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Author Topic: Wizarding Science and Technology  (Read 579 times)

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March 04, 2015, 12:40:38 AM

paint it Black

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Arthur Weasley often delights in observing the means and devices by which Muggles cope in a life without magic.  But those of us who live in the Muggle world can't help but wonder if we might have the upper hand in some areas.  For example, isn't the fellytone -er, telephone- much more efficient than using an owl :hedwig: to communicate?  Other than a Howler, is there really any equivalent way to communicate by voice?  One could argue that sending an owl is much like sending a text, but it's certainly not as speedy as what the Muggles do.

With this harsh winter than much of the world has been experiencing, I also wondered about the science of meteorology.  If a wizard would like to plan winter day on which to fly out and see his Great Aunt Tessie, is there any way for him to know which day in the near future to avoid a broom-toppling blizzard? :ronquidditch: Can he see what the weather is like in other parts of the country?  I can only guess that perhaps wizards don't feel the need to forecast the weather because they can often use magical means to counter the effects of it.

Wizards do study some sciences at Hogwarts of course, such as Astronomy and Herbology.  Do you think that magical skills and knowledge add anything to (or benefit from) a subject like Astronomy?  Do you think that there are any more sciences that students should study at Hogwarts?

Is there a chance that the continuing technological advances of Muggles are actually overtaking the advantages of having magic?  :mcgonagall2: Is there any potential for magic to continue to make advances, just as Muggle technology has?  Can you imagine any potential new spells or potions that would solve the problems of modern life that Muggles have solved with technology?  Do you think there is a possibility to even combine magic with technology?  Any ideas?




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March 04, 2015, 09:51:27 PM
Reply #1

roonwit

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Arthur Weasley often delights in observing the means and devices by which Muggles cope in a life without magic.  But those of us who live in the Muggle world can't help but wonder if we might have the upper hand in some areas.  For example, isn't the fellytone -er, telephone- much more efficient than using an owl :hedwig: to communicate?  Other than a Howler, is there really any equivalent way to communicate by voice?  One could argue that sending an owl is much like sending a text, but it's certainly not as speedy as what the Muggles do.
We see some examples of quick long-distance communication. The most general one would to send just the head by the Floo Network as Amos Diggory does to speak urgently to Arthur. We also see sending messages by Patronus, Phoenix and portraits. It is also possible to apparate and speak to people directly or to send messages by house elves.

With this harsh winter than much of the world has been experiencing, I also wondered about the science of meteorology.  If a wizard would like to plan winter day on which to fly out and see his Great Aunt Tessie, is there any way for him to know which day in the near future to avoid a broom-toppling blizzard? :ronquidditch: Can he see what the weather is like in other parts of the country?  I can only guess that perhaps wizards don't feel the need to forecast the weather because they can often use magical means to counter the effects of it.
I don't remember seeing any magical weather forecasting (apart from predicting weather based on current conditions), but they could at least apparate upwind to see what was coming.

Wizards do study some sciences at Hogwarts of course, such as Astronomy and Herbology.  Do you think that magical skills and knowledge add anything to (or benefit from) a subject like Astronomy?  Do you think that there are any more sciences that students should study at Hogwarts?
I think the magical view of Astronomy is somewhat different to the muggle view. It is used for Divination (particularly by the Centaurs), but we don't see the muggle interest and knowledge in what astronomic objects are like, and someone can claim to be able to fly a broomstick to Jupiter and hope to be believed.

Is there a chance that the continuing technological advances of Muggles are actually overtaking the advantages of having magic?  :mcgonagall2: Is there any potential for magic to continue to make advances, just as Muggle technology has?  Can you imagine any potential new spells or potions that would solve the problems of modern life that Muggles have solved with technology?  Do you think there is a possibility to even combine magic with technology?  Any ideas?
I think the wizards will continue adapt the most useful muggle technologies for their own use, as they have for cameras, steam trains and cars.
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March 05, 2015, 07:23:06 PM
Reply #2

ss19

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Arthur Weasley often delights in observing the means and devices by which Muggles cope in a life without magic.  But those of us who live in the Muggle world can't help but wonder if we might have the upper hand in some areas.  For example, isn't the fellytone -er, telephone- much more efficient than using an owl :hedwig: to communicate?  Other than a Howler, is there really any equivalent way to communicate by voice?  One could argue that sending an owl is much like sending a text, but it's certainly not as speedy as what the Muggles do.
We see some examples of quick long-distance communication. The most general one would to send just the head by the Floo Network as Amos Diggory does to speak urgently to Arthur. We also see sending messages by Patronus, Phoenix and portraits. It is also possible to apparate and speak to people directly or to send messages by house elves.

Yeah, I think using owl post is the equivalent of the Muggles sending physical letters and packages, not so much voice communication.  The Muggles' voice communication is more comparable to the wizards communicating through the Floo network and through sending a patronus, etc, as roonwit suggested.  Putting your head through a fireplace to talk to someone is very similar to making a Skype video call, actually, where you see just someone's face through the webcam.

I think using owls to send letters and packages would be faster in some instances than using Muggle post.  If I need to send a letter or a document to someone across town, it takes a day by the time I mail the letter and it goes through the postal service and gets sorted and delivered, but an owl wouldn't need that long to fly directly from my house to the other house.  :hedwig:

Come to think of it, Muggles use birds and other animals (such as dogs) to carry messages too!  We've used pigeon post since ancient times due to their natural homing instinct, for example.  I have an uncle who used to raise and train pigeons when I was a child many years ago.


With this harsh winter than much of the world has been experiencing, I also wondered about the science of meteorology.  If a wizard would like to plan winter day on which to fly out and see his Great Aunt Tessie, is there any way for him to know which day in the near future to avoid a broom-toppling blizzard? :ronquidditch: Can he see what the weather is like in other parts of the country?  I can only guess that perhaps wizards don't feel the need to forecast the weather because they can often use magical means to counter the effects of it.

Maybe Seers can work as "meteorologists" and provide weather forecasting service?  :trelawney:
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March 05, 2015, 08:07:03 PM
Reply #3

Evreka

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Arthur Weasley often delights in observing the means and devices by which Muggles cope in a life without magic.  But those of us who live in the Muggle world can't help but wonder if we might have the upper hand in some areas.  For example, isn't the fellytone -er, telephone- much more efficient than using an owl :hedwig: to communicate?  Other than a Howler, is there really any equivalent way to communicate by voice?  One could argue that sending an owl is much like sending a text, but it's certainly not as speedy as what the Muggles do.
We see some examples of quick long-distance communication. The most general one would to send just the head by the Floo Network as Amos Diggory does to speak urgently to Arthur. We also see sending messages by Patronus, Phoenix and portraits. It is also possible to apparate and speak to people directly or to send messages by house elves.
Spontaneously, I think the Patonus message comes closest to a telephone call, and has the upper hand that it can not be intercepted or listened in on during travel. It is also near impossible for an intruder who does not know the sender well themselves, to guess who sent it. Therefore it might be safer by far to use in certain situations. For example like Kingsley warned the Weasleys at the wedding party, I can't imagine a Muggle equivalent too happy with delivering that kind of warning by phone!  :o

Of course, none of the methods roonwit mentions (with the exception of Apparating in part or fully), really leaves room for an easy conversation back and forth, like an ordinary conversation. And I can think of quite a few late and early phone calls I've taken - and sometimes made - that I wouldn't have been so keen on doing by Apparition even if it had been an option. You need to be fully dressed first, for one. What if you're a chatty mother with a toddler asleep in the house? Would you really Apparate to your friend leaving your kid behind? I don't think so, somehow... And what about phone calls between children? If Fred and George wanted to chat with Lee Jordan during the summer hollidays at some point between ages 11 and 15? They couldn't Apparate before 17, not send Patronuses before (at the earliest, NEWT level), they don't have a House-Elf, most likely no Portrait hangs both in the Burrow and the Jordans' home... they also don't have a phoenix for a pet so they are down to owls and letters.

Granted, there was another, most intriguing, telephone like "equivalent", that we know of: The two-way Mirrors that Sirius and James used to play with and keep in contact with each others through. Those seems to have worked like a phone call even complete with "web camera"! But then again, they are specifically mentioned to be rare and highly expensive, so again not something someone like the Weasleys would be able to use.

So for the greater amount of witches and wizards there are not this kind of thing. But to adults at least, there seem to be other intriguing ways for communication. Perhaps it's only the Muggle-borns who know what the wizarding community is missing out of; and they might be so overthrown by all the new cool things that they can do, that they don't care too much? Or at least not care enough to engage others about it?


With this harsh winter than much of the world has been experiencing, I also wondered about the science of meteorology.  If a wizard would like to plan winter day on which to fly out and see his Great Aunt Tessie, is there any way for him to know which day in the near future to avoid a broom-toppling blizzard? :ronquidditch: Can he see what the weather is like in other parts of the country?  I can only guess that perhaps wizards don't feel the need to forecast the weather because they can often use magical means to counter the effects of it.
I don't remember seeing any magical weather forecasting (apart from predicting weather based on current conditions), but they could at least apparate upwind to see what was coming.
Me neither. Although it's hard to Apparate "upwind" on a calm summer's day, or even to make guesses about the weather for tommorrow or the day after, much less a week ahead. On the other hand they might not need it as much, because they can always do something about the situation when the weather hits them.

Maybe, one day, they'll learn to predict it? Maybe Cassandra Vablatsky (ie true Seers) can make such a forecast at least locally?


Wizards do study some sciences at Hogwarts of course, such as Astronomy and Herbology.  Do you think that magical skills and knowledge add anything to (or benefit from) a subject like Astronomy?  Do you think that there are any more sciences that students should study at Hogwarts?
I think the magical view of Astronomy is somewhat different to the muggle view. It is used for Divination (particularly by the Centaurs), but we don't see the muggle interest and knowledge in what astronomic objects are like, and someone can claim to be able to fly a broomstick to Jupiter and hope to be believed.
Well, to be fair, not every bragger in reality do claim things that ought to be believed either, so.....  :fredgeorge: I think that claim said more about somebody's lack of intellect than the supposed knowledge of those listening!

Also, while it is possible, but not proven, that the Centaurs might use Astronomy solely or mostly for Divination, I think humans must have an ulterior motive for it. After all Astronomy is a compulsory subject from year 1, Divination is something you may or may not choose from year 3. As a matter of fact, I think it is implied in the books that the constellation of the stars might affect the magical effects of plants (and therefore Potions and Herbology), the moon affects werewolves and there might be constellations that make general magic stronger or not so strong. It might be very valuable for wizards and witches to understand Astronomy.


Is there a chance that the continuing technological advances of Muggles are actually overtaking the advantages of having magic?  :mcgonagall2: Is there any potential for magic to continue to make advances, just as Muggle technology has?  Can you imagine any potential new spells or potions that would solve the problems of modern life that Muggles have solved with technology?  Do you think there is a possibility to even combine magic with technology?  Any ideas?
It might be difficult to combine them, as teckmology things don't work properly in the vicinity of strong magic, but I'm sure new discoveries for magic is found all the time. Snape's ability to fly unsupported in DH was unprecedented and must have been a new discovery; Transfiguration Today (the magazine) presents monthly the newest discoveries in Transfiguration; the Deluminator was Albus own creation and invention.... I'm sure there are many great discoveries yet to come!

And like roonwit mentioned, they've already adapted trains, cars, bikes, cameras... for their use, more things will surely come!  :)



Post Merge: March 05, 2015, 08:29:17 PM


Sorry, ss19, you posted while I typed!


Yeah, I think using owl post is the equivalent of the Muggles sending physical letters and packages, not so much voice communication.  ...

I think using owls to send letters and packages would be faster in some instances than using Muggle post.  If I need to send a letter or a document to someone across town, it takes a day by the time I mail the letter and it goes through the postal service and gets sorted and delivered, but an owl wouldn't need that long to fly directly from my house to the other house.  :hedwig:
I agree owl postage is comparable to posting services for letters and packages, and you've got a good point that owl post might be considerably quicker sometimes.  :hedwigpig: Not only does an owl not do all the things you mention, you can also send it straight away instead of waiting for someone to collect the post from the box. In my country we don't get post on weekends, so any messages posted on a Friday gets delivered on a Monday, no matter how close the recipient lives. On the other hand, a post box is never off hunting or on a long travel abroad to deliver mail from one family member when the next have an important letter to send so this might go both ways... :owl:


Come to think of it, Muggles use birds and other animals (such as dogs) to carry messages too!  We've used pigeon post since ancient times due to their natural homing instinct, for example.  I have an uncle who used to raise and train pigeons when I was a child many years ago.
I assume that might be a reason why wizards use owls. :) An old-fashioned communication line, with some cool magical flavour thrown in.


Maybe Seers can work as "meteorologists" and provide weather forecasting service?  :trelawney:
:hug: Seems we were two on that line of thinking!
« Last Edit: March 05, 2015, 08:29:42 PM by Evreka »
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March 07, 2015, 07:50:52 PM
Reply #4

roonwit

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Maybe Seers can work as "meteorologists" and provide weather forecasting service?  :trelawney:
:hug: Seems we were two on that line of thinking!
Though that does pose the question of whether a Seer could predict the weather with enough frequency and accuracy to be useful. Professor Trelawney is a bad example, but she doesn't instill much confidence on Seers being able to control what they see.
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April 24, 2015, 04:32:12 AM
Reply #5

HealerOne

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Hey all! I know there hasn't been much discussion here but I came across this article about how scientists are transforming gold. Well the alchemist in me was tickled to death!

http://www.upworthy.com/working-at-tiny-scales-scientists-transform-gold-into-something-even-more-incredible?c=aol1&icid=maing-grid7|main5|dl30|sec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D188075020

Is this the secret that alchemists knew? That they could make 'the elixir of life' from gold that they had transformed from lead? It seems that the closer we get to saying scientists have made these great discoveries - the closer we get to realizing that the alchemists were really on to something! The alchemists felt that all objects, whether animate or inanimate, had a 'star' (core) of life to them and that by transmuting things from one thing to another they could discover the very essence of maintaining life. It's a shame that their works were felt by the times to be witchcraft and against the morals of the times. Perhaps we would be much farther into discovering the cures to many things by now if we had allowed these great minds to continue their explorations.

What do you think? Is Alchemy as relevant today as it was in the past? Are we just rediscovering what was know then?

And then there is that HP question? Why didn't Dumbledore pursue more about Alchemy? Did they feel that Alchemy was Magic? And anything Magic had to be kept secret from the Muggles? Where do you stand on this?
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