Magic

Citizens of 1898 Europe acknowledge, but neither accept nor fully tolerate the presence of magic in their lives. They are vastly more comfortable with the operation of science, feeling it to be both more controllable and more beneficial. This is, in important ways, incorrect.

Unknown to the mass of citizens, science and magic operate in essentially the same manner. This is not a conspiracy; rather, most people are simply unable to understand this. What science (or, rather, the scientific expression of magic) has been able to do, which previous paradigms have been unable to do, is to collectivize and industrialize magic.

In essence, science is the Enlightenment offshoot of magic. Magic, as most people think of it, is the Romantic expression of magic. In many ways, marrying magic with the Enlightenment allowed it to grow and flourish much more rapidly than traditional magic. More example, science always operates through mediating focii, making magic much easier to execute. Also, science understands itself as an objective, rather than subjective force. This allows science to be taught in a more routinized manner than traditional magic, and radically enlarges the scope of cooperate between mages (scientists); rather than covens topping out around dozen mages, scientific collectives can effectively organize themselves into the hundreds. With such a gathering of mages, combined with the relatively standardized focii, science allowed vastly more efficient use of magic.

Moreover, the use of focii allowed much more obvious magic. European citizens, primed by the Industrial Revolution, will accept vastly more Vulgar effects from machines than they ever would from individuals. In large part, this is why they take science as more beneficial than magic; science can make itself known in ways that magic cannot (safely, at least).

Magic

Adventures on the Rue Morgue chewie