08 NOV 2013 by ideonexus

 Economics Uses Magical Language

A common feature in systems of magic is animism — attributing to inanimate objects the functions of life, assuming things to possess will, purpose, and power. It is significant (though quite in keeping) that "Economists" and "Financiers" have this characteristic at- titude of mind towards, and employ animistic forms of expression in writing and talking about "Money" and "Capital." Whether this is due to unconscious belief in magic or is mere metaphor, the result, in either case, is befo...
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It's use of animism in describing the economy is suspect, but the same metaphors are used in real science as well.

24 OCT 2013 by ideonexus

 Card Trick Involving Chance

A good card magician knows many tricks that depend on luck—they don’t always work, or even often work. There are some effects—they can hardly be called tricks—that might work only once in a thousand times! Here is what you do: You start by telling the audience you are going to perform a trick, and without telling them what trick you are doing, you go for the one-in-a-thousand effect. It almost never works, of course, so you glide seamlessly into a second try—for an effect that works...
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The idea is to rely on probability, have several tricks where the odds get better and better until p=1.

08 APR 2013 by ideonexus

 Human Scientific Achievement is Greater Than the Magic of...

And Harry raced back up the stairs and shoved the staircase back into the trunk with his heel, and, panting, turned the pages of the book until he found the picture he wanted to show to Draco. The one with the white, dry, cratered land, and the suited people, and the blue-white globe hanging over it all. That picture. The picture, if only one picture in all the world were to survive. "That," Harry said, his voice trembling because he couldn't quite keep the pride out, "is what the Earth look...
Folksonomies: science magic reality
Folksonomies: science magic reality
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None of the Wizards have gone to the moon. Rational Harry Potter baffles them by showing them a picture of the Earth from space.

08 APR 2013 by ideonexus

 Science Can Keep You Alive is Magic Fails

Harry thought, considered, chose his weapon. "Draco, you want to explain the whole blood purity thing to me? I'm sort of new." A wide smile crossed Draco's face. "You really should meet Father and ask him, you know, he's our leader." "Give me the thirty-second version." "Okay," Draco said. He drew in a deep breath, and his voice grew slightly lower, and took on a cadence. "Our powers have grown weaker, generation by generation, as the mudblood taint increases. Where Salazar and Godric and Ro...
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Rational Harry Potter explains to Draco the error in his thinking that muggles are thinning out the magic in the world and making it weaker.

08 APR 2013 by ideonexus

 The Rules of Magic Don't Make Any Sense

Some children would have waited until after their first trip to Diagon Alley. "Bag of element 79," Harry said, and withdrew his hand, empty, from the mokeskin pouch. Most children would have at least waited to get their wands first. "Bag of okane," said Harry. The heavy bag of gold popped up into his hand. Harry withdrew the bag, then plunged it again into the mokeskin pouch. He took out his hand, put it back in, and said, "Bag of tokens of economic exchange." That time his hand came ou...
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Rational Potter experiments with a magical bag that will give him whatever he asks for and doesn't understand why it can understand some requests but not others.

08 APR 2013 by ideonexus

 Wizardry Violates the Conservation of Energy

“You turned into a cat! A small cat! You violated Conservation of Energy! That’s not just an arbitrary rule, it’s implied by the form of the quantum Hamiltonian! Rejecting it destroys unitarity and then you get ftl signaling! And cats are complicated! A human mind can’t just visualize a whole cat’s anatomy and, and all the cat biochemistry, and what about the neurology? How can you go on thinking using a catsized brain?” McGonagall’s lips were twitching harder now. “Magic.”...
Folksonomies: physics magic
Folksonomies: physics magic
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When rational Harry Potter sees a woman turn into a cat, he cannot believe the violation of the laws of physics.

29 MAR 2013 by ideonexus

 Belief VS Evidence

Our own view of what is and is not possible in reality affects how we perceive identical evidence. But that view shifts with time, and thus, evidence that might at one point seem meaningless can come to hold a great deal of meaning. Think of how many ideas seemed outlandish when first put forward, seemed so impossible that they couldn’t be true: the earth being round; the earth going around the sun; the universe being made up almost entirely of something that we can’t see, dark matter and...
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Many great minds have been taken in by supernatural ideas.

18 MAR 2013 by ideonexus

 Buckminster Fuller's Rules for Knowing if He Was on the R...

I assumed that nature would "evaluate" my work as I went along. If I was doing what nature wanted done, and if I was doing it in promising ways, permitted by nature's principles, I would find my work being econom¬ ically sustained—and vice versa, in which latter negative case I must quick¬ ly cease doing what I had been doing and seek logically alternative courses until I found the new course that nature signified her approval of by pro¬ viding for its physical support. Vherefore, I co...
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If he was creating artifacts that would help the human race survive, nature, he found, would provide for all his needs.

21 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 If You Really Want to Know, You Go to Science

[I]magine you want to know the sex of your unborn child. There are several approaches. You could, for example, do what the late film star ... Cary Grant did before he was an actor: In a carnival or fair or consulting room, you suspend a watch or a plumb bob above the abdomen of the expectant mother; if it swings left-right it's a boy, and if it swings forward-back it's a girl. The method works one time in two. Of course he was out of there before the baby was born, so he never heard from cust...
Folksonomies: science magic
Folksonomies: science magic
  1  notes

Sagan uses the example of a watch swinging over an expectant mother's belly to determine the sex of a fetus.

21 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 James Randi Definition of Science

Science is best defined as a careful, disciplined, logical search for knowledge about any and all aspects of the universe, obtained by examination of the best available evidence and always subject to correction and improvement upon discovery of better evidence. What's left is magic. And it doesn't work.
Folksonomies: science definition magic
Folksonomies: science definition magic
  1  notes

Expansive, but succinct.