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08 September 2009 @ 12:53 pm
Techno-whatsis  
Poll #1454870 Techno-whatsis

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. (Arthur C. Clarke's Third Law of Prediction)

True
35(77.8%)
False
3(6.7%)
It's complicated, and I'll explain in comments
7(15.6%)

Any technology which can be distinguished from magic is insufficiently advanced. (Gehm's Corollary to Clarke's Law)

True
27(61.4%)
False
14(31.8%)
It's complicated, and I'll explain in comments
3(6.8%)

There is no technology, no matter how advanced, that cannot be circumvented by a sufficiently determined individual or group. (Janet Miles, to the best of my knowledge)

True
41(91.1%)
False
2(4.4%)
It's complicated, and I'll explain in comments
2(4.4%)

No matter how subtle and powerful the wizard, a knife between the shoulderblades will seriously cramp his style. (Steven KZ Brust)

True
38(84.4%)
False
0(0.0%)
It's complicated, and I'll explain in comments
7(15.6%)
 
 
A Wandering Hobbitredbird on September 8th, 2009 05:07 pm (UTC)
The problem is defining "magic"--Clarke's law basically defines it as "wish and it works," "just push a button, you don't need to know more than that you want something." And of course RPG-style magic goes very much in that direction. But the sort that involves negotiating with djinn or other spirits is never going to be indistinguishable from technology, because it involves other individuals who might be sufficiently determined. Even in Tolkien: the rings of power are magic, yes. But so is Tom Bombadil. (The elven cloaks may be sufficiently advanced technology.)
Aravsfogarty on September 8th, 2009 05:34 pm (UTC)
Magic being indistinguishable from technology != technology being indistinguishable from magic.
Shadow/Brookekengr on September 9th, 2009 01:01 am (UTC)
Well, when you start negotiating with Powers, or going thru complicated rituals, it's just a different sort of technology.

Randall Garret's "Lord Darcy stories area prime example of taking that to the limit.
zemhitchhiker on September 10th, 2009 07:28 pm (UTC)
sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology.