Posts Tagged ‘medieval’

the Magic World of Harry Potter

October 6, 2013

hogwarts

The novels of Harry Potter deal with an under-culture of magic in our modern world. Why is it then that the magical sub-culture lives in a medieval setting?

I would assume that if they had separated from us in the Middle Ages they would have evolved along similar lines even if they had kept separated from the muggle world. So wouldn’t they have evolved more than they have?

And the flying brooms… is it the power of the magician to make the broom go, or is it the spell in the broom?

Or is it both?

It seems that the scene where Harry makes the broom jump up into his hand makes one of those hypotheses wrong but the later appearance of the more powerful broom makes the other one wrong.

Even all the spells seem to be in Latin… another medieval hangover.

Can magic exist in a scientific world and if so, where is it?

Has science put something into the ether (some sort of mental magnetic fields) to prevent magic or is it just the scientific attitude that dominates our present world?

Strange, but the Star Wars franchise also seems to be steeped in the medieval flavor as well. Jedi knights, light-sabers, and channeling the force.

Why do we see so much of the “magical” clothed in medieval garb?



Cultural and Technical Evolution

April 2, 2010

Early MAN was the same as you and I, no more ignorant and savage than we.

Thinking that our technology sets us apart, makes us better, is not quite correct. Let’s take a step back and examine that.

Sanitation, that invention of the western world in the 19th century was actually practiced by ancient Greeks and Romans, before going out of vogue with the collapse of the Roman Empire (or rather the rise of the Catholic Church).

Hot and cold running water: used by the Romans and resurrected repeatedly in history – see Henry III of England, and his father “bad” King John who was very sanitary conscious. He bathed several times a week.

Percival Lowell used his telescope and modern math to calculate the precise length of a year in the early 20th Century. His admirable work was close, but further off than a Babylonian astronomer sans telescope in the 4th century BC.

And that most wonderful marvel of modern technology: the nuclear reactor, promising never-ending power for this power hungry society. It is nothing more than a glorified steam engine, first devised by the ancient Greeks. Admittedly the power source is novel but the fundamental technology is the same.

There are very few “revolutionary” inventions these days. Most are enhancements built upon earlier ideas. Bigger (or smaller) and more powerful is evolutionary science, not revolutionary as most fans call it. But radical change is NOT embraced by the socio-economic structure in which we now reside. A few of the more radical are known, such as Nikola Tesla, but we usually only hear about his more evolutionary works, not the truly revolutionary ones.

The governance of our technologies is under the same sort of repressive hierarchy as our political framework.

But that’s not much of a surprise, is it?