Sufficiently advanced research is indistinguishable from magic.

@theartguy I read 'insufficiently' and thought it was pretty applicable too.

@theartguy s/research/technology/

btw. we have crystall balls (TVs) and magic wands (TV remotes), and weapons that make fireballs, so a person from 1000 years ago could easily be convinced that we have magic.

@Wolf480pl Oh, certainly. My research joke is 99% of a quote by Arthur C. Clarke.

And forget 1000 years ago, most people today don't know how the insides of a smart phone work. I'd wager a significant number don't even understand what's up with an internal combustion engine beyond "give it fuel and you can get to work." We just trust that it'll work and take it to a wizard when it doesn't.

@theartguy but they aren't surprised by it. It's not "OMG it doesn't seem possible, must be sorcery! Witch! Witch! Burn the witch!" anymore.

@Wolf480pl This is true, but the saying says nothing about how one should react to magic.

The whole idea of burning magic users is more of a "Here's an excuse to get rid of someone we don't like anyway" thing. If someone in the clergy did something unexplainable, they called them miracles.

Outside of medieval to puritan christian culture, shamans, oracles, etc. didn't face trial and gruesome deaths.

@theartguy Still, I don't like how people tend to accept things without an explanation, and lose track of what's possible and what isn't.

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Scholar Social

A Mastodon instance for academics

Scholar Social is a microblogging platform for researchers, grad students, librarians, archivists, undergrads, academically inclined high schoolers, educators of all levels, journal editors, research assistants, professors, administrators—anyone involved in academia who is willing to engage with others respectfully.

We strive to be a safe space for queer people and other minorities, recognizing that there can only be academic freedom where the existence and validity of interlocutors' identities is taken as axiomatic.

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"Official" monthly journal club!

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Scholar Social features a monthly "official" journal club, in which we try to read and comment on a paper of interest.

Any user of Scholar Social can suggest an article by sending the DOI by direct message to and one will be chosen by random lottery on the last day of the month. We ask that you only submit articles that are from *outside* your own field of study to try to ensure that the papers we read are accessible and interesting to non-experts.

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