Magic and Technology

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Guest

Magic and Technology

Postby Guest » October 7th, 2007, 7:45 pm

In my English class, I had my students read "The Veldt," by Ray Bradbury. Since the story is about technology, the pre-story anticipation exercise asked the students to agree or disagree with this statement: Advanced technology is just like magic.

[Note: this is a simplified version of Arthur C. Clarke's famous "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."]

Here is one student's answer:

"I Disagree. Advanced technology is much more complicated than magic. If it were magic, I think it would look really simple, and not complicated at all."

I think this is worth remembering as we work to create magic for our audiences. Anything that looks complicated will not seem like magic.

Guest

Re: Magic and Technology

Postby Guest » October 8th, 2007, 8:07 am

Wisdom comes from weird places.

Bryan

Amos McCormick
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Re: Magic and Technology

Postby Amos McCormick » October 8th, 2007, 11:21 am

Originally posted by Bryan Dreyfus:
Wisdom comes from weird places.

Bryan
...and weirdness often comes from wise people...

Guest

Re: Magic and Technology

Postby Guest » October 8th, 2007, 10:59 pm

I think your student missed the point of Clarke's remark. "significantly advanced technology" should appear simple and magic. Consider for example Apple's iPhone - there are video's on YouTube of one-year-olds operating them - they appear as very simple devices, and the methods behind their operation are in no way apparent.

I always enjoyed the reverse of the quote that was used in the old "Zork" text adventure computer games from Infocom: "Any significantly primitive magic, is indistinguishable from technology."

Guest

Re: Magic and Technology

Postby Guest » October 10th, 2007, 9:22 am

Experience is a poor substitute for specific knowledge. Experience is a major factor in making magic magic. Specific knowledge would usually remove the magic.

New technology is usually just a recognition that specific knowledge exists.

The lack of the specific knowledge and the accumulation of experience work hard to help us create the magic. We are dealing with truth versus effect. Both have paying audiences!

Enjoy them!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander

PS --- Happy Birthday Amos!

Guest

Re: Magic and Technology

Postby Guest » October 29th, 2007, 3:10 pm

When magic is understood it is technology isn't it?

Guest

Re: Magic and Technology

Postby Guest » October 29th, 2007, 4:11 pm

Originally posted by COOPER:
When magic is understood it is technology isn't it?
IMHO:

We think both rationally and sentimentally. It's like the way we walk alternating between our two feet. Each kind of thinking has its own virtues and effective model of reality as experienced.

When we are on our sentimental foot and gaze upon some unknown we tell ourselves that it's magic. When we shift to the rational foot and look at some unknown thing we approach it via technology. Just two perspectives on things which are outside our immediete understanding.

Guess that gives us an internal view kind of like a 3d movie using those glases. :)

Guest

Re: Magic and Technology

Postby Guest » October 29th, 2007, 5:01 pm

I totally disagree that advanced technology is like magic.
Thinking this, is the biggest mistake a magician could do!!
Taking for example the i-phone as someone siad, is a mistake.
In fact the i-phone or every technological device(it doesn't matter how developed or technologically well done) is the opposite of magic.
Everyone knows that if we open an i-phone we will see some microchips and other technological devices which enables the i-phone to work.
We may not know that kind of technology that enables the i-phone to work..nut anyhow we know that the i-phone does all these things because of some kind of chips etcc..
In magic all is different.
Magic is magic because things happen without any logical reason!!
I should also dare to say that magic is the total opposite of technology.
If i take a piece of cardboard, i draw on it with a marker some digits and i draw an antenna, then i push the digits that i have drawn on the cardboard and someone would answer my call made with that impromptu cardboard phone..
you would be more amazed than if i take my i-phone and call.
Moreover..the more primitive and simple magic is ..the best it is for the illusion!!
Everyone could phone with an i-phone..but only a magician could make a cardboard phone work!!

It is for this reason that i often say that i hate camera tricks, editing and other technological means associated with magic!

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Magic and Technology

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 29th, 2007, 5:36 pm

Advanced technology is magic: Robert-Houdin's application of the then-new discovery of electromagnetism (technology) to a magic effect (the Light and Heavy Chest) is proof of this.
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Guest

Re: Magic and Technology

Postby Guest » October 29th, 2007, 6:22 pm

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
Advanced technology is magic: Robert-Houdin's application of the then-new discovery of electromagnetism (technology) to a magic effect (the Light and Heavy Chest) is proof of this.
That makes sense. The audience was not aware of the basic principle in action and so had no rational referant for the phenomenon presented (loss of strength by command of wizard) - so the sentimental reaction won out for them.

Guest

Re: Magic and Technology

Postby Guest » October 29th, 2007, 7:37 pm

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
Advanced technology is magic: Robert-Houdin's application of the then-new discovery of electromagnetism (technology) to a magic effect (the Light and Heavy Chest) is proof of this.
Yes, for Robert Houdin's audience who were unaware of the existence of physics and relatively primitive believers in real magic.

Truth be told, rational people live in a world without "magic."

While highly advanced technology of some alien race might appear to be magical, it would, to a sophisticated citizen of the 21st Century, be seen as what it really was: highly advanced technology. He would not necessarily understand how it worked, but he would know what he was seeing was technology beyond his understanding, not "magic."

Not everyone is equivalent to the tribesmen in Robert Houdin's audience.

Guest

Re: Magic and Technology

Postby Guest » October 29th, 2007, 8:43 pm

Just to back up my students, none of them missed the point of Clarke's quote, because I didn't give them Clarke's quote; I gave them a simplified version whose meaning was different from the original.

Speaking of missing the point of Clarke's quote, it's any sufficiently advanced technology, not any significantly advanced technology.


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