domingo, 29 de marzo de 2015

Wake up call

Magic, science. Both are actually the same. I'm writing this to help people understand that.

A first group of people consider magic to be product of pseudo Latin incantations, magic circles and mystical, complicated hand gestures. The most known kind of wizard in the western world answers to that archetype, from Disney's Sorcerer's Apprentice to Hogwarts, but if that were the case, then magic wasn't born/discover at least until the romans, and then only by they and the conquered peoples. However, there's different magic traditions all around the world. The Irish had their druids, the American Indians and other tribal peoples had their shamans, Chinese and Japanese got their own kinds of wizards too... So it should be clear to nowadays wizards that Latin was not the first, of course not the only way to harness magic. And just the same could be happening with the oldest known wizard lineage.

Now that we agreed that there are several ways to do magic, let's take a look at science. A lot of people has been indoctrinated in that, by saying certain words, performing certain gestures, following certain rituals, things happens. Sometimes they had added the "enough will/mana/mystical crap has to be invested" for it to work. The thing is that it's not like that at all. Of course they still believe it and they can do pretty good cases at it. I mean, it actually works, but they just don't understand well enough what they are doing. I mean, take the case of a light switch. A 2-year-old child knows that he can turn on the light by flipping the switch. To him, that's magic, his method works, and still he doesn't understand that when you flip the switch you are closing an electric circuit, that electrons were being pushed in the circuit by the electrical force and that when it closes they have a way to go, so they went, and when they pashed through the light bulb's philament the heat's dissipated by they're passing through the resistance makes it hot enough to become incandescent and that only because the bulb has no oxygen that philament doesn't burn off, et cetera.
Well, it's the same with all the people indoctrinated to believe that magic "works" a particular way and, of course, that it's something mystical.
Arthur C. Clarke said that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, but that was not new, the same thought had been proposed in 1942 by Leigh Brackett and in 1932 by Charles Fort. The advantage is knowledge. You don't need to know how powder works to be able to use a handgun or even to craft one if somebody tells you what to do, and that's the point. Somebody tells you how to get a particular effect, shows it, you try and get it, you believe that by doing A you get B and then two things happens. Either you're satisfied with that and a little experimentation on A, trying to get something similar to B, or you ask "Why?"

Exactly like science.
Why things fall?
Why lightning goes for tall targets before low ones, and metallic before non-metallic?
Why smoke is different depending on what you burn?
Why the light color is different depending on what is in the light bulb?

There are whys everywhere, and the scientific method is just a set of tools made to get an answer to whys unrelated to what the researcher wants to believe.

Until we all accept that, magic will be mostly a religion that actually works, but since the scientific method was broadly taught the technology (applied science) and science have advanced quicker and quicker, and when most wizards stop following the indoctrination they were taught and start using their ability to understand, then magic will likewise advance quicker and quicker, and just as with technology, the way to a whole magic-able humankind will be open.
Publicar un comentario