Poll: Magic vs Technology

Zipa

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Dec 19, 2010
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Jesterscup said:
"Any sufficiently advanced form of magic is indistinguishable from technology" - 7th Doctor
I like how the Doctor turned Arthur C Clarkes quote around.

Also tech all the way, magic can't come close to the betterment of humanity that technology has bought us. And as someone that depends on modern medicine to live my life without pain on a daily basis its a no brainer.

There is the other issue of humanities long term survival as a species requires us expanding out of our own solar system at some point before the death of our Sun.
 

FPLOON

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Jul 10, 2013
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Honestly, the only reason why I would choose to live in a magical world is so that I could live my life-long fantasy-based dream of using shapeshifting-type magic... and/or become a changeling...

Other than that, technology in general covers basically anything that encompasses the universe in question, so technically magic is just another form of technology, only it can be either so predictable that nothing can evolve from it or it can be so unpredictable that we should be surprised it hasn't backfired into a "fuck the universe"-style reset whenever it fucking felt like it...

Overall, I choose technology unless I can become a changeling and/or develop shapeshifting-type magic otherwise... Then again, why can't we have both and just work from there, basically? Advancing both magic and [other] technology as time progresses into the Future which would harbor the next next NEXT generation...
 

Thaluikhain

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FPLOON said:
Honestly, the only reason why I would choose to live in a magical world is so that I could live my life-long fantasy-based dream of using shapeshifting-type magic... and/or become a changeling...

Other than that, technology in general covers basically anything that encompasses the universe in question, so technically magic is just another form of technology, only it can be either so predictable that nothing can evolve from it or it can be so unpredictable that we should be surprised it hasn't backfired into a "fuck the universe"-style reset whenever it fucking felt like it...

Overall, I choose technology unless I can become a changeling and/or develop shapeshifting-type magic otherwise... Then again, why can't we have both and just work from there, basically? Advancing both magic and [other] technology as time progresses into the Future which would harbor the next next NEXT generation...
It'd be awful if people found out you were a shapechanger...you'd be hated and feared by everyone. Except defense lawyers, the "you didn't see the defendant, it was FPLOON taking their shape" defence would be used in half of every court case ever.
 

FPLOON

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thaluikhain said:
FPLOON said:
Honestly, the only reason why I would choose to live in a magical world is so that I could live my life-long fantasy-based dream of using shapeshifting-type magic... and/or become a changeling...
It'd be awful if people found out you were a shapechanger...you'd be hated and feared by everyone. Except defense lawyers, the "you didn't see the defendant, it was FPLOON taking their shape" defence would be used in half of every court case ever.
You know, after REALLY thinking about it, I would be okay with my name associated with a type of defense used when someone's accused of doing something criminal under a difference guise... Then again, why should I care when no one would know who (or what) I actually look like to catch me? *shapeshifts into another different person* And to think I was going to call Saul if shit got out of hand beforehand... Probably still will call him anyway, but still...
 

jademunky

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Do I get to be one of these mages? Is the magic fairly easy to use? Does it contain a 1% chance of demonic possession with every cast? Do you lose a portion of your soul with overuse?

If the answer to those questions is Yes, Yes, No and No, sign me up for magic, otherwise technology.
 

Voulan

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MiskWisk said:
That said, why is magic so different from technology that they can't exist simultaneously? After all, Clarke's law states that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic but surely the opposite is true to. Any sufficiently analysed magic is indistinguishable from technology. So why would we need to decide. The magical world just needs a few people to cause a boom in the study of mundane sciences and a magical world can get the best of both in the long run while a technological world can't.
I think the general consensus is that they're considered means to the same ends - both are forces we can use to control or manipulate nature somehow. Therefore, if a world contained both magic and technology, one would end up being left behind while the other is more favoured. Why kill someone with a fire spell when I could use a more efficient gun with less time spent learning how to use it? Why should I have surgery when this healing spell can fix me up with little repercussions? Both magic and technology can't coexist if they offer the same opportunities and functions, because one or the other will become redundant where the other excels.
 

Thaluikhain

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jademunky said:
Do I get to be one of these mages? Is the magic fairly easy to use? Does it contain a 1% chance of demonic possession with every cast? Do you lose a portion of your soul with overuse?

If the answer to those questions is Yes, Yes, No and No, sign me up for magic, otherwise technology.
Eh, you could be in one of those magical worlds where there's no downsides to using magic, and it's really easy, but you are obliged to be insufferably angsty about using it for no reason.
 

jademunky

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thaluikhain said:
jademunky said:
Do I get to be one of these mages? Is the magic fairly easy to use? Does it contain a 1% chance of demonic possession with every cast? Do you lose a portion of your soul with overuse?

If the answer to those questions is Yes, Yes, No and No, sign me up for magic, otherwise technology.
Eh, you could be in one of those magical worlds where there's no downsides to using magic, and it's really easy, but you are obliged to be insufferably angsty about using it for no reason.
Oh well that's a given nomatter what. If I am gonna be wandering around a magical fantasyland with cosmic power at my fingertips, OF COARSE I'm gonna whine all the day about how this power has isolated me from my fellow human beings. I assume the angst is just a requirement that fuels that kind of power.
 

MeatMachine

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May 31, 2011
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Oh shit, a really powerful spellcaster is waving a stick in the air and belting out the title of his attack to set my skeleton on fire! Good thing I reacted quick enough to draw my mass-produced revolver and immediately shoot him in the chest before he could finish the last two syllables.

Oh crap, one of his buddies is wrapped in an invisible blanket and is probably stalking around the environment, waiting to ambush me! Good thing I brought a bag of talcom powder and threw it against the ceiling - if I didn't, I'd have to drain half a percent of the battery life on my thermal vision goggles to find him.

Muggle weapons > Wizard weapons
 

Hemlet

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Righto, I freely admit I skim-read the thread so far and don't readily know if I'm repeating someone else's sentiments or not, but here goes.

Between playing a lot of D&D and reading my fair share of fantasy novels, the conclusion I've come to is that Magic in fantasy settings largely takes the place of Technology (yes I'm capitalizing them) because Magic:

a)is more readily understood by the denizens of said fantasy world, and

b)covers the pitfalls and problems that Technology has developed to deal with in reality.

Taking an example from D&D, the Remove Disease spell. Low level healer type raises a holy symbol and asks nicely, and BAM! Your diseases are cured. Cancer? Cast Remove Disease. Small pox? Remove Disease. Tapeworm? Dysentery? Foot fungus? Hand wave and it's gone. We have no idea WHY, but who the fuck cares it works. Why would a society with ready access to something like that bother with developing modern medicine? That's just a waste of time and effort at that point.

Looking at warfare becomes another issue of "why bother". Sure these fantasy people could spend time developing firearms and ICBMs and the like...or they could just cast some spells on their cannonballs and arrows to make them shoot further, more accurately, and make them explode in fancy ways on impact (or worse).

Construction crews? Who needs those when we can hire someone to come and make entire walls of iron pop into existence and then meld the shape of the walls into a sturdy and convenient fortress? Food shortages? Make that shit pop into existence by willing it. Need labor for larger projects? Fucking golems have you covered and you don't even have to pay them. There's more examples (and they get much sillier), but when a Wizard or Cleric in your average D&D game is the equivalent of a trained professional or a doctor, it's no wonder there's technological stagnation. The innovation and drive that spurs us to create more and more advanced Technology is dependent on there being problems that we know we can solve but haven't figured out yet. A lot of fantasy worlds don't have that issue because the answer to every problem is "needs more magic".

With that in mind, and given the kind of advantages Magic could offer, I would totally go with Technology. Magic may be great in the short term, but it also has a tendency to go horribly, horribly, catastrophically wrong for no real reason other than "fuck you Wizard". Technology fucks up too, but it a)fucks up reliably so we can figure out a fix, and b)usually doesn't fuck up to the point where it threatens more than a handful of people. There are exceptions mind, but by and large when something Magical fucks up it fucks up a whole lot more in much worse ways.

TL;DR: Sees the advantages of Magic, picks Technology anyway for overall survivability in the event of nonsense.
 

Thaluikhain

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MeatMachine said:
Oh crap, one of his buddies is wrapped in an invisible blanket and is probably stalking around the environment, waiting to ambush me! Good thing I brought a bag of talcom powder and threw it against the ceiling - if I didn't, I'd have to drain half a percent of the battery life on my thermal vision goggles to find him.
A blankie would presumably block heat, so they'd not show up on thermography.

But, if the blankie was invisible you'd see right through it anyway.

Hemlet said:
Between playing a lot of D&D and reading my fair share of fantasy novels, the conclusion I've come to is that Magic in fantasy settings largely takes the place of Technology (yes I'm capitalizing them) because Magic:

a)is more readily understood by the denizens of said fantasy world, and

b)covers the pitfalls and problems that Technology has developed to deal with in reality.

Taking an example from D&D, the Remove Disease spell. Low level healer type raises a holy symbol and asks nicely, and BAM! Your diseases are cured. Cancer? Cast Remove Disease. Small pox? Remove Disease. Tapeworm? Dysentery? Foot fungus? Hand wave and it's gone. We have no idea WHY, but who the fuck cares it works. Why would a society with ready access to something like that bother with developing modern medicine? That's just a waste of time and effort at that point.

Looking at warfare becomes another issue of "why bother". Sure these fantasy people could spend time developing firearms and ICBMs and the like...or they could just cast some spells on their cannonballs and arrows to make them shoot further, more accurately, and make them explode in fancy ways on impact (or worse).

Construction crews? Who needs those when we can hire someone to come and make entire walls of iron pop into existence and then meld the shape of the walls into a sturdy and convenient fortress? Food shortages? Make that shit pop into existence by willing it. Need labor for larger projects? Fucking golems have you covered and you don't even have to pay them. There's more examples (and they get much sillier), but when a Wizard or Cleric in your average D&D game is the equivalent of a trained professional or a doctor, it's no wonder there's technological stagnation. The innovation and drive that spurs us to create more and more advanced Technology is dependent on there being problems that we know we can solve but haven't figured out yet. A lot of fantasy worlds don't have that issue because the answer to every problem is "needs more magic".
Hey? Don't most D&D settings still feature people hitting each other with swords, and lots of peasants stuck with lousy jobs?

Sure, magic can do those things better, but most people don't get the benefits of it. Anyone in the world can use an AK47, not everyone can learnt to cast fireballs.
 

Nukekitten

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So, the world I'm in at the moment vs a world where it was not hugely uncommon for many of my gender to die screaming, there was no effective birth control, very limited social mobility for the great majority of the population, and you probably had to toil most of your life just to not die quite aside from having any real leisure time....

Of course, a world where magic addressed those concerns is possible. That, potentially, wouldn't be a bad one to live in. But then we wouldn't really be talking about what I take to the popular image of medieval times any more.

Tempting though the opportunities presented by the ability to casually violate the laws of physics are, I think I'll stick with modern technology and no magic. After all, the ability to throw lightning from one's fingertips may be awesome, but we've got guns. The ability to talk to someone in a crystall ball is awesome, but then I can do the same on a mirror like device I keep in my pocket....

And I don't run anywhere near the same risk of the whole horrible life and screaming death thing to do it. ^_^