An excerpt from the Manual of Magic.
Magic, is the conjuring of circumstances without a perceptible progression. In other words: now you don’t see it, now you do.
Whereas perceptible progression might be like cooking a fried egg: you place a pan down on the stove, turn it on, feel it getting gradually warmer, crack an egg into the pan, watch it solidify due to heat, flip it and see that both sides toasted up, move it to a plate and voila!, it was an obvious and observable series of events.
Magic on the other hand, would be like having an empty plate, waving a wand over it, and seeing a nicely fried egg appear in its place. Yet THIS is actually closer to what I experience on Earth rather than a systematic approach. I know what you’re thinking: “Rich, you’re just a pampered buffoon that is so ignorant and so incapable, that others must continually make up for your shortcomings!”
Well however you want to explain it, I experience magic. When I’m hungry, I walk into a room where there’s warm delicious food just waiting for my consumption. I don’t know the specifics of how it got there and there’s no way I could reproduce it myself — it’s a work of art. While I could prepare a basic fried egg, this spread is way more advanced than that.
Or for Christmas, when I received an Apple Watch. I went over to Amazon, saw the low price of a Series 3, tapped to purchase, and now it’s on my wrist. How did all that happen? Nothing became something — right before my eyes. And if you try to think of every step that went into the production of an Apple Watch, it would be fantastically complicated, a procedure that I most certainly could NOT reproduce myself — so at least from my perspective, it’s magic.
If you took a thousand people, they still couldn’t make an Apple Watch from scratch — just the mining process alone would be enough to put the task out of reach. It makes me think of Arthur C. Clarke’s Third Law: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” And it’s true, an iPad, the Internet, my Google Home device that I talk to — I don’t know how any of that stuff functions, and it literally took a global effort to create them. Five-thousand random people left on a deserted island couldn’t replicate most of our technology.
My point is this: we live in a world in which I can summon my desires into existence. Something’s not there, now it is. That’s magic folks. There is no perceptible progression. I don’t see the mining process, the refinement, the designing, the engineering, the marketing, the shipping — all that effort happens behind the scenes and no random-joe can replicate it. All I know is that I wave my hand above a glowing screen, an effortless action — and voila, my wish is granted.