High Tech vs. the Orb

Howard Brazee howard at brazee.net
Thu Jan 19 09:37:57 PST 2006

When I do a Reply to All, included is a CC to 
Dragaera-bounces at dragaera.info.    What is Dragaera-bounces at dragaera.info?

Jon_Lincicum at stream.com wrote:

>>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? 

Sure you can have a clairvoyant doing the work of the camera and the 
software that analyze what it sees to tell someone something interesting 
happened.   That is if you don't have something more productive and 
cost-effective for him to do.

>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? 
That's because magic doesn't exist in the world where this definition is 
used.    The Supernatural is beyond nature.   So we use it to describe 
stuff we fantasize about.

In this fantasy magic exists, it's part of nature, and can be worked.   
It is no longer supernatural.

>Different magic-users may suspend natural laws in different ways at 
>different times. 
They use natural laws in different ways.   Just like we do with technology.

>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?
Just because sorcery and psionics and witchcraft exist as part of nature 
doesn't mean that there can't still exist mystics.   Paarfi's mystic 
explanations are like most mystic explanations - not to be depended upon.

Even with these technologies which are supernatural to us - there can 
still be boundaries of stuff that can't exist within the laws of their 
universe - but can nevertheless be imagined.