Joseph Rabie on Wed, 8 Dec 2021 19:21:00 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> The Dawn of Everything (very short review)

Le 8 déc. 2021 à 18:31, mp <> a écrit :

"...We will continue to use science to understand and change the world.
But magic has an older sibling’s capacity to calm the energies of
science and its technologies, allowing us to think about the ends to
which scientific discoveries can be put. Religion encourages a sense of
wonder at powers beyond the human; magic helps us to explore our shared
substance and commitments to the rest of the world; and science provides
distance and techniques for manipulating the physical aspects of the
universe. Magic, religion and science all reach inside us to designate
various human capabilities: our empathetic qualities through magic; our
feeling of wonder at the scale and beauty of the cosmos through
religion; and our technical skills and abilities through science. All
elements of the triple helix of magic, religion and science are
necessary, as they help us to reach out to the universe, exploring and
connecting with it in various ways. No one strand is inherently more
important than the other two, and magic is certainly not the least of
the three. Magic offers the possibility of a communal life – a life
lived together with all the cosmos. Although such a change in relations
is difficult, the stakes are high; a truly open community is hard to
obtain or sustain, but the need to cool the planet and live in a greater
state of equality is urgent. Failure invites catastrophe for the fragile
networks of life on Earth, threatening the many strands of sentience.
Magic allows for a sense of kinship with all things, living or not. And
with kinship comes responsibility, the same sort of responsibility we
feel towards our family and friends. Whereas science asks, ‘Can we do
that?’, magic asks, ‘Should we?..".

I am really wary of terms like magic, beyond seeing them as a poetic metaphors (helpful & useful, as such) for things that escape us, or transcend us, or that are incomprehensible to us, even though they are clearly there (consciousness, for one).

Appealing to magic, given our predicament, really seems to me like grasping at straws. And, given that in current culture magic has come to be represented by Harry Potter© more than anything else (one Latin phrase and Voldomor bites the dust), a lot more needs to be known about magic's eventual agency, before we make it part of a toolkit for repairing the damage we have done.


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