High Tech vs. the Orb

Howard Brazee howard at brazee.net
Thu Jan 19 09:05:12 PST 2006

Jon_Lincicum at stream.com wrote:

>>Separate issues.    I'm sure the enemies' strategy meetings are 
>>protected.   I'm less confident that all of the communications officers 
>>sending the encrypted orders by whichever means are protected.
>Well, that was really the point I was asking about. Is there really any 
>way for technology protect against clairvoyance?

I don't know.   I expect at a certain level, yes.   Everything follows 
the laws of the universe.    But see below.

>>Some radio intelligence can be done without human intervention. 
>>Clairvoyance might find it hard to read the minds of spy satellites, for 
>Well, since the way I think of clairvoyance isn't just as "mind-reading" 
>so much as "remote fact-finding", the information wouldn't really have to 
>be in anyone's brain to find it out. 
A bunch of bits requires translation.   A brain might be able to pick up 
a bunch of noise from a similar brain and match it with how it works and 
come up with a picture.    I don't see that a brain could pick up a 
bunch of bits from a digital camera though, even if the bandwidth of the 
brain was sufficient.

The problem occurs in reverse as well - but with enough research, that 
would be solvable.  

The digital transmission from a camera can easily use a different 
format, encryption, varying speeds and such to make its data 
unrecognizable without having a similar codec on the other side.   

>But can a purely technological civilization block psionics? Or sorcery?

Assuming technology excludes psionics and sorcery, eventually.   But 
again, it shouldn't be an either/or situation.   We already know that 
sorcery can block sorcery.

>If not, then information gathered in this manner is *not* safe from 
>Say, for example, that Morrolan simply used his secret window to observe 
>the enemy meetings. How would a purely science-based technology be able to 
>stop him?
If magic is real, then magic *is* a purely science-based technology.  

But for the answer you're seeking:   Eventually.    The laws of the 
universe aren't capricious.    Think Clarke's Third Law, with a melding 
of our technology and magic.     There is a tradition that has cold iron 
interfering with magic.   I expect some magic could be bothered more 
easily than others - Steve hasn't told us that he has received any 
scientific documents about how magic actually works, but it appears to 
be reliable and repeatable.    That's science and technology.