July 07, 2020, 12:21:10 AM

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Re: History in Fantasy Books
I think the argument is that if you have magic, why do you need science?  Why would the magic community in Harry Potter need to invent cars when they have teleportation and broomsticks? 

I would agree with JC here - overall the Dark Ages (European History from the collapse of the Roman Empire to the Renaissance era) was a time of seemingly little progress and actually we went backwards a bit - after all the Romans had baths and aqueducts!  Yes there was some progress, but compared to how fast progress moved since then, it was noticeably a period when things stagmented.  Just take 1900 - 2000 for example - its just unbelievable really how much things changed in that century.   

On the other hand, the difference between magic and science tends to be exagerrated- if magic existed, there would probably be attempts to treat it scientifically. And depending on the magic system, most attempts would work. Science is about what exists or might exist, so there probably shouldn't be as much of a clash between magic and science as fiction tends to show.

Though I would add, the Dark Ages thing has been overstated, and was more or less an invention of Renaissance thinkers trying to make their own achievements look better. Its more a case that, for most of human history, progress has had to move slowly pretty much by necessity due to the existing social circumstances (also, it can be a pretty ruthless experience). The boom of the last century or two has been more a case of the perfect storm, of lots of different factors coming together for perhaps the first time.

Ancient Greece and Rome both could have underwent a industrial revolution with the level of development they were at, but they didn't and chose not to.

That's a bit of a myth.  It's often quoted that Hieron of Alexandria invented the steam engine, but nobody seemed to see a use for it.  In fact, building an industrial-standard steam engine was impractical at that time, because the metalurgy wasn't advanced enough to build one that would contain the pressure, so it could only be used as a toy.  Even if someone comes up with an idea, other things have to be in place (or at least achievable) before it's a practical idea.

I think the truth is somewhere in the middle- the Romans and Greeks could have underwent an industrial revolution, but it would have been of a very different character, a primitive revolution. The main obstacle was the lack of impetus due to prevailing social conditions.

Still, it nicely illustrates the point that stasis is not entirely unatural- you can have great inventions flying around everywhere, but that doesn't mean there will be big sweeping changes.

September 25, 2012, 12:19:00 AM
Re: Writers that shit on their characters. Writers are just power mad.

February 02, 2013, 11:48:22 PM
Re: Was Slytherin Evil?
I'm not really sure that Slytherin himself was evil, you would hope that the other three founders would notice if he was and not include him.   Instead his ideas took root with his followers and over time they got twisted into something that could cause certain people to do "evil"  (depending on which side you were on) things.

You must have missed the part where he hid in the school a Basilisk whose task was to hunt down every Muggleborn Wizard in the school and kill them one by one, then.

And yes, that was his original intention. He left Hogwarts because the other three wanted to accept Muggle children as students and he didn't- explicitly because he was a racist, aristocratic snob-, and he left a giant, magical, murderous snake behind as one big "f*ck you" to his former friends, for any Slytherin worthy enough to find it. It was his bad luck that it would be centuries before a Slytherin smart enough to find it (Voldemort) was even born. 

September 23, 2015, 09:15:59 PM
Re: If you could say ONE THING to a character you love/hate, what would you say?? Dear Joffrey,

3 pages of a thread about characters people hate and nobody has mentioned you.

I'm as surprised as you are.

May 10, 2016, 08:11:43 PM