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Technology and Magic (Power...Whatever)

I keep watching more of Black Mirror...

I'm kind of wondering over the evolution of technology. Technically, a bone-hammer is technology. Primitive tech, but technology nonetheless. So is a torch. So are loincloths. So is a beaver's dam. A bee hive. An ant hill. You get the message.

It occurs to me that we've come a great distance from our earliest days till now. But the main difference between technologies evolution and magic's evolution in stories is that magic often add's to the known potential of things. When more power is needed, more power is often created. But with technology, we aren't creating anything. With technology, we are simply finding more ways of using and applying the things that have always been here. Technically, what was done in 1990 could have been done in 990. The universe did not add anything to itself to allow us to discover electricity, we just understood what was already...always...here better.

I like that. I like the thought of a system of progression based on natural evolution than conjuration. I think that the best power systems might evolve naturally from a small set of- at most- three laws or principles. And by a phenomenon of emergence, these simple three things will spawn an immensity of different abilities and applications. The progression is complexity deepens with understanding or is arrived at serendipitously (not a word, and I curse English for it) ...or tragically...

In such, it's kind of like watching a movie about fighting. While each one definitely has it's charm, I think I like the movie where the fighter is doing things within the confines of reality, BUT pulls of new, amazing things. It's kind of like watching parkour for the first time. You never thought that was possible till you saw it, and it's amazing because, technically, we had the ability to do that for millennia. The only difference is awareness. It's basically another dimension of the aspect of exploration and discovery that I seem to like. I like people figuring out things within the confines of natural limits rather than expanding them because despite those limits being fantasy, it does teach the concept of skill and resourcefulness with what you have rather than wishing for a short-cut or divine intervention. If the hero is to be a human idol, let it be humanly possible to imitate or surpass their feats.

Comments

Serendipitously should be a word, you're right. I've come across instances like this before where I feel like a word should be an official, recognized word... I ought to write them down and then petition whoever decides these things.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean. I agree, I do like technology systems in fiction that act within a framework of laws. But I'm not sure why you think this isn't possible to do with a magic system, unless I misunderstood you.
 
Smith;bt11561 said:
Serendipitously should be a word, you're right. I've come across instances like this before where I feel like a word should be an official, recognized word... I ought to write them down and then petition whoever decides these things.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean. I agree, I do like technology systems in fiction that act within a framework of laws. But I'm not sure why you think this isn't possible to do with a magic system, unless I misunderstood you.

Probably a misunderstanding, lol.

I certainly don't think they are impossible. I like and prefer them. But I feel that many still, despite having a structure, tend to walk outside of that structure (especially late-game) for whatever reason- which nulls the presence of structure. I appreciated the ones that stick to their rules and force their characters to evolve through that rule system...or burn. It emphasizes skill and resourcefulness rather than wish-fulfillment or destiny as problem solving tools.
 

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kaminoshiyo
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