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The world is ever divided into the superstitious and the enlightened, and while the enlightened have shown the clear trend of being on the rise, it not always so. Ghosts and horoscopes and good-luck charms abound, and poindexterish explanations of why they are all poppycock merely tend to make one an un-adored party pooper—even though this is certainly the correct view.

There’s a tendency to consign all of pre-modernity to the superstitious (one might say “religious”) camp, but that really isn’t the case. Mathematicians and scientists have existed for the entirety of recorded history, which must be the case since language and writing technologies are products of the experimental mindset. The Enlightenment was a turning point, as rationality was increasingly given a central place in the arrangement of social affairs, and even if irreligious skeptics were (and are) outnumbered, you could still always count on finding someone in the vicinity willing to scoff at the hocus-pocus of superstition.

An Athenæum reviewer called it "one of the best toy books we have seen." the Virginia Historical Society felt that Spectropia "must have delighted its young audience when it was first published." Additionally it was called "a clever book" by a reviewer of Chemical news, noting its exemplary use of the afterimagephenomena. 

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