why people romantice magic over most science.

by higurashimerlin 1 min read8th Mar 201717 comments


Back in 2008 Eliezer wrote the following post http://lesswrong.com/lw/ou/if_you_demand_magic_magic_wont_help/ In it he said the following

"Born into a world of science, they did not become scientists.  What makes them think that, in a world of magic, they would act any differently?" However, he seems to misunderstand. I do not believe that people seek magic or other fantasies for being different and on the other side of the fence. But rather, because it fills a need that most sciences don't give people.

In fantasy when people imagine the kind of things they want, I tend to see the following things

flying under you own power vs airplanes

powerful melee weapons vs guns,

supernatural strength and speed vs tools and vehicles,

magic vs tools.

What these share in common is they are your own power vs a outside power. People feel a stronger connection to their actions when they are doing it with their hands or with a tool that uses their own strength. Hitting a light switch to turn on a light doesn't feel like something you did. Inventing the light bulb makes you feel what you did something, but the result still doesn't feel like a part of yourself. Likewise, a sword feels like a part of you in a way a gun doesn't. Cars do better than other vehicles because you become attached to them mentally.

Magic fulfills this need to have your ability be your own on a emotional level. A light spell is your own light and I think people would feel the same way if they had a biological ability to emit light, if you could fly on your own, with your own wings then people might stop thinking about broomsticks. Being a cyborg gives similar benefits. The machinery is a part of you so you feel like your actually strong. Like you actually can create fireballs, leaps 10 stories or walk through a fire unharmed while giving one liners.


I am not sure how to make people feel the same way when it comes to current science and technology. We can make people feel better in life in general if we started to promote blue collar work again, but that is leaves the matter that people aren't pursuing science as much as I wish. I would like to bring this into discussion before trying to propose a solution as any solution I can comeup up with now is "in the future" what can we do right now to handle this without cyborgs.

Please discuss.