Poll: Magic vs Science: Which One Do You Root For In A Story?

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There have been a number of stories pitting science against magic. In those stories which one do you root for?

Magic is just unexplained science, suited best for writers who go "umm, you know what, let's not bother today."

Or so I read in a science cookie once.

Science. Always. Even in those stories where there's a gossamer thin pretext of impartiality draped over the science dudes being evil.

Both. Like in a Kaiju movie, I'm there just for the spectacle.

I never really realized it until Harry Potter but I pretty much root for science.

I didn't realize it until I caught myself grumbling "yes, our wands are called guns and their only spell is 'kill person'". Its a really effective spell against living things.

Magic, because we don't have it in real life. That's what makes it cool.

If i had to choose one? Magic, because I already have science around me. I want something different.

But, if I had my preference? It is always a mix. That's why shadowrun and most steam punk settings are my favorite settings.

Humans are pretty magical, so I'll go magic. Characters are more interesting when they pull out lines like; "Never tell me the odds..."

Although I've never seen any of these science vs magic stories, I'll go with science. I'm really not a fan of mixing the two, it very quickly puts me off.

Science, its practical, mass producing, and it gets stronger as the years move on

ObsidianJones:
If i had to choose one? Magic, because I already have science around me. I want something different.

But, if I had my preference? It is always a mix. That's why shadowrun and most steam punk settings are my favorite settings.

Hrm ... is that how we're definining magic and science, though?

I'm perplexed. The reason I wrote before that 'humans are pretty magical' is precisely thefact that humans implement quasi-magical thinking in order to be happy.

It's actually a pretty accepted psychological phenomena and it makes sense when you think about it. If humans were simply paralyzed to act because of their sapience and trying to consider truthfully the odds of their success nothing would get done and humans would lose all illusion of chaos and control.

But precisely because we fabricate quasi-magical narratives concerning our interaction with the world, it allows us to stand, to fight, to take chances, even if we are likely to fail. And it often leads to unique circumstances where simply with enough quasi-magical thinking humans collectively are capable of performing things they otherwise would be paralyzed to do if they were only thinking in terms of their personal input.

'Magic' is pretty hard to define, all things considered.

Like here's a clear example of magic ... You go to a casino. You see some people just hanging out by the poker machines. One person leaves a poker machine after deciding they're personally lost enough money ... and a lot of times you'll see that person that was just hanging around make a bee line to that machine.

The idea that by fate and the illusion of control, the karmic wheels are turning. That someone simply didn't stick long enough with a machine for it to pay out ...

And because humans are geared to remember instances of faith being rewarded rather than remember when faith has jeopardized them, allows that human to do something ... even if it ultimately means they'll lose money. Quasi-magical thinking ... and there's a decent argument it's one of the strongest forces to maintaining a person's optimism, but also an argument that that optimism even if exploitable does actually allow successes where otherwise a person wouldn't try at all.

Honestly, it's more fun having characters like that than the opposite. No one truly likes C-3PO ... they do like Han Solo telling C-3PO to 'never tell him the odds...'

Addendum_Forthcoming:

ObsidianJones:
If i had to choose one? Magic, because I already have science around me. I want something different.

But, if I had my preference? It is always a mix. That's why shadowrun and most steam punk settings are my favorite settings.

Hrm ... is that how we're definining magic and science, though?

I'm perplexed. The reason I wrote before that 'humans are pretty magical' is precisely thefact that humans implement quasi-magical thinking in order to be happy.

It's actually a pretty accepted psychological phenomena and it makes sense when you think about it. If humans were simply paralyzed to act because of their sapience and trying to consider truthfully the odds of their success nothing would get done and humans would lose all illusion of chaos and control.

But precisely because we fabricate quasi-magical narratives concerning our interaction with the world, it allows us to stand, to fight, to take chances, even if we are likely to fail. And it often leads to unique circumstances where simply with enough quasi-magical thinking humans collectively are capable of performing things they otherwise would be paralyzed to do if they were only thinking in terms of their personal input.

'Magic' is pretty hard to define, all things considered.

I define magic as the ability to harness, create, or control energies and/or the ability to manipulate reality by using nothing but the being's thoughts and will to affect said change. We're not talking I thought up a plan to move me out of my home, so I got some friends and we spent the afternoon clearing it out and moving it to my new place. We're talking "I used my mind to literally levitate and move my crap into my new house without any physical effort".

But I'm a contrary person. Everyone is all "Evil is cool, I like the villain, I want more movies with villains". I'm like "Dude, I can turn on CNN to see villains. I'm tired of villains. I want my escapism to help me escape, not be more of the same things I see in my real life, but in a grander scale".

Science, because magic too often leads to superstition and ignorance. We know, through science, ie Biology, that witches with magical powers don't actually exist. The poor bastards who lived before science knew that didn't know that.

Likewise we know ghosts aren't real, so we don't have to be afraid of going out at night, in the magical superstition that ghosts can't be around in sun light, but moonlight works, even though moonlight is reflected sun light.

ObsidianJones:

I define magic as the ability to harness, create, or control energies and/or the ability to manipulate reality by using nothing but the being's thoughts and will to affect said change. We're not talking I thought up a plan to move me out of my home, so I got some friends and we spent the afternoon clearing it out and moving it to my new place. We're talking "I used my mind to literally levitate and move my crap into my new house without any physical effort".

But I'm a contrary person. Everyone is all "Evil is cool, I like the villain, I want more movies with villains". I'm like "Dude, I can turn on CNN to see villains. I'm tired of villains. I want my escapism to help me escape, not be more of the same things I see in my real life, but in a grander scale".

Quasi-magical thinking is a bit more complex than that. Quasi-magical thought is kind of like peopleconstructing narratives of control even if an illusion in the moment, but on the flipside allows them to do things that they would otherwise be paralyzed to fo in the face of probable failure or the crushing weight of reality. Quasi-magical thinking is the type of thinking that allows a person to enlist to fight the Third Reich, and even if one person amidst literal millions that idea of control to affect change personified by millions like them ultimately achieve even if only because so many thought like them.

The one thing that annoys me is how gritty emo-trash things like Batman are, when clearly Batman is best realized in that 60s naivete of ultimately being someone that is merely Gotham's City's best as they can be in that moment. Judge Dredd only works if only because the comic itself is a debasement and parody... a satire ... of what 'justice' should be. And that's precisely how it should be treated.

Gotham has to be this dark, depressing, depraved place for emo-trash Batman to work... when in truth, someone like Batman couldn't be like that. It's kind of why I have a problem with the late 90s 'mature' take on superhero genre, because ultimately it's stupid and makes it feel dumb.

The people that actually stand up to bullies picking on weaker people is not emo-garbage Batman. It's the Adam West Batmans of the world.

It's not the chronically depressed, angsty, socially maladjusted arseholes of the world. It's the people that actually take a stand, believe that humans are more than the sum of their parts, that ultimately hold justice and social consciousness of the respect that humans deserve for simply being human. Nullified only when such humans seek to bring humanity towards self-debasement.

Which is 'quasi-magical thinking' but it's also the type of thinking they builds civilizations, gives humans justice and creates beauty... as you would say 'from nothing'.

That's what I think when people say 'magic'.

Xsjadoblayde:
Magic is just unexplained science, suited best for writers who go "umm, you know what, let's not bother today."

Or so I read in a science cookie once.

Well that's the lazy approach to magic. Good writers tend to be a lot better about it. I believe it was Brandon Sanderson who put it best, that "the author's ability to solve conflict with magic is directly proportional to how well the reader understands said magic" (explained in greater detail here). For illustrative purposes, it's very vague what, exactly, Gandalf is capable of in Lord of the Rings. By the same token, however, he uses magic rarely and usually in a very limited capacity (such as setting pinecones on fire), relying far more on physical ability than magic for the most part. By contrast, "bending" in Avatar: The Last Airbender is straightforward and its capacities very well understood, and its pervasive usage is part of what defines the franchise. Similarly, Alchemy in FullMetal Alchemist and Allomancy in Mistborn are more heavily employed than the Force is in Star Wars (at least actively employed).

Science over magic any day.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

ObsidianJones:
If i had to choose one? Magic, because I already have science around me. I want something different.

But, if I had my preference? It is always a mix. That's why shadowrun and most steam punk settings are my favorite settings.

Hrm ... is that how we're definining magic and science, though?

I'm perplexed. The reason I wrote before that 'humans are pretty magical' is precisely thefact that humans implement quasi-magical thinking in order to be happy.

It's actually a pretty accepted psychological phenomena and it makes sense when you think about it. If humans were simply paralyzed to act because of their sapience and trying to consider truthfully the odds of their success nothing would get done and humans would lose all illusion of chaos and control.

But precisely because we fabricate quasi-magical narratives concerning our interaction with the world, it allows us to stand, to fight, to take chances, even if we are likely to fail. And it often leads to unique circumstances where simply with enough quasi-magical thinking humans collectively are capable of performing things they otherwise would be paralyzed to do if they were only thinking in terms of their personal input.

'Magic' is pretty hard to define, all things considered.

Like here's a clear example of magic ... You go to a casino. You see some people just hanging out by the poker machines. One person leaves a poker machine after deciding they're personally lost enough money ... and a lot of times you'll see that person that was just hanging around make a bee line to that machine.

The idea that by fate and the illusion of control, the karmic wheels are turning. That someone simply didn't stick long enough with a machine for it to pay out ...

And because humans are geared to remember instances of faith being rewarded rather than remember when faith has jeopardized them, allows that human to do something ... even if it ultimately means they'll lose money. Quasi-magical thinking ... and there's a decent argument it's one of the strongest forces to maintaining a person's optimism, but also an argument that that optimism even if exploitable does actually allow successes where otherwise a person wouldn't try at all.

Honestly, it's more fun having characters like that than the opposite. No one truly likes C-3PO ... they do like Han Solo telling C-3PO to 'never tell him the odds...'

You need to find a balance between those two extremes.

Being hindered by doubt and depression isn't good but neither is unjustified optimism and lack of reasoning. characters who prefer seat
of your pants decision making being depicted as being almost always right compared to their more rational counterparts only promotes anti-intellectualism.

Agent_Z:

You need to find a balance between those two extremes.

Being hindered by doubt and depression isn't good but neither is unjustified optimism and lack of reasoning. characters who prefer seat
of your pants decision making being depicted as being almost always right compared to their more rational counterparts only promotes anti-intellectualism.

Yeah, but confidence is sexy. In a modern setting with utterly 'unmagical' mindsets, you're running into characters that almost seem like they're on (or need) benzodiazepines and NaSSAs. Trope of the quiet, shy person... who ultimately never rocks the boat and is utterly anxious in the spotlight. The thing is, it's a trope and trope only of the 'unjustifiably confident social person' ... because extroverts tend to balance their risk-taking with experience through life.

Like I almost died in a motorcycle accident during a race. I survived that, and I became less enamoured with such things due to the toll it took on my life... but that being said I am still more skilled at riding than most motorcyclists if only because of those associations I made in my youth that would lead to pushing myself for the sake of whatever inflated ideas I had about the importance of social esteem. About proving I was the best (even if it wasn't ever going to happen).

It's why rags to riches people, even in so called 'nerd scenes', tend to be extroverts. It's why tech companies try to summon a (what I like to call) 'keyboard jockey rock star' type of media and lifestyle presence and projection. Trendy workspaces without cubicles and rather multiple means to engage with workers around them. They run strange theatrics of internal company presentations.

It's an extrovert's world... and being the best is secondary to being seen as the best.

By dint of that, either as villains or heroes, extroverts are more interesting types of plot driving characters. Because they're actively associating with other characters and because of nascent increases in risk-prone behaviour, they create a more realistic understanding and realization of conflict creation and conflict management.

As I was saying before ... 60s Batman is actually the type of Batman that gets stuff done in reality. Not the brooding, angsty, chronically depressed person... no, they just remain broody, angsty, chronically depressed people.

And while I'm not saying that you can't do anythng with that, I'm just saying there's less you can do with that... particularly if the narrative calls for complex social interactions and time-tested ideas of conflict and drama.

An extrovert can just literally steal the scene ... and they will believably do so. Often with spectacular effects to their detriment or success.

In the context of a sci-fi or fantasy story or movie, they are often just different words for the same thing. And on their own merits I can't really choose, as it depends more on the story. I've got favourite fantasy, I've also got favourite sci-fi... I'm honestly hard pressed at the moment to think of a story I liked where there was a conflict between magic and science.

Bit of a tangent- Richard Bachman's Thinner had a cool sort of arc where an old gypsy cursed a bunch of people he felt were responsible for the death of his daughter in a collision - the whole trial was a farce of justice. The protagonist, one of the hexed, felt like he had been unfairly damned, and although he was suffering from the curse of growing thinner and thinner (like, cancerous or wasting away to nothing), he put a 'modern' curse on the gypsy... by hiring a hitman who shot up the gypsies. Ultimately, it was hard to feel good about any of the characters- it was a dark tale- but the juxtaposition of a magical curse with a modern variant in kind was kinda cool.

In roleplaying games, I mostly prefer the trappings of magic - the medieval, vaguely European, low-level magic, punctuated by great displays of overt magic (almost always either connected to legends of worldbuilding events/folklore/religion, or events directly involving the characters/heroes), but occasionally will enjoy a d20 modern game sans overt sorcery or magic. We even have a few sci-fi games on the go.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

Agent_Z:

You need to find a balance between those two extremes.

Being hindered by doubt and depression isn't good but neither is unjustified optimism and lack of reasoning. characters who prefer seat
of your pants decision making being depicted as being almost always right compared to their more rational counterparts only promotes anti-intellectualism.

Yeah, but confidence is sexy. In a modern setting with utterly 'unmagical' mindsets, you're running into characters that almost seem like they're on (or need) benzodiazepines and NaSSAs. Trope of the quiet, shy person... who ultimately never rocks the boat and is utterly anxious in the spotlight. The thing is, it's a trope and trope only of the 'unjustifiably confident social person' ... because extroverts tend to balance their risk-taking with experience through life.

Like I almost died in a motorcycle accident during a race. I survived that, and I became less enamoured with such things due to the toll it took on my life... but that being said I am still more skilled at riding than most motorcyclists if only because of those associations I made in my youth that would lead to pushing myself for the sake of whatever inflated ideas I had about the importance of social esteem. About proving I was the best (even if it wasn't ever going to happen).

It's why rags to riches people, even in so called 'nerd scenes', tend to be extroverts. It's why tech companies try to summon a (what I like to call) 'keyboard jockey rock star' type of media and lifestyle presence and projection. Trendy workspaces without cubicles and rather multiple means to engage with workers around them. They run strange theatrics of internal company presentations.

It's an extrovert's world... and being the best is secondary to being seen as the best.

By dint of that, either as villains or heroes, extroverts are more interesting types of plot driving characters. Because they're actively associating with other characters and because of nascent increases in risk-prone behaviour, they create a more realistic understanding and realization of conflict creation and conflict management.

As I was saying before ... 60s Batman is actually the type of Batman that gets stuff done in reality. Not the brooding, angsty, chronically depressed person... no, they just remain broody, angsty, chronically depressed people.

And while I'm not saying that you can't do anythng with that, I'm just saying there's less you can do with that... particularly if the narrative calls for complex social interactions and time-tested ideas of conflict and drama.

An extrovert can just literally steal the scene ... and they will believably do so. Often with spectacular effects to their detriment or success.

I don't think you can do more with extroverts necessarily. They just seem easier to write because they are more plentiful compared to introvert characters. Cassandra Cain is an introvert and one of the most complex and well written characters I've ever read in any comic or encountered in any media. People who have depression aren't less effective than those who don't have it. Not if they have ways to cope with it. Believe me I know. Batman's issue isn't being chronically depressed, it's him not seeking out help for it.

Rock star types might seem fun at first glance. Until you actually realise some of them have no idea what the hell theyre doing and end up running things into the ground. The movie Shattered Glass was a great deconstruction of this type of person. And we only need to look to reality to see examples of such. From CEOs who acted life was one big party and didn't know the first thing about running a business to politicians who ran the premise of having zero political experience (didn't one of those recently win an election?).

Wanting to be seen as the best as opposed to actually being the best is a pretty easy way to screw up. And contributes to that anti-intellectualism I mentioned before.

In fact, tying into the thread topic, I myself like when magic is depicted as a discipline to be taught which makes it a science of sorts.

Eh, if the two are in conflict, there's something wrong with your magic.

Show a scientist (or, hell, anyone with any sort of understand of what science is about) real magic and they'll likely start doing experiments to try to understand it. And you've just turned magic into a new form of science. Perhaps one very badly understood, but if it can be understood (which you sort need to do, at least to an extent, to interact with it) then people will try understanding it scientifically.

Depends on the story slant. I read a story not too long ago where they were both assholes trying to eradicate the other no matter if entire worlds get destroyed along the way (though science was more 'machines').

I find Magic generally tends to get the more positive coverage due to being portrayed less 'cold', as something 'natural' to the world that humanity lost when we began to industrialize, perhaps in aid of 'Gaia's Lament'. Other times it's just science that isn't accessible to the majority.

In another recent read, electricity and combustion are magic. We just forgot how to use the other types.

One of the reasons I like Bethesda's Elder Scrolls series so much is how they deal with this very topic. The Dwemer abandoned magic for science and became much more technologically advanced than the rest of the mortal races, but following their disappearance the other races stuck with magic, resulting in a world where you have steam-punk era tech existing as ancient relics in a world awash with magic.

Whichever is the minority in the setting of the world usually. Gotta love an underdog

The game "Elex" was precisely about this very thing. It was a Fallout style setting, distant future world ravaged by something or other. Humanity split off into factions, roughly conforming to to tropes of magic using druids with swords and axes, anarchists with home made molotovs and nailguns and high-tech military with lasers and robots. I went with the druids and shunned technology. Nasty, one of the NPC companions who joins the player's party (who's the anarchist-type companion) says at one point "Why'd you join up with those tree-hugging ass bags?" Such a funny line.

In Shadowrun Returns (and sequels), I played an Elf Shaman with pistol skills, so I don't know what that makes me there. In general tho, I like magic systems and the worlds those systems are a part of. In fantasy stories, we can have demons, vampires, other monsters, actual real deities, non-chisel-featured heroes and much more besides. I love my sci fi as much as anyone, but I'll go with magic.

Grouchy Imp:
One of the reasons I like Bethesda's Elder Scrolls series so much is how they deal with this very topic. The Dwemer abandoned magic for science and became much more technologically advanced than the rest of the mortal races, but following their disappearance the other races stuck with magic, resulting in a world where you have steam-punk era tech existing as ancient relics in a world awash with magic.

I love it! It's so true and I think the way they wove the science, magic, deities, culture, relationships and disappearance altogether was really cool. The Dwemer are probably the greatest and most interesting mystery in TES and I simultaneously want it completely explained in minute detail with a whole game dedicated to this one aspect, and also want it left a mystery for all time.

It's why I think Morrowind will always be superior, certainly storywise, to its sequels, and also why I wish they let us play the actual story of Nerevar him/herself instead of as the Nerevarine.

Agent_Z:

I don't think you can do more with extroverts necessarily. They just seem easier to write because they are more plentiful compared to introvert characters. Cassandra Cain is an introvert and one of the most complex and well written characters I've ever read in any comic or encountered in any media. People who have depression aren't less effective than those who don't have it. Not if they have ways to cope with it. Believe me I know. Batman's issue isn't being chronically depressed, it's him not seeking out help for it.

Rock star types might seem fun at first glance. Until you actually realise some of them have no idea what the hell theyre doing and end up running things into the ground. The movie Shattered Glass was a great deconstruction of this type of person. And we only need to look to reality to see examples of such. From CEOs who acted life was one big party and didn't know the first thing about running a business to politicians who ran the premise of having zero political experience (didn't one of those recently win an election?).

Wanting to be seen as the best as opposed to actually being the best is a pretty easy way to screw up. And contributes to that anti-intellectualism I mentioned before.

In fact, tying into the thread topic, I myself like when magic is depicted as a discipline to be taught which makes it a science of sorts.

Nobody is saying the depressed don't do things. Just statistically that is exactly the problem, and we know this because extroverts don't catastrophize (well ... okay, they don't truly believe their catastrophizing... they can just be histrionic about bad things). If you're an extrovert and late to work, you'll be like; "Arghhhhh! No! I'm going toget it now!" ... But inevitably your boss'll chew you out a bit but you'll win them back by the end of the day because you've already engaged with them enough times on a pseudo-personal basis to understand their likes.

On the flipside, 90% of depression sufferers are anxiety disorder related or with people who are anxiety disorder prone.

And yeah, Batman counts. PTSD is literally a defining attribution to much of everything else he does or how his pins his relationship to society within the genre of what I like tocall 'Emo-trash Batman'. Compared with 60s Batman, Bruce Wayne actually doesall the things that modern critiques ofemo-trash Batman is accused of not doing. For example, how much good Batman could do if heactually spent his money on social welfare programs? Well, 60s Batman does do that.

It's also why 60s Gotham isn't a complete shithole ... because Bruce Wayne probably wouldn't stand for it. In fact I reckon 60s Batman would build an artificial sun just to brighten everybody's day if ported into the grimy hellhole of however it is treated in various re-skinnings. 60s Batman also advocates that prison be purely rehabilitative. That once a person has repaid their debt to society, they should be given the benefit of the doubt and not simply be profiled due merely to their background ... actual morality idealism about the relationship between the person and the rest of society. The idea that society is held together less by law, and more by personal respects to others.

It's about the 'spirit of the law' much less than any brute force behind merely its means of facilitation. Which is quasi-magical thinking, but at the same time utterly necessary if you actually want a law-abiding society that respects basic civil liberty.

Judge Dredd is actually a pretty good examination of everything wrongwithBatman, but at least self-aware enough that; "Yeah, shit is fucked and it should never get this bad. Dredd is a dick, and sadly still a necessary one." You know, just don't scratch too far underneath the surfae that the body count might actually be lower if there wasn't a Judge Dredd to begin with.... I know there are obviously plot points where ifthere was no Judge Dredd you would have megadeath events, but just going by a case-on-ase basis.

60s Batman would be called 'leftist AF' in today's current political climate in just about every episode.

The thing is, he's not actually leftist ... but rather most of his morality is pinned more by social awareness and people's relationships to others. This is why you couldn't have an emo-trash Batman in Adam West's Batman. And this is totally problematic in terms of storytelling.

And that's not really 'anti-intellectualism' ... as I was saying before, quasi-magical thinking is something we all do. It allows us to act even if we don't have the complete picture. It allows us to chance success even if there are greater odds of failure. More often than not, simply the capacity to implement this type of thinking is often the smartest thing you can do rather than merely be paralyzed by indecision or simply not invest yourself at all in the lives of other people.

Because a big part of most people's happiness (even introverts) is being loved by friends and significant others, who knew? <.<

Hell, humans are even geared to like people that do it, and often society itself rewards risk-prone behaviour because ultimtely it's central to this idea of flawed sapience and surviving that condition. As I was saying before ... nobody actually wants to be C-3PO. Nobody would want to be C-3PO ... C-3PO os merely as a pseudo framing device for everyone else that actually does things to bounce off of.

And this is often how extroverts are treated in books. Or in the example you gave, how villains aretreated in Batgirl. That they often only serve to ground an extrovert in whatever author imposed narrative of the world itself.

And that by itelf is boring.

I would rather read about an extrovert blundering their way through life in spectacular ways without anything toground them in whatever presuppositions the author had to reinforce an idea of 'a type of world' around them, than just the character that simply exist to reinforce whatever manufactured virtues of the world itself and just simply quietly getting on with life.

That's boring.

The simplest form of conflict is Character A wants to do something, character B disapproves. And that is often fastest accomplished simply by having an introvert play straight man to an extrovert that otherwise doesn't have a true leash on their activities. And this is why you have the troupe of the criminally insane. It's simply easier to tell that story in a punchy way when Character A is proactive as possible in as spectacular a way as possible that defies reason.

It's effectively the entire superhero genre. Extended comedic, self-satirizing formulas of this approach of narrative.

Usually in fiction stories I'd go with magic.
Since most authors are ignorant and inept in regard of critical thinking, basic concept understanding and fact checking to a point that their
representation of 'science' is as accurate and logical as magic (like some of the people treat probability and statistics as if that were magical cantrips to 'prove' them right 'cause the study says so', once you start pulling study apart on the basic level of understanding math behind it they have nought but magic like 'listen and believe to the sage' argument to fall back on, admitting they have no idea how the study works or doesn't work) and it is irksome. With science you can see why story falls flat on its face and what got wrong etc. With magic its free reign to imagination and overall better entertainment.

Magic is just unexplained science that simply follows rules not congruent with our own corporeal reality, hence, in fiction it is easy to have science be magic-like because fiction doesn't care about our corporeal reality and has its own separate one.

What I find interesting is the kind of magic that a society with magic-like science would consider as such. Like for example, to people 200 years ago the internet would be magic, but to us it's mundane science, so some of what to us seems like magic would be beyond the scope of imagination of the people 200 years ago.

That, that super out there kind of magic that will still seem magical to people for whom what we now consider magic will be commonplace is what I like in my stories.

I get into this with my D&D game. I have a steampunk setting going, and the obvious conflict there is old magic versus new technology, but...fundamentally, steampunk is magic. If the technology in my setting worked in accordance with the laws of physics, it would be boring. You can't have clockwork golems and steam-powered airships without resorting to magic of some sort, or at least some kind of technobabble so implausible that it's basically magical.

So I found myself stuck in this spot where I was trying to set up a magic v. science, old v. new, irrationality v. rationality story...but the "rational" science was behaving more like cartoon mad science, because that was just more entertaining. What's the point of doing steampunk if you're limited to what steam could actually accomplish?

And then there's another layer to that problem, which is that D&D magic is actually very rigid and mechanistic by nature. The Vancian magic system - where you learn spells, prepare them in "slots", and cast them with reagents - is a heck of a lot more scientific in its methodology than you'd think magic would be.

Like, when you learn a fireball spell in D&D, it's the same spell no matter who's casting it. It always has the same input (a spell slot, some reagents, and waving your hands around and saying "fireball!") and always has the same output, which is a fireball. It only varies in power based on the player character's level, and I guess metamagic if you really want to get into it. And even then, all metamagic has the same effect based on whatever metamagic feat you're using. The point being: it's reproducible. A spell in D&D is more like a program that fiddles with reality in a predictable way than a miracle that truly defies explanation.

So then I realised I'd created a setting where the rational scientists were effectively doing Rick Sanchez bullshit science, and the irrational wizards were required by the rules of the game to follow a magic system that behaved in a very rational and predictable way.

And then I sort of gave up and said "fuck it, they're the same thing," you know, the Arthur C. Clarke explanation, and just pretended it was a plot twist. The players thought it was great.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

Nobody is saying the depressed don't do things. Just statistically that is exactly the problem, and we know this because extroverts don't catastrophize (well ... okay, they don't truly believe their catastrophizing... they can just be histrionic about bad things).

Not the best argument, that.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

If you're an extrovert and late to work, you'll be like; "Arghhhhh! No! I'm going toget it now!" ... But inevitably your boss'll chew you out a bit but you'll win them back by the end of the day because you've already engaged with them enough times on a pseudo-personal basis to understand their likes.

Alternatively, sooner or later, your boss will get sick and tired of you being late for work and fire your ass when your chronic lateness. Charisma alone can only take you so far.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

On the flipside, 90% of depression sufferers are anxiety disorder related or with people who are anxiety disorder prone.

Which doesn't say anything about their ability to get things done. Especially depending on their treatment.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

And yeah, Batman counts. PTSD is literally a defining attribution to much of everything else he does or how his pins his relationship to society within the genre of what I like tocall 'Emo-trash Batman'. Compared with 60s Batman, Bruce Wayne actually doesall the things that modern critiques ofemo-trash Batman is accused of not doing. For example, how much good Batman could do if heactually spent his money on social welfare programs? Well, 60s Batman does do that.

So does "emo-trash" Batman.
Btw, I find it rather immature for anyone older than 16 to use "emo" unironically.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

It's also why 60s Gotham isn't a complete shithole ... because Bruce Wayne probably wouldn't stand for it. In fact I reckon 60s Batman would build an artificial sun just to brighten everybody's day if ported into the grimy hellhole of however it is treated in various re-skinnings. 60s Batman also advocates that prison be purely rehabilitative. That once a person has repaid their debt to society, they should be given the benefit of the doubt and not simply be profiled due merely to their background ... actual morality idealism about the relationship between the person and the rest of society. The idea that society is held together less by law, and more by personal respects to others.

I'd say 60s Gotham not being a shithole was due to the tone of the stories not how smart Batman was.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

And that's not really 'anti-intellectualism' ... as I was saying before, quasi-magical thinking is something we all do. It allows us to act even if we don't have the complete picture. It allows us to chance success even if there are greater odds of failure. More often than not, simply the capacity to implement this type of thinking is often the smartest thing you can do rather than merely be paralyzed by indecision or simply not invest yourself at all in the lives of other people.

Quasi-magical thinking is something we do as children (typically between the ages of 2 and 7) but it's something we're supposed to grow out of as we get older. And applying this practice to everything can be very dangerous. I mean, I could tell myself that if I jump off the roof of my house and I won't be harmed but that doesn't mean I won't break many to all bones of my body. The reasons why people do things at all are many and varied.
I'm not advocating for being paralyzed by fear but leaping without thinking comes with its own large share of dangers which have been shown throughout history. It has ruined businesses, relationships, families and even entire countries.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

Because a big part of most people's happiness (even introverts) is being loved by friends and significant others, who knew? <.<

This I agree with.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

Hell, humans are even geared to like people that do it, and often society itself rewards risk-prone behaviour because ultimtely it's central to this idea of flawed sapience and surviving that condition.

Society rewarding such behavior is not automatically a good thing. There's a lot of dumb stuff that gets rewarded by society. Again, this stuff is complicated.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

As I was saying before ... nobody actually wants to be C-3PO. Nobody would want to be C-3PO ... C-3PO os merely as a pseudo framing device for everyone else that actually does things to bounce off of.

Judging by the box office results, not a whole lot of people want to be Han Solo either.
You're basically treating this as a one size fits all scenario. In truth, characters who leap without thinking work under some circumstances but not all. Same as any other type of character.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

And this is often how extroverts are treated in books. Or in the example you gave, how villains aretreated in Batgirl. That they often only serve to ground an extrovert in whatever author imposed narrative of the world itself.

I'm not entirely sure what you're saying here as I think you might have made a typo in where you wrote extrovert.

And that by itelf is boring.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

I would rather read about an extrovert blundering their way through life in spectacular ways without anything toground them in whatever presuppositions the author had to reinforce an idea of 'a type of world' around them, than just the character that simply exist to reinforce whatever manufactured virtues of the world itself and just simply quietly getting on with life.

The simplest form of conflict is Character A wants to do something, character B disapproves. And that is often fastest accomplished simply by having an introvert play straight man to an extrovert that otherwise doesn't have a true leash on their activities. And this is why you have the troupe of the criminally insane. It's simply easier to tell that story in a punchy way when Character A is proactive as possible in as spectacular a way as possible that defies reason.

It's effectively the entire superhero genre. Extended comedic, self-satirizing formulas of this approach of narrative.

You have a rather simplistic view of introverted characters to say the least. And you're ignoring a great deal of diversity in superhero works. These guys want things to and are proactive.

Agent_Z:

Not the best argument, that.

How? What way is it inaccurate? We actually have it on pretty good basis the significant correlation between optimism, happiness and extraversion. Histrionic tendencies tend to plague various extroverted personality types, but it's questionable how much they actually believe their catastrophizing ... on the flipside, we also see correlates between introversion and anxiety-prone disorders.

Histrionic people 'catastrophize' for the purpose of seeking attention... ironically this also helps them deal with bad tempered people due to their activities by 'selling' the idea that they are truly apologetic (assuming the respondent doesn't know them too well). Introverts legitimately catastrophize... often exacerbating pre-existing conditions to other problems that manifest from simply being less geared to dealing with social implications of their behaviour or latent aspects of 'pre-depression' that cause them to suffer apathy in the face of their trials.

Alternatively, sooner or later, your boss will get sick and tired of you being late for work and fire your ass when your chronic lateness. Charisma alone can only take you so far.

This assumes they are chronically lazy. Being introverted often leads to social isolation and work aversion. You're more likely to get a desensitized, socially isolated person avoiding work than a histrionic person. This is particularly so when the histrionic person has internalized their work as part of their own 'mythos creation' of just how gosh-darn important they are as to driving their own ego and inflating their idea of self-worth.

Which has pros and cons... a definite pro, however, is they are often quite motivated in whatever they personally invest themselves into. They often fulfil that idea of 'leading by example' when they're 'at their best'. That even the times they're late that typcally serves to adjust their argument about how usually they're on time. "Like, I was late this one time! Christ! You know me, I always get the paperwork in on time ... I mean how often do I cover for you when you need to nip off somewhere!?"

A histrionic person won't be late again ... at least not if it an be avoided anytime soon.

Also, charisma is a power stat. Pretending otherwise is a joke. The charismatic can convince a group of strangers to charge certain death. There is nothing that a charismatic person cannot do, whether in person or simply the people they compel to do so through sheer force of personality.

Charisma is probably second only to being alive in terms of finding personal success. And even then, charisma alone can often immortalize you beyond simply your health will allow.

Which doesn?t say anything about their ability to get things done. Especially depending on their treatment.

Kind of does ... introversion and things like social isolation have demonstrable problems in terms of social engagement. Sure, 'treatment' is a thing ... particularly psychotherapy in terms of anxiety-related disorders, but ignoring correlation isn't doing the argument justice.

So does ?emo-trash? Batman.
Btw, I find it rather immature for anyone older than 16 to use ?emo? unironically.

I find it immature you would pretend that this is an argument.

Seriously, why? What's wrong with using a made-up shorthand descriptor phrase unironically? For starters, do you even know the definition of ironically? Why exactly is the way I'm using it not ironical? Why would it be bad to talk about an aspect of something one finds contemptible in terms of obvious derision?

How about 'morose-trash' Batman, then? That would be ironical. No less ironical than 'emo-trash' Batman.

I?d say 60s Gotham not being a shithole was due to the tone of the stories not how smart Batman was.

I'd say 60s Gotham is a result of the fact that Adam West's Batman wouldn't fit into the 90s morose-riddled reskins of Gotham City.

Quasi-magical thinking is something we do as children (typically between the ages of 2 and 7) but it?s something we?re supposed to grow out of as we get older.

No it's not. Quite clearly it's not.

If anything adults tend to grow more quasi-magical belief structures as they get older.

'Pull yourself up by your boot straps' ... despite the fact that in poverty stricken countries like the Philippines, worker take shabu jut to stay on top of the workload. They literally take drugs to meet workplace demands. Still a poverty stricken country.

'Be the change you want to see in the world' ... despite the fsact that quite clearly there is a definite place for car bombs and other insurgency tactics when fighting as part of a resistance force against a larger imperialist power.

'Every vote counts' ... despite the fact that quite clearly that's untrue simply depending on multiple candidates you wish to support and with 'demoratic' sytems like first pat the post. If there is a candidate you really like, but will unlikely win ... and a candidate you will settle for ... and a candidate you never want to see in office. You literally have to go with the 'evil you would prefer' as opposed to the candidate you actually want in order to pretend like your vote actually matters.

And applying this practice to everything can be very dangerous. I mean, I could tell myself that if I jump off the roof of my house and I won?t be harmed but that doesn?t mean I won?t break many to all bones of my body. The reasons why people do things at all are many and varied.

This is not quasi magical thinking.

Quasi-magical thinking is basically fabricating ideas of control where there is none to actually be found. That you fabricate belief systems on the fly even if you deep down know that they are contraditory in nature, or they simply do not work when you honestly interrogate your own feelings and thoughts.

It is not simply jumping off a roof ...

When Han Solo tells C-3PO 'Never tell me the odds...' he doesn't legitimately believe odds do not matter. In fact he simply believes not knowing the odds in that moment will actually increase his odds of survival because it's likely less things he has to consider before acting.

And this is atually a very real phenomena examined in things like military science. The idea that if a conventional victory cannot be achieved, it's best to inculcate an idea the odds no longer matter ... you fight the types of engagements you'll lose if only to create opportunities to call oneself 'victorious' by reappropriation and redefinition of the conflict in the mindset of both your forces and the geopolitical ideals of the enemy which they engage with to determine why they sought to fight in the first place.

It's also an aspect of boardgaming known as 'hate drafting' or 'hate gaming' ... whereby you play not to maximize your odds of winning, but rather draft cards to deny another player access to it, to play the game to make yourself the least possible threat (if more than two players) or simply dictate the game flow or mutual game state for a round or two in order to buy yourself back into the competition.

There's a fascinating optional game aspect in a deck buider game of surprise, subterfuge, and resource management called Arctic Savengers. And there's a card designed exlusively for three or more players scalld 'Sniper Team'. So at the end of every round the players use their remaining hand to bluff and win duels for acces to the contested resources deck. The sniper card is effectively pointless to you personally winning in a contested challenge ... but it can, as if with a single bullet from a distant snowdrift, determine the success of your two+ friends fighting by immediately checking one of their tribe cards.

And that might be the only card you brought into the duel that turn because you're digging through the trash or buying up cards for a stronger round next time.

That is like quasi-magical thinking almost baked into a game mechanic. You can never win (that round) but you may win simply by having a fabricated idea of control over other players ... and that alone can influence how other characters play their hands in turn ... perhaps opting to bring more characters and saving more cards for future fights because they know you have two of those sniper cards in your deck somewhere, even as it statistically makes it harder for you to win just on their own.

That's not the exact definition of quasi-magical thinking, but it is a fascinating mindset that you create in both yourself and others simply because of these somewhat self-depowering cards you elected to buy simply to fabricate an idea of control on its own in yourself and other players.

You have a rather simplistic view of introverted characters to say the least. And you?re ignoring a great deal of diversity in superhero works. These guys want things to and are proactive.

Arguments about trends are typically simplistic, doesn't make them bad arguments on their own. Pointing out how one makes an argument about trends in comic book logic is merely a trend is somehow flawed is itself a bad argument.

Science always. Not even close.

If there was a world where magic isn't superstitious twaddle and actually works, it would be called science.

I am always for the SCIENTIFIC analysis of magic. There is no reason the two can not get along.

There are things like infinite quivers for bows, imagine an infinite magazine for a gun. Healing magics being supplemented with modern understanding of surgery - no more 1d8+modifier for healing, it's always 8+modifier.

I can understand societies where they turn to magic as a crutch, or those with it exploit those without - and in doing so stifle the scientific progress of the world. But in almost any other situation I look at magic as being a catalyst for scientific advancement.

Depends purely on the morals of one side or the other. There's a game called Radiata Stories for the PS2 where there's two different paths you can go down at one point in the game and the path that I went down first I really didn't like because it was the more magic route and you were trying to fight for these elves and dwarves and other races but their ultimate goal really is destroying the world as you know it while the side of the humans has a much more hopeful and positive spin on things that I liked a lot more.

It really depends.

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