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Showing posts from November, 2010

Magical Thinking, Science and PostModernism

I remember vividly the first time I abandoned magical thinking. I was around 4, and my dad asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I replied: a magic wand, a real one, like Sooty's got, one that can do real magic. My dad told me then that magic wasn't real. I recall the moment precisely; we were facing a row of shops on a mundane street in the West London suburb I grew up in. At that point, something big happened inside me, and the next time I thought about that incident it was from the point of view of someone who had turned wholeheartedly towards science. The topic of magic exists in a strange half-light, some of its practitioners coming out with pronouncements that make religion seem sensible by comparison and others straining to bring some kind of intellectual respectability to their weird endeavour. Because weird it is; irruptions of improbable events are the language in which the universe talks back to the magician. The ideas that support magical belief are non-standar