In a world where magic exists, magic exists. We can imagine a plan for making one, given uploading or better brain-perception interfaces and much better computing hardware. So it can exist both in principle and in practice. It might be that there is not much evidence for magic to shift expectation away from matter-is-dumb-stuff, as in our world, but even that doesn't necessarily rule it out.

Before evolution was figured out, unobserved living and perhaps thinking causes of life might have seemed a possibility, a reasonable expectation of nonvanishing probab... (read more)


Not sure we understand each other. It is easy to imagine worlds where the paranormal exists. But it is something deeper - it is about inrreducibly mental phenomena. To stick to my example, a potion or fountain of healing depends on the mental model of what changes in the body do human minds consider beneficial. It is conceivable as something designed by a human mind e.g. nanomachines, but as a naturally, paranormal-naturally, supernatural-naturally occuring phenomenon it is simply a logical contradiction in all logically conceivable worlds, unless a non-hu... (read more)

2Gunnar_Zarncke5yA fantasy where magic exists it may well exist. For story-telling purposes that is all fine and well but I can relate to the feeling that a story which is so at odds with real physics can feel too unreal to keep suspension of disbelief working. One way out is the humorous route as e.g. taken by Terry Pratchett.

Open thread, Apr. 01 - Apr. 05, 2015

by MrMind 1 min read31st Mar 2015180 comments


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