Magic as advanced technology

Beck Laxton blaxton at
Wed Sep 15 18:06:35 EDT 2004

Oh dear, now I've put a toe in the water I suddenly want to dive right in! 

And I was embarrassed to see just how *very* long my first post looked in
the digest, too. 

But hey... Allison Marles said:

> This reminds me of a great quote from I-know-not-where,
> "Any technology sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from magic".
[...] So if someone figured out how and didn't tell
> anyone, but presented it without explanation, is it magic or science ?
> what's the difference really ?  Is magic only "real" if it's a human
> being achieving something unaided and with some non-physical ability ?

Now, doesn't DWJ illustrate this very nicely in 'Power of Three'? All three
races have things they can do they take for granted that look like magic to
the other two. The scene I'm thinking of is when everyone's in [oh bugger
what is the name of the human boy character?]'s kitchen. 

(Do you guys say 'obDWJ' when you say things like that? What are the o and
the b for, please?)

It reminds me, circuitously, of something I saw recently saying that people
with disabled social skills, such as autistics, regard the degree of
perceptiveness that other people show in normal conversations as something
akin to magical. This makes me wonder whether it wouldn't be feasible for
some people to have extra sensitivity at the other end of the spectrum -


Beck Laxton
London and Cambridge
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