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Shawn

Science and magic are often spoken as if they are opposed. Science supposedly is based on hard facts and magic is the domain of the unexplainably mysterious, occult and often blatantly horseshit. 


Neither of those descriptions are accurate of science or magic. In fact, they're not descriptions of either of them at all. They're descriptions of Houdini style skepticism aimed at a certain kind of fraudulent huckster selling something to the credulous. (Usually books or psychic readings.)


The focus of science and magic isn't to debunk the bullshit of another person but to tease out the secrets of the the mysterious universe in which we live and apply them. Both are a persuit of knowledge and the application of that knowledge (power.)


Essentially science and magic are the same disciplines -- reverse engineering and engineering -- with a few differences.


1. Science is overwhelming academic and magic is purely practical. As such, the scientist is limited by academic standards, the magician by his own abilities. This allows modern day magicians to benefit from the research of more academic researchers even though they show no interest in anything outside their own ivory tower.


2. Theory, research and application within science are almost always separated to the point that all three are done by different groups of people. Magicians must be all three. In the end, the magician must always rely on his own first hand experience, his own judgement, his own understanding, and his own abilites.


3. The mechanism of validation of knowledge in science is peer review. Magical knoweldge can only be proven by first hand results. Even when knowledge is originally from an academic source, a magician must validate it for himself.


4. Science is generally thought of as mainly involving the physical sciences, thus, "hard science" is a science which works directly (or as close as possible) with some kind of matter. Magic, on the other hand, is primarily psychological and social and works using universally applicable models such as networks and systems. It matters less to a magician what something is made of than how it functions.


5. The point of view of a scientist is looking outward. The point of view of a magician is through their own eyes. For example, within science psychology is studied and explained as if it only pertained to other people. Magicians study psychology from their own first person perspective "from within the subject" wherever such first hand observations about themselves can be made.


6. Self-awareness and situational awareness is much more important in magic than in science. A magician is thus much more aware of himself and his surroundings and the dynamics of change in the moment than a scientist. 


7. Science ultimately is focused on the advancement of a body of knowledge. Magic ultimately results in the personal evolution of the magician.

Shawn Jul 27 '15 · Comments: 5 · Tags: magic, science
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