Theory Design Lab/Defence against the dark arts
Defence against the dark arts
Unlike the world of the Harry Potter novels there are no dark arts in the real world, unless you choose to name something so, of course. This module is named after the subject Defence Against the Dark Arts in the Harry Potter novels mostly for humorous reasons.
Almost magical effects
Are there real-world effects that might appear as wizardry, seen from a certain perspective?
An example could be predestination as a metaphor for lack of planning. From the perspective of the planner there is no magic involved. From the perspective of the unsuspecting observer some of the effects could appear almost like magic. One defense against this form of magic would be mentoring.
- How is it possible that the best pupils know the topics of the lesson in advance? Surely they will not have read ahead in the school book, or even learned something beyond the school book in their free time?
Knowledge of psychological effects can also appear as wizardry from the perspective of the unsuspecting observer.
Especially cognitive biases may lead to observations where the unsuspecting observer may behave less rational and less sensible than the informed person and where the informed person may gain an advantage through his knowledge of psychology. Prejudices, group effects and social cohesion could also be seen to have "magical effects" on the unsuspecting observer.
- See also: Observer-psychology effect
The science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke is often quoted as saying: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic". Obviously any sufficient knowledge and technology can appear as wizardry from the perspective of the unsuspecting observer.
- What did the Native Americans at first think about the steam locomotive?
Many religions claim that there is something like karma. If this were the cases then, for the unsuspecting observer again, the world might exhibit inexplicable phenomena that could amount to magical effects. Consequently one could see "good karma" as a necessary means of self-defence. Unfortunately different cultures and religions have quite different notions what karma would be. Some religions, for instance, recommend vegetarianism. Thus the question would remain: Whose theory of karma would apply?
- See also: Karma theory
Companies could be seen to exert "magical forces" on customers and employees. The defenses against this form of magic would be consumer protection, strike action, ethical consumerism and demanding corporate social responsibility in the workplace.
- See also: Respect economy
Defence against these effects
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