The First of April, MDCCCLI

•Regularly Posed Queries•



(R. P. Q.s)

Q. What exactly is the Museion?

A. The Museion is a new way of communicating, resembling a fluid, continually changing magazine in which rays of light take the place of paper. Alternatively, one may view it as a Forum in which the participants need not be physically present in the same place at the same time. The Museion chamber that forms the centrepiece of the Great Muse Exhibition here in Hyde Park is linked to similar devices housed at Academies of the Muses in various parts of the world. Visitors to the Crystal Palace may communicate at will with young people at those institutions.

Q. How is this remarkable effect achieved?

A. The Museion employs three remarkable technologies, viz.:-

  • Kinotropic projection, which enables images to be created from beams of light thrown onto a screen or a pane of frosted glass;
  • Telegraphic communication over long distances, needed to link the various sites together;
  • Those two elements being orchestrated by Analytical Engines, vastly more-powerful descendants of the prototype that Prof. Babbage constructed a decade ago, thereby bringing about unheralded revolutions in Commerce, Manufacture, Scientific Knowlege and now Culture.

The result is a medium of communication that is neither passive nor active, but mutually responsive; or, in the terminology that we favour, inter-reactive.

Q. What does “Awaiting Moderation” mean?

A. Although the Analytical Engine that powers the Museion has more than sufficient gear-footage to control its kinotropic images, the decision of which images to display still requires a modicum of human judgement. The administrators strive to make such decisions as promptly as possible, but, as in other areas of endeavour, delays do occur from time to time. The “Awaiting Moderation” message signals that your contribution to the Museion has assumed its proper place in the queue and will be attended to in due course.

Q. What are the Academies of the Muses to which you refer, and where are they situated?

A. That question is best answered in the Wayfarer’s Vademecum to the Musiverse (which see).

Q. Which way to the egress?

A. Those seeking a way out of the Museion may find one here.