Indistinguishalbe From Magic


Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. – Arthur C. Clarke, 1962

I cannot marvel enough about this, when I observe the technologies we use today, every day, en masse, that we would not have recognized ten years ago, let alone 30. For instance, look at this gizmo:

If I had told you, just twenty years ago, heck, ten years ago, that everyone in the country would know what this is and a lot of people of all walks of life and all ages would be using it regularly, you would have not believed me.

You would not have known what this item is, let alone what it would be used for, even after holding it in your hands, playing with it, trying to make it do something. You’d likely not have been trying to put it anywhere near your ear. But even if you had, it wouldn’t have done anything, since Bluetooth was not invented yet, and you’d have removed it, chuckling at your folly.

If I had told you in 1970 – that is one year after we had landed on the moon and three years after the first pilot airing of Star Trek – that we’d use such devices to talk to people all over the world while we were walking in the park or driving down the road, you would have laughed and said: “Oh, yes, beam me up, Scotty.”

2 thoughts on “Indistinguishalbe From Magic

  1. Eric Petrie

    This thing is so indistinguishable from magic, and I live so deeply in the pre-kindle past, that I barely know what you’re talking about. In my lingo a bluetooth is dead and has to be pulled. The photograph is great, however. What in the world does the clear tube do? Does is drain something?

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