On the Lambda

Programming, Technology, and Systems Administration

On the Lambda

Technology vs Magic

April 2nd, 2015 · 1 Comment · non-computer

In honor of the death of Terry Pratchett I’ve been re-reading a few of his books. One in particular is “Maurice and his Educated Rodents“. The premise of the book is that a cat and some rats come across some magical debris that gives them human-like intelligence and speech.

Something in that got me thinking about the difference between magic and technology. People do research all the time to examine and improve the intelligence of rats and other mammals. Imagine what a wondrous technological advancement it would be to create a drug that could give human-like intelligence to a colony of rats! But the cat and rats in the book could also speak. Not just that, but they used human language. That’s magic. Not only do we have the intelligence increase, but the knowledge transfer as well. That’s clearly magic. There’s just something there that knows what you need for the advance to be practical.


One Comment so far ↓

  • ronpaul2012

    All the data suggests that possible effects of the environment on intelligence has a ceiling, but no floor. Technology allows less intelligent people/races to do more, but it cannot make them more intelligent, as long as they remain biologically human.

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