“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” Arthur C Clarke

Prepare to be amazed…..

Can you tell the difference between technology and magic?


  1. I don’t understand how it stays exactly where it’s put, with no deviation, without regard to the either positive or negative force of gravity. It doesn’t move at all with a force due to gravity acting on it, but moves easily with force from a hand. I’d like to see a graph of force versus acceleration of that system.

    It seems it must have some response sort of like static friction causes. You can push an object on carpet a little bit, and it doesn’t move at all. Push it a lot, and it suddenly starts moving…..

  2. “Can you tell the difference between technology and magic?”

    Magic involves forces that recognize meaning and intention (e.g., what our words mean when we cast a spell). Technology involves dumb forces that respond only to meaningless (to it) manipulations.

    You can tell this is technology by how the effect is produced. If they could do the same thing merely by conveying some message, it would be magic.

    1. Indeed. If I give a computer a command, it will recognise that command and execute it. The command has meaning to the computer, if not on a higher level than ‘if command A is received, carry out action B’. The computer is a ‘dumb force’, though, in the sense that if the wording of the command differs even slightly, it won’t know what to do.

      On the other hand, back in my esotheric days I was taught that the wording of a spell (as well as the intent behind it) has to answer to some pretty strict parameters as well. Some even compared it to programming a highly advanced computer, and really, there is no significant or recognisable difference (other than the whole ‘computers are real, magic is make-belief’ thing, but our opinions on that subject may differ).

  3. OK, the i09 explanation was inadequate for me. Does anyone have a link to a better one, or the ability to explain it? My first question about it is, what’s quantum about it?

    1. Try and picture it this way… if you had two magnets.

      “{}-” this represents a magnet fixed to a table with a pole coming out of it.
      “{-}” this represents a magnet that is a disk with a hole in the middle. Like a circle with a straw going through it. Essentially you can slide this up and down the straw.

      the table:{} —{-}—- (imagine this is vertical and not horizontal)

      So if you can picture this the magnet with a hole in it will appear to be floating on top of the other one and can’t move side to side.

      That is essentially what is happening with this from my understanding. This happens because the magnetic field is able to “Pass through holes” in the superconducting material, so it is “locked” in place.

  4. “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”

    Nonsense – this is a well understood phenomenon. It’s only magic to those who don’t care to do a little research.

    Of course it’s very impressive, and counter to our every day experience, but it’d not even vaguely magic.

  5. Je pense que lorsque la magie vient à être expliquée, elle cesse d’être « magique ». Elle devient « astuce ». La technologie rend possibles & réels des phénomènes que la magie souhaite nous faire croire possibles, mais qui sont en réalité « truqués ».

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