A know-all computer in Kurt Vonnegut's book Galapagos.
Not only could Mandarax traffic in one hundred times more languages than {its predecessor}and correctly diagnose more diseases than the majority of physicians of that time. It could also name on command important events which happened in any given year. If you punched out on its back '1802', for example, the year of Charles Darwin's birth, Mandarax would tell you that Alexandre Dumas and Victor Hugo were also born then, and that Beethoven completed his Second Symphony ... "Mandarax knew the rules, too, for two hundred games, and could recite the basic principles laid down by masters for fifty different arts and crafts. It could moreover recall on demand any one of twenty thousand popular quotations from literature.
Unfortunately when the last survivors of the human race are stranded on a desert island Mandarax's vast knowledge proves largely useless.

Like Adams's Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy or the mysterious libraries of Eco and Borges, Vonnegut's creation playfully demonstrates both the pros and cons of seeing in such databases an answer to all our problems.

This all sounds very familiar...

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