vision that we truly do not understand or use well. This is not a bad thing; great truths may have that kind of value. But if I discover a thousand things, have I moved the world? Or have I simply been a few steps along the way to that ten-millionth fragment of inspiration?
ANTIKYTHERA: And your love of science?
CHAS: Is my longing for magic.