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Is It Magic?

edited June 12 in Off-topic

Einstein (No, Arthur Clarke, Einstein didn't say everything, I just discovered), now a hoary cliche, said, Technology viewed by those who don’t have it appears as magic, or some such. Well, my understanding of tech stopped with the internal combustion engine (maybe air conditioning). When I see the legions on their cell phones, talking or viewing across space and time, I suspect most have no clue as to how this happens and so are engaged in using magic. After all, 99.999% of us could not repair these devices. Yet we take it as our birthright.

Part 1: So should we fess up that we are like any pagan religion with its panoply of animatic gods? The cell phone god, Telephon; the iOS god,FreeOS; the laptop god, Portabilicus, and the double headed canine, Giga and Bite. Are we any different than our ancestors? We are so proud of our ownership of tech possessions, but do we have a right to feel like we are in control here? Or are we the fleas in a flea circus, performing nanotricks we don’t understand. Or are we polytheistic worshipers steeped in rituals and superstitions?

Part 2: How does it all work? Here’s my feeble monotheistic glimpse of it all... it starts with Off and On and proceeds to zero and one (the Big Bang yields to The Yin and The Yang). All these yinyangs are organized in something’s memory. Billions of quadrillions of them (the starry sky of Heaven) There is an OS god who can manipulate all these binaries in many ways (RAMses?) to do any intellectual activity (thus omniscience). Then there is a communications system that is nowhere and everywhere (thusly omnipresent ubiquitousness). There are prophets who we read.. The Book Of Jobs and those whom we offer sacrifice to... the blood drinker Bezos. And then there is the price we pay, every month when our various contracts come due... and this is called Hell. Honestly, can you say (present forum company excepted, of course) our individual reality is any different? We borrow the gifts of the gods. We appropriate them for ourselves and pretend to be godlike.

But the slightest mishap (like an EMP) and we are revealed for what we truly are... former hubristic popinjays ogling at the fire and staring Into the blackest night,.

Tell me I’m wrong.

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Comments

  • @LinearLineman said:
    Tell me I’m wrong.

    You're wrong.... It was Arthur C. Clarke in his Third Law: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

    ;)

  • @aplourde. Haha! You're right, I'm wrong. And I love AC Clarke, too. Will correct now.(but Einstein, or at least his first wife should have said it).

  • edited June 12

    Being quite involved in the kind of modern technology you've described, I guess the answer lies in your elaborate question.
    It can be a good idea to re-evaluate from time to time how much we depend on this kind of technology and remember how our ancestors lived and influenced our genes (which develop much, much slower than the evolution of technology).

  • Sorry but no.

    It is all just 01001110 01101111 01110100 00100000 01101101 01100001 01100111 01101001 01100011

  • edited June 12

    At least for now it is. Until it becomes

  • @Hmtx you do that voodoo that you do so well!

  • @LinearLineman said:
    @Hmtx you do that voodoo that you do so well!

    If only you knew how much I struggled just to get that gif embedded in my post 😂

  • Ah, @Hmtx, Magic! Oooo... pretty!

  • In truth: what happens inside a CPU is completely beyond my comprehension.

  • Anything taken to sufficient depth becomes magic.

  • A knowledge of technology spoils the magic! As a bit boffin (former, apologetically and retired), waving my TI hex calculator and pocket protector doth NOT magic make. I’m constantly struggling to whisk away the wires and pull music and magic out of the ether. But keep your grubby hands off my iPad!

  • As a general rule (which I’m making up), magic happens on the inside.

  • It's magic for the audience and a science for the master.
    Strive for mastery but enjoy the wonder when gazing on feats of prestidigitation.
    They are 2 sides of the same coin. Pointless without the other.

  • @LinearLineman Specialization is on of the basis of our economy/society. Having worked in IT for 25 years I have a pretty good understanding of what goes on in side a cpu.

    But don’t ask me to do my taxes cause that’s alien magic to me 😂😂

  • @ecou, you are part of the .001% (except for your taxes of course).

  • edited June 13

    @LinearLineman I wish I was part of the 1% tax bracket. Lol

    My point was that we all have our area of expertise. There is so many hours in one’s life and I choose not to waste mine on understanding taxation process. It is not magic just a branch of knowledge you have not spent enough time learning to understand.

  • Of course it is not magic @ecou, anymore than existence itself is not magic.... but it is an extension of consciousness, which we understand very little of, much less why we are here in the first place.😘

    I guess my point is that technology like the smartphone is used, for most of us with very little knowledge of how it works compared to something like a steak knife. I can imagine the ore in the ground, the refining and mfg processes, the marketing and sales. Most folks can do that.
    Of course, exactly why a knife cuts on the molecular level is understandable by far fewer.

    In the mid 20th century things that were used by common people were all pretty much graspable. Radio, tv, car engines, fertilizer, the atom bomb, vitamins, et. al., all could be pretty easily understood. As we go deeper and deeper into technology that understanding requires a lot more specific knowledge, as you said, but it is also more difficult than understanding a carburetor or a rotary telephone. We no longer even attempt to understand it (I am guessing),
    but we appropriate it with intensity. When the tv broke in my household of the 1950s or telephone service went out. It was an inconvenience, but nothing compared to a breakdown in wifi (how the hell does that work for billions at a time?). We all know the feeling when our direct link to god has been severed. We are bereft, shipwrecked, forlorn... our world is rocked... oh god, why hast thou deserted your people? And when it is restored? Jubilation!

    I make the allusions to religion because it is a form of magical belief. The mystery of ritual, the cognate of superstition, the connection with the infinite. These are all applicable to our usesge of modern tools. Perhaps it is the pace with which technology outstrips wisdom or understanding on the deepest level in the 21st. That pace is accelerating. From the 7th to the 15th century in the West it was a hell of a lot more dealable.

    Well, I am just making this up as I go along. Something inside my skull magically makes that happen.

  • edited June 13

    @palm wrote on the Vintage Sound thread;

    "Perry was known for his eccentric and superstitious behavior during production sessions.[5] He would often "bless" his recording equipment with mystical invocations, blow ganja smoke onto his tapes while recording, bury unprotected tapes in the soil outside of his studio, and surround himself with burning candles and incense, whose wax and dust remnants were allowed to infest his electronic recording equipment.[5] He would also spray tapes with a variety of fluids, including urine, blood and whisky, ostensibly to enhance their spiritual properties.[5] Later commentators have drawn a direct relationship between the decay of Perry's facility and the unique sounds he was able to create from his studio equipment.[5]

    Perry has described his relationship to the studio thus:[10]

    “I see the studio must be like a living thing, a life itself. The
    machine must be live and intelligent. Then I put my mind into the machine and the machine perform reality. Invisible thought waves - you put them into the machine by sending them through the controls and the knobs or you jack it into the jack panel. The jack panel is the brain itself, so you got to patch up the brain and make the brain a living man, that the brain can take what you sending into it and live.""

    See what I mean?

  • 5g is the scariest thing coming in the very near future.

  • @Breezee , what, exactly, is 5g?

  • "5G" (5th Generation) is the next generation of Cellphone technology with bandwidth approaching current landline internet speeds over wireless connections. Big technology shoot out between Huawei (China) and Qualcomm (US) with other players having to choose sides.

    There are:
    Concerns about security and backdoors in the devices.
    Concerns about the additional radio wave energy.

    Probably take 10 years to get provisioned and for most of us to have new devices that support it.
    Will we accept $500 cellphone bills (rolling up the all the costs of video, music and internet service fees).

  • @LinearLineman I do understand you. I work with the public. Lots hate technology or are lost in ut and don’t wanna try because they are not interested. I Thought myself to use a computer and then program in the late 70’s as a young pup. It just came naturals to me.

    5G is the newest way that mobile telephone use to connect to the cellular towers.

  • We don’t need all need to know how it works, but we need to know how to use it.

  • @knewspeak, not quite the model of self sufficiency. The hunter gatherers were a lot more capable than we are. Each adult had a range of experience that was a lot more useful to keep on keeping on. And, apparently, they had a lot more free time to consider the magic in everything. We shrug our shoulders, keep our heads down and let mission control determine our needs and define our happiness. (Provocative remarks).

  • @LinearLineman said:
    @knewspeak, not quite the model of self sufficiency. The hunter gatherers were a lot more capable than we are. Each adult had a range of experience that was a lot more useful to keep on keeping on. And, apparently, they had a lot more free time to consider the magic in everything. We shrug our shoulders, keep our heads down and let mission control determine our needs and define our happiness. (Provocative remarks).

    True, in simplicity we have more control, or we convince ourselves we do. At some point we all must rely and trust in ourselves and fellow creatures that we endeavour to do our ‘best’ for creation.

  • edited June 14

    @knewspeak, I am thinking the hunter gatherers felt like it was all pretty much out of their control and a rather high risk business. It is our societal and technological armor along with the sanitizing of death that gives us our delusional sense of security. They and we hang by a thread. That that thread has sustained me and billions is.... magical!

  • @LinearLineman said:
    @knewspeak, I am thinking the hunter gatherers felt like it was all pretty much out of their control and a rather high risk business. It is our societal and technological armor along with the sanitizing of death that gives us our delusional sense of security. They and we hang by a thread. That that thread has sustained me and billions is.... magical!

    If we either by default or design destroy ourselves would that mean the magic was lost, or the thread of destiny was not so magical after all. Maybe even, that the magic starts again re-created ‘a new’ from that destruction.

  • An aside to the ‘magic’ we create is also a good time to ask what magic those UFO’s are using.

  • I don't think the magic is lost @knewspeak. It just pops up somewhere else in this universe or its' parallels.

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