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Re: Change (was: (TFT) Jobs table: ...)

On Oct 1, 2011, at 8:01 PM, gem6868 wrote:

Lots of ancient philosophers were into all sorts of stuff. And Newton was a die-hard Christian. So? Responsible scientific methodology is a very new concept, not even a hundred years old. 100+ years ago, 90% of so-called "scientists" were charlatans, and wildly irresponsible by todays standards. Today, there are still plenty of irresponsible scientists around, but they get called onto the carpet (how many more times is the "missing link" of evolution going to be found by a Chinese scientist...?)

Magic on Cidri cam be more comparable to whatever guild magicians belong to today (entertainers? no idea) than to being part of any methodical scientific revolution. Note, this also answers your question RE: Cidri technology. Finally, while the church as an organization repressive to "progress" gets kicked around a lot, the church as being the progressive motor is usually overlooked (not PC). check into it and report your findings back. If it wasn't for the church, you'd still be an illiterate barbarian humping sheep and roasting your enemies in cages when angry. And you'd be a "progressive" barbarian if you knew how to hump the sheep.

Thats highly debatable. The church certainly maintained a lot of knowledge, and even (rarely and often in baby steps) made some discoveries, but it also hid a lot and tried to keep science down (see Copernicus and the loads of ancient manuscripts they locked up under Rome for being 'heretical.'). Note that the Romans, pre-Christianity, were considerably better off than Europe under the Church for a long period of time (basically until people started to ignore the Church when it came to science, government, and to a certain extent morality).

Note, also, that islamic society was considerably better off in most respects during most of the middle ages when it came to science and overall enlightenment than Europe under the Church- to the extent where one could even say that the philosophical tradition of that society wasn't just muslim, but also jewish (Maimonides being a well known example of a philosopher during this time in this region).

This is just throwing ideas around, but perhaps the reason there was a renaissance, enlightenment, and industrial revolution had more to do with a rebellion against the earlier church than it has to do with the church just magically creating progress... once people started rediscovering philosophy and the other ancient writings (influenced by the arabs, who had recorded some greek writings and maintained a philosophical tradition, discovered by Europeans during the Crusades) they desired to learn more and emulate the ancient society to on extent or another (The Renaissance), which was tied into a dissatisfaction with the Church (reformation, protestantism). Then the Europeans had some momentum, with relatively fast changes (helped along by some technological advances that were happening all around the Old World and spreading to Europe at about the same time) going on, and they started viewing scientific progress (in addition to Enlightenment) as a goal in and of itself, getting a true philosophical tradition going in Europe, more intense than the ones before it due to the rapid changes that had been taking place, and at that point things basically just lead from there to the Industrial Revolution.

Probably many flaws with that theory. But if its even vaguely right it could be a possibility for why things don't change on Cidri-in the real world things stayed pretty similar in overall technology and social dynamics (Sure, bronze weapons became steel, but a spear is a spear, and a farmer is a farmer) for thousands of years until the last, say, 700 years, and for a lot of years under the early church it was worse than years before it, or other regions in the world.

So I wouldn't say that the Church was exactly a progressive force that is the reason we're civilized, as all the evidence I've ever seen is directly against that, but people who say that the Church was just an oppressive force that kept Europe down, scientifically and otherwise, are wrong... even if it was an indirect affect, the unification it brought about and the later changes it helped create (by being the thing people wanted to change) certainly did help Europe 'win' even if it didn't help their science...

-----Original Message----- From: Margaret Tapley
Sent: Saturday, October 01, 2011 7:14 PM
To: tft@brainiac.com
Subject: Re: Change (was: (TFT) Jobs table: ...)

On Sep 30, 2011, at 8:14 PM, raito@raito.com wrote:

Quoting gem6868 <gem6868@verizon.net>:
I've a problem with magic as science. The two have nothing to do with one another historically, philosophically and mythically. It's like trying to
explain "miracle" with "science" and vice-versa.

Again, I disagree. Very much of modern chemistry has its roots in alchemy, for example.
Neil Gilmore

Also, Pythagoras (yep, the guy with the triangles) was big into
mysticism. He wasn't unique in this regard, either. And remember how
much the Church hated Copernicus? His theory that the earth wasn't the
center of the universe directly threatened the Church's religious
principles. There just wasn't much of a dividing line between science
and philosophy (and therefore magic / occultism) in those days.

So... if you see a miracle, and you don't promptly start trying to
figure out what caused it, and how it might be reproduced, isn't that
kind of irresponsible? Think of the knowledge humanity could gain! :-)

Anyway, the point is that systems involving magic are basically a sub-
set of science fiction. Pretty much all science fiction posits
something; magic posits that if a person who knows what they're doing
says a Word of Power and points their finger, they can make something
explode, or turn invisible, or any of a number of other things. So, in
that way, magic is no different than FT-
JustPretendIt'sPossibleForAMinute-L travel. In settings with FTL, it's
science. Why can't magic be science on Cidri? (At least to the extent
that Cidri even has science - medieval society, see...)

By the way, does anyone else wonder why Cidri technology doesn't
develop any further than it has? We get the lack of firearms (sulfur's
hard to get), but what's keeping back the Industrial Revolution? No
coal? Wizards being paranoid? Some kind of Mnoren-imposed glass
ceiling? This question's probably been discussed somewhere in the
archives, but I'm too lazy to go look right now...

- Meg Tapley
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