Casting spells from the 18th-century – not as far from reality as you’d think!

If I

Maybe one day, whistling sailors really will send wind to sails that luff in the duldrums of flat seas. Perhaps, Zen masters will teach us how to draw energy from the skies. Someday, there may be healers who can speak words softly into the ears of those suffering (cast a spell, as it were) and relieve their pain . . .

100 years ago, doing that would have bought me a date with a hangman or a burning stake. I would have been tried as a witch and killed for it. Today, doing that makes me a good employee

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