The book is about the effect of the development of machines and automation on human society. When I was reading it I did think I should really read it more slowly to really absorb the content. However, since I was also writing perl scripts to extract data from xml files I didn't really have time. So I really misunderstood the whole point of the book, since it is partly about how automation could be used to free us from drudgery.
What the scientific spirit has actually done has to be
exercise the imagination in finer ways
than the autistic wish --
the wish of the infant possessed of illusions
of power and dominance -- was able to