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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:36 am 
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actor_au wrote:
Doctor Who defined Science Fiction better than Star Trek.

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fuckin A+

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:49 am 
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Kian wrote:
Zherical wrote:
@Slamlander:

Corrollary to Clark's Law wrote:
Any sufficiently developed magic is indistinguishable from technology.


I think that statement is flawed. I think that it is flawed because of the very nature of magic itself. Magic is rarely ever given a definite source for the energy used within/by it. What *is* magic, anyway?

snip

I'm looking forwards to this reply, for sure. Your idea has potential definitely.


If you rephrase that to be "Any magic is indistiguishable from a sufficiently advanced technology", you still get kind of what he was saying (basically, use 'magic', claim its tech) and it keeps with the original law.


But but but.. that was the original law..

Clark's Law wrote:
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from Magic

Corrollary to Clark's Law wrote:
Any sufficiently developed magic is indistinguishable from technology.


My questions remain :-)


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 6:39 am 
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Zherical wrote:
But but but.. that was the original law..

Clark's Law wrote:
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from Magic

Corrollary to Clark's Law wrote:
Any sufficiently developed magic is indistinguishable from technology.


My questions remain :-)


I think what they're trying to say is... "What is magic, really?"

And before we go into territory that will contractually obligate me to point out that we've even got a shirt about this, let's instead approach this from an outside point of view. Magic is most commonly considered the ability to manipulate forces through energy... Merriam-Webster defines it as 1 a : the use of means (as charms or spells) believed to have supernatural power over natural forces b : magic rites or incantations first and foremost.

Now, who are we to presuppose what form this manipulation takes? After all, the very same dictionary website goes on to define supernatural as 1 : of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe; especially : of or relating to God or a god, demigod, spirit, or devil... so, if then... Magic is controlling the natural through use of the supernatural, and supernatural is anything beyond the visible observable universe... then there's all sorts of stuff that's magic.

Hell, even this computer is magic. I am ignorant to a number of it's principles, and many of them (like the flow of electrons, photons to the monitor, data on storage devices) aren't really visible... under certain conditions observable (provided I have the right charms and spells)... but the principle stands.

Magic is manipulation of the known universe via the (generally) unknown universe. Science is manipulation of the known universe via the (generally) unknown universe. At a certain point, it's all a matter of degree. Schroedinger's Cat, the Turing Test, Heisenberg's Principle of Uncertainty... almost all of bleedin' quantum physics... they all trade heavily in the realms of the completely unseen and generally unknowable. All Clark's Law (and it's verse visa) state is that at some point in scientific evolution, the boundryline between magic and science will become imperceivable to those who are not deeply schooled in one, the other, or both.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 8:39 am 
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Zherical wrote:
@Slamlander:

Corrollary to Clark's Law wrote:
Any sufficiently developed magic is indistinguishable from technology.


I think that statement is flawed. I think that it is flawed because of the very nature of magic itself. Magic is rarely ever given a definite source for the energy used within/by it. What *is* magic, anyway?

As THE MAN himself said; "God does not play dice". Now I realise slammy that your work might well explain the original source for the energy that allows magic to be used, but as a fore-warning, ideas like "mana" just aren't legit enough to give magic credibility :)

If it interests you, Warhammer allowed the use of magic (termed 'sorcery') due to the parallel dimension of "The warp". It is, in essence, a dimension created by a coellescance (sp?) of the mental energy of all life. Since we know that the brain produces measurable waves, the idea isn't completely without footing.

Additionally, out of curiousity, what do you mean by 'developed magic'? Do you mean developed in the sense of evolution; in that the magic itself has reached a point of sophistication that it could be confused for natural/artificially produced effects. OR, do you mean developed in the sense of techniques concerning it's manipulation? If so, we are not only again pointed to question what magic is (and it's source, for eg electricity uses electromagnetism, magic uses ??), but also *how* does one manipulate magic? With machines? If so, doesn't that make your magic-machines technological by very definition?

I'm looking forwards to this reply, for sure. Your idea has potential definitely.


All that I'm saying is that if you take basic magic and enhance it via various techniques enough, it becomes technology. Actually ritualistic magic is a technology.

technology wrote:
def. - the study of techniques.


There is nothing in that definition that presupposes that one must understand the fundimentals behind the techniques, as those techniques could easily be empirical. The Wrights developed the technology of flight, Aerodynamicists developed the science of it almost 30 years later. It could just as easily have been magic.

Yes, I know it has potential. I've finished one book and am working on a second.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 9:53 am 
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Hey, the Romans built an empire out of concrete without knowing the periodic table. Experimental alchemy becomes experimental chemistry when you realize that your thoughts, your words, your horoscope, and your familiar spirits are not actually affecting the process. Once you figure that out, you concentrate on natural forces and you discover oxygen.

Note that, in another universe, this experimental result might be reversed. In that world, what we call magic does work.

In either case, the exploration becomes science if research is done by empirical procedure. Whether or not the chant is making the bubble mixture is not as important as using observation and reasoning to understand its effects or lack thereof.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 10:09 am 
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Clarke stopped at the unknowable; science only deals with the unpredictable. He meant the Ali Bongo version of magic, doves from a top-hat variety, rather than Aleister Crowley who believed in the super-natural.

It's a glib statement that ignores the fact that the reason we don't distinguish between magic and technology is because we don't want to. It's a matter of attitude and belief. Indeed, for the mystic and the religionist, belief trumps all discourse. So you can believe in a magic washing machine, but that won't get it repaired.


AncientVikingMaster wrote:
Zherical wrote:
But but but.. that was the original law..

Clark's Law wrote:
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from Magic

Corrollary to Clark's Law wrote:
Any sufficiently developed magic is indistinguishable from technology.


My questions remain :-)


I think what they're trying to say is... "What is magic, really?"

And before we go into territory that will contractually obligate me to point out that we've even got a shirt about this, let's instead approach this from an outside point of view. Magic is most commonly considered the ability to manipulate forces through energy... Merriam-Webster defines it as 1 a : the use of means (as charms or spells) believed to have supernatural power over natural forces b : magic rites or incantations first and foremost.

Now, who are we to presuppose what form this manipulation takes? After all, the very same dictionary website goes on to define supernatural as 1 : of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe; especially : of or relating to God or a god, demigod, spirit, or devil... so, if then... Magic is controlling the natural through use of the supernatural, and supernatural is anything beyond the visible observable universe... then there's all sorts of stuff that's magic.

Hell, even this computer is magic. I am ignorant to a number of it's principles, and many of them (like the flow of electrons, photons to the monitor, data on storage devices) aren't really visible... under certain conditions observable (provided I have the right charms and spells)... but the principle stands.

Magic is manipulation of the known universe via the (generally) unknown universe. Science is manipulation of the known universe via the (generally) unknown universe. At a certain point, it's all a matter of degree. Schroedinger's Cat, the Turing Test, Heisenberg's Principle of Uncertainty... almost all of bleedin' quantum physics... they all trade heavily in the realms of the completely unseen and generally unknowable. All Clark's Law (and it's verse visa) state is that at some point in scientific evolution, the boundryline between magic and science will become imperceivable to those who are not deeply schooled in one, the other, or both.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 1:06 pm 
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Zherical wrote:
I mean, what if we are the only intelligent life form? What if we search the galaxy for aliens, and find that there are either absolutely none, only animals, or primitive civilisations *at best*?

Considering the age of our planet, it's location, and what we're doing to it, I think my theory is highly unlikely. It's also terribly possible.


Actually, it's likely, rather than unlikely. The anthropic principle states that a planet can only develop around a second-generation star. This being the case, and the universe being its current age, we can assume that we are one of, if not THE, first intelligent beings. In order for this NOT to be the case, there would actually HAVE to be creation. Either way, though (since most creation beliefs do not state a race of people before us, aside from things like angels), we would likely be the first.

As far as fantasy vs. sci fi goes... It's tough to explain exactly WHAT the difference is, but I'll give it a shot:

Rigel's floating chair: Sci fi
The Blue Lady's healing (and harming!) abilities: Fantasy

Look at Crusade: You have a guy who summons fireballs and what have you, but he does it with technology. This is opposed to The Taking by Dean Koontz, where what they thought was technology was actually not. They are distinguishable to the reader/viewer quite easily.

Also, *slaps forehead* I can't believe I forgot that sub-genre!

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 8:13 pm 
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Quote:
Quote:
Corrollary to Clark's Law wrote:
Any sufficiently developed magic is indistinguishable from technology.

If you rephrase that to be "Any magic is indistiguishable from a sufficiently advanced technology", you still get kind of what he was saying (basically, use 'magic', claim its tech) and it keeps with the original law.

actually, the real contrapositive to the original statement is
"There exist forms of magic that are indistinguishable from advanced technology" and says nothing about other forms of magic.
Quote:
I think that statement is flawed. I think that it is flawed because of the very nature of magic itself. Magic is rarely ever given a definite source for the energy used within/by it. What *is* magic, anyway?

As THE MAN himself said; "God does not play dice".

Einstein basically hated Quantum Mechanics, was sure things had to be deterministic undeneath, spent the whole rest of his life trying to work it out, and never got anywhere. Stephen Hawking's reply, "Not only does God definitely play dice, but He sometimes confuses us. by throwing them where they can't be seen." and the experiments since then have pretty much borne this out.

Lots of room for magic in there.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 10:07 pm 
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You make it sound as though you resent Einstein for not generating an answer.. a man can only live for so long, after all. And these are only theories anyway; they are open to speculation and exist as theories to be disproven.

I personally like to believe that everything has a logical explanation. Whether we can see the answer or not, is a different question altogether.

I guess we will know the answer one day.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 11:25 pm 
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wrog wrote:
Quote:
Quote:
Corrollary to Clark's Law wrote:
Any sufficiently developed magic is indistinguishable from technology.

If you rephrase that to be "Any magic is indistiguishable from a sufficiently advanced technology", you still get kind of what he was saying (basically, use 'magic', claim its tech) and it keeps with the original law.

actually, the real contrapositive to the original statement is
"There exist forms of magic that are indistinguishable from advanced technology" and says nothing about other forms of magic.


Actually, in my book, they do use magic that is disguised as technology. They also use magic to uncover new technologies. The end-users never know or find out. They just see the rate of technological development accelerate by orders of magnitude.

Arthur C Clark was a writer, a very good one. The original statment meant something very specific. I am also a writer, among other things, the corrolary was specifically crafted to answer Clark's law, in all aspects.

Basically, in a limited aspect, you can take technology and make it look like magic and techno-mages do a good job of that. But you can also mask magic as technology. Clark's Rama had magical technology. I write stories that have technological magic. To the reader, unless it's specifically pointed out, they can't tell. A fusion reactor held together by proprietary magical means is still a fusion reactor. Who is to say that a MHD generator doesn't use magic? In the end, all SciFi is fantasy and based on magic. The difference is in what the writer chooses to reveal.


wrog wrote:
Quote:
I think that statement is flawed. I think that it is flawed because of the very nature of magic itself. Magic is rarely ever given a definite source for the energy used within/by it. What *is* magic, anyway?

As THE MAN himself said; "God does not play dice".

Einstein basically hated Quantum Mechanics, was sure things had to be deterministic undeneath, spent the whole rest of his life trying to work it out, and never got anywhere. Stephen Hawking's reply, "Not only does God definitely play dice, but He sometimes confuses us. by throwing them where they can't be seen." and the experiments since then have pretty much borne this out.

Lots of room for magic in there.


Actually, Einstein was wrong and the proof is our intelligence. The universe is not deterministic. We are now in the instance of proving that one cannot build an AI with fully deterministic systems. The only non-deterministic systems we have are our own brains. We don't know how to build those yet. However, their existance proves that Einstein's belief's are wrong.

Oh, and magic is whatever we think it is.

8-) :wink:

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 5:10 am 
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Out of curiosity, what makes you think our brains are not deterministic?

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Kian wrote:
Out of curiosity, what makes you think our brains are not deterministic?


The simple fact that you asked that question states huge volumes about what you know about analog neural nets, which are nondeterministic by definition, almost. The only other near equivalent are analog computers, which are built with analog circuits. Look those things up on google and read. It would otherwise require a 50-page treatise which I don't have time to write.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 7:45 am 
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Slamlander wrote:
Kian wrote:
Out of curiosity, what makes you think our brains are not deterministic?


The simple fact that you asked that question states huge volumes about what you know about analog neural nets, which are nondeterministic by definition, almost. The only other near equivalent are analog computers, which are built with analog circuits. Look those things up on google and read. It would otherwise require a 50-page treatise which I don't have time to write.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 7:54 am 
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Slamlander wrote:
Kian wrote:
Out of curiosity, what makes you think our brains are not deterministic?


The simple fact that you asked that question states huge volumes about what you know about analog neural nets,


Actually, it says very little. That I don't know anything about them. One sentence suffices, no need of huge volumes.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:32 am 
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The thing to remember is that in any realm where magic exists, and technology exists, they are both essential parts of that realm.

Corollary to Clark's Law wrote:
Any sufficiently developed magic is indistinguishable from technology.


Suppose you want to create your own fantasy milieu that includes magic. You want to have wizards, but when someone perusing your work says to you, "Okay, there's magic, but how does it work?" you have to come up with something. Medieval Christians thought that magic involved getting the Devil to do your bidding in exchange for your soul and to the detriment of humankind. The ancient Chinese thought it was all about getting qi to harmonize in the right way and maintaining the proper balance. In both these cases, magic was not detached or added on the general understanding of the world, but integrated fully into it.

Which brings us to ourselves, and our modern comprehension of the world. Given that we now have a much better understanding of scientific concepts involved (conservation of momentum, energy, mass, etc), it becomes much harder to explain such things as "the wizard shoots a bolt of light out his hands and completely disintegrates the stone wall" or "the enchanted hauberk repels the lance as if it were a toothpick". Hence, further elucidation of these events is required: "the wizard transfers the stone wall to another dimension" or "the wizard breaks down the molecules costituting the stone wall and reconfigures them into air", and so on.

The deeper the explanation of such phenomena, the more like technology the magic becomes.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:08 am 
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Kian wrote:
Slamlander wrote:
Kian wrote:
Out of curiosity, what makes you think our brains are not deterministic?


The simple fact that you asked that question states huge volumes about what you know about analog neural nets,


Actually, it says very little. That I don't know anything about them. One sentence suffices, no need of huge volumes.


Au contrare, I either tell you that our brains are non-deterministic or I have to prove it in detail. The proof is the large volumes of typing. The way you made the statement indicated an intention to challenge. Yes, your statement definitely said that you knew squat about the subject and that I'd have to educate. Had you known details about neural nets then you wouldn't have asked that question.

Our brains are non-deterministic, that's why we are able to be intelligent. That statement is a rather large leap, if you don't have the background. It's one of the reasons that we can't build an AI. The only computers that we have are fully deterministic, a major disadvantage. All digital systems are inherently deterministic.

I just realised how this sounds and I apologize, but you still deserve the explanation and I don't know a better way to say it.
sumdumguy wrote:
The thing to remember is that in any realm where magic exists, and technology exists, they are both essential parts of that realm.

Corollary to Clark's Law wrote:
Any sufficiently developed magic is indistinguishable from technology.

...
The deeper the explanation of such phenomena, the more like technology the magic becomes.


Yes, exactly! Falls under "sufficiently developed magic", that does. :wink: Even if the development is only the explanation.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:37 pm 
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Zherical wrote:
Corrollary to Clark's Law wrote:
Any sufficiently developed magic is indistinguishable from technology.


My questions remain :-)


You question does not remain, technology is our tools, if we use magic as a tool it is technology. Technology doesn't have to have gears and sprockets to qualify as technology.


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Slamlander wrote:
The only non-deterministic systems we have are our own brains.


Sun Tzu.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:40 pm 
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Quote:
I just realised how this sounds and I apologize, but you still deserve the explanation and I don't know a better way to say it.


No worries, I've found a bit about neural nets, interesting stuff. Will read up a bit on the subject. I wasn't being confrontational when I said I was curious, it was honest curiosity. People tend to have weird ideas about how the brain works, its fun to read for the most part. And sometimes people do have an idea about what they're talking about, and it can be interesting to read.

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Kian wrote:
Quote:
I just realised how this sounds and I apologize, but you still deserve the explanation and I don't know a better way to say it.


No worries, I've found a bit about neural nets, interesting stuff. Will read up a bit on the subject. I wasn't being confrontational when I said I was curious, it was honest curiosity. People tend to have weird ideas about how the brain works, its fun to read for the most part. And sometimes people do have an idea about what they're talking about, and it can be interesting to read.


Also look for stuff under "Cognative Psychology", or some such spelling.

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