The nature of magic (& some raw theology)

Nat Case ncase at
Fri Jan 12 10:48:45 EST 2001

>On Mon, 8 Jan 2001 kylie.preisig at wrote:
>>  Yes!  I've been meaning to post saying that I think my magic would
>>  by like programming.  And every programmer has their own style.
>I find the thought of anybody doing magic the way I do computer
>programming rather worrying. My usual technique is to write something
>that I think will work, then attempt to run it and fix the bugs as and
>when they appear. Imagine the potential consequences of doing magic
>that way...

Which is what worries a lot of folks about bioengineering. Computer 
software  tends towards entropic crashes, unless you build in 
virus-like qualities. Computers don't have deep-coded desire to 

The discussion reminded me of the varieties of magic in Diane Duane's 
WIZARDRY series...really most of her work, as the cat-series is set 
in the same universe-setup. I thought she did a more elegant job than 
most at developing radically different styles of magic based in the 
biolgical/social context of the species in question. And I think that 
the way that led into ecumenical religious overtones in the third 
book were interesting...the commonalities of wizardry across species 
implies a common base ("He is the sun god, he is the one god, Ra Ra 
Ra!"). This as opposed to DWJ's theological base, which strikes me as 
a lot more pantheistic (or Phillip Pullman's, which is Seriously 
pantheistic, to the point of making the Unideity a pretender...).
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