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Science is when you measure the world and build a theory or model. Engineering is when you use that model to create a new technology. Magick needs both.
Those definitions are drawn from this presentation at MIT. It’s the first 30 seconds of the video. Worth watching.
Science is how we build a model into a theory. Sure, you can dream up a dozen models any way you want, just like you can sit in your room and draw a map of Paris. But without walking the streets, your map won’t match the city. And without measuring the world, our model won’t be accurate enough to guide the engineering.
But we also need engineering. Because computers and medicine and transportation and everything else have made enormous advances in the past 100-or-so years, and magick hasn’t. Sure, we’ve dreamed up new models, new things to focus on and rituals to perform as we do magick, but we haven’t engineered the equivalent of a laptop, or an antibiotic, or an airplane. And I’m not just talking about everyone else — I haven’t either, not yet.
So, we need both. Because we won’t get those advances by simply trying magick techniques until something works. The only way to engineer those kind of advances is to first do the science to build a proper theory and model of magick’s underlying mechanics.
There’s an added benefit: Every time we use a model to engineer a new technique, we’re testing the model. If the technique works, that adds weight to the model, especially if other models wouldn’t have lead you to that successful technique. And if the technique fails, that suggests the model is inaccurate, or at least incomplete. Engineering is a great way to test the science.If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at mikesententia.com.