The Magic of Technology

You! Yeah you, reading this article.  You like technology don’t you? You like having the latest and greatest new gadget out there don’t you?  Yeah I know you do.  Did you ever think to yourself, why do I need that latest smartphone or the the hottest “control it from your home” gadget?  I think I know the answer to it and it may not be what you think.

Think back to when you got online for the first time from your home computer.  See your computer screen, hear the lovely sound of that modem connecting to the internet for the first time.  Try and remember the first thing you ever searched for.  See the Angelfire or Geocities website that that search lead you to.  You didn’t have to leave your house and go to the library to look something up anymore.  From a glowing box in the comfort of your own home, the world was at your fingertips.  Maybe you didn’t think of it at the time.  Maybe you took it for granted.  However, for a good number of people, there was a feeling of astonishment even though you didn’t notice it.

Arthur C. Clarke, the famed science fiction writer, came up with three adages that are known as Clarke’s three laws.  His third is the most well known.  He said that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”. It is this law that most of us experience when we get that latest new tech toy or a cool new update to our computer or phone.  I think my background as a magician has made me love  and appreciate technology that much more.

As we looked at it before, you may haven’t given it much thought, but the companies behind the tech do.  They want you to have that memory.  That feeling of pure astonishment.  We all come in to the world as an blank slate or an empty index card box with those little alphabet cards to organize the cards.  We know absolutely nothing and everything we experience we need to file away.  The older we get, the more full that box gets and less and less things impress and astonish us.  That is what all of the technology companies are chasing.  Deep down, they want to give you that feeling.  That moment that you think to yourself “I have never seen anything like this before”

Now that you know that, what was the last piece of technology that made you feel that way? What piece of tech that you own gave you that feeling of astonishment.  For me, it was my AirPods.  The fact that when I take one out of my ears, my music stops and when I put it back, my music starts playing again.  If I tap them, even though there is no button anywhere on them, Siri asks what I need.  The whole experience to me is just pure magic.

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