From: Alex Ramonsky (email@example.com)
Date: Wed Feb 06 2002 - 04:33:37 MST
----- Original Message -----
From: "Robert J. Bradbury" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2002 03:57
Subject: Re: Gods
> On Tue, 5 Feb 2002, namacdon wrote:
> > Magick is a taboo subject on Extropian lists, typically. I'd quit while
> > you're ahead.
> Not "taboo", but requiring plausible explanations and if it
> involves "extraordinary" claims, it requires "extraordinary" proof.
...Isn't that almost exactly what was said to Drexler about nanotech?
> I'd argue that 90% or more of the people on the list cannot explain
> how the 5-40 million transistor microprocessor in their computer
> actually works. To someone of my grandparents' generation it
> certainly *seems* like magic even though it follows the principles
> of physics as we now understand them.
...Has anybody defined what they mean by the word 'magic/k' yet? How many
misunderstandings are based on semantics? On the other hand, the conclusions
we jump to do reveal a lot about ourselves...
> Even worse nobody in the world is able to explain the functioning
> of a human body or the human mind. Certainly "magic" from where
> we now stand, though we "suspect" they follow principles of physics.
...We explain, and explore, ever-increasingly, both of these things. In the
same way that some dork said, 'Strangers are just friends I haven't met
yet', I see 'magic' as 'science we haven't sussed yet'. Am I missing
> Now, if I happen to suggest that the alignment of the planets
> results in fluctuations in the quantum gravity field that
> dictates how chromosomes recombine which results in the
> variations in personalities that we happen to associate
> with star signs, due to my "reputation" for not invoking
> magic physics, at least some people might think I was making
> a serious claim. But people are going to want to see the data.
...That depends on whether you're presenting an idea for brainstorming or a
scientific theory...or a plot for an episode of star trek...
> I was recently asked my opinion about this site:
> All I could say was that at first glance they seemed to be
> proposing technologies that would violate a number of accepted
> laws of physics.
And 'magic'. Sci-fi turns into reality? How many times?...If we 'play' hard
enough on the surface, the real work goes on underneath. That's all I think
people mean when they speak of 'magic'. In another couple of years it will
have some respectable name, such as 'Biofeedback Psychology', and will be
another useful neurohacking software tool.
> So -- that may be the "razor" when it comes to "Magick" -- if
> you can propose a magick that appears magical but does not
> violate laws of physics then it is reasonable to bring it
> to the table. If you propose magick that appears to violate
> laws of physics then the burden of proof is on your shoulders
> to explain where the laws of physics need to be extended or
> how such ideas do not violate the laws.
...Which is why I am doing the research I am doing...I bear the burden of
> I would sooner believe that one could change the neural connections
> in your mind to *really* believe that magick had happened than
> you could change the physical laws of the universe. It comes
> down to a simple question of which is more malleable.
...But doing that would be 'magic'...oh dear.
An experiment: How do you react to this:
'I am alone.
I am afraid.
And it feels brilliant.'
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