I’ve heard in several places that sufficently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Although this may be true, traditional “magic” and fairytale “magic” seem to differ significantly from technological “magic”.
First though, the similarities. Magic and technology extend the power of the weilder (mage or engineer) to influence the world. Being tools, they are often (both in fable and history) used and misused by both the good and bad. Often too, certain magic or technology carries a sinister weight, derived from its origin. Perhaps the evil witch draws power from un-holy forces, or the evil corporation draws it’s widgets from sweatshops. Nevertheless, both magic and technology are portrayed primarily as wonderous, mysterious, potent, and more than a little dangerous. Both seem to complicate life.
However, despite their similarities (and cursory interchangability) magic is a poor substitute for technology, and vice-versa. (more…)