High Tech vs. the Orb

Jon_Lincicum at stream.com Jon_Lincicum at stream.com
Thu Jan 19 09:26:05 PST 2006

Howard Brazee <howard at brazee.net> 
Sent by: dragaera-bounces at dragaera.info
01/19/06 09:05 AM


SKZB List <dragaera at dragaera.info>
Re: High Tech vs. the Orb

Jon_Lincicum at stream.com wrote:

>>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 
>>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. 

Well, granted using clairvoyance to determine what bits are set what way 
in the memory banks of a spy satellite isn't so useful.

But how about just using clairvoynace to look at the same things that the 
satellite took pictures of? 

The trick is all in how the magical abilities are applied.

>If magic is real, then magic *is* a purely science-based technology. 

Well, perhaps. Depends on how you define "magic" I suppose.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Any sufficiently explained magic is indistinguishable from 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.

If magic is a "suspension of natural laws" or even "a substitution of new 
natural laws", then is it really correct to say that it is science? 
Different magic-users may suspend natural laws in different ways at 
different times. What does this do to repeatability? Mightn't this 
introduce a certain "capriciousness" where natural laws are concerned? Or 
is the fact that the magician is deliberately suspending or changing the 
rules in a specific way make it more like science? Are any "natural laws" 
really "natural" when you start talking about alternate plains of 
existance where different laws apply? What about the Paths of the Dead, 
for example? This place is, in Paarfi's terms, created from the dreams of 
the gods". Is that not by definition capricious and changable?