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From: "Mitchell A. Bailey" <MAB@lindau.net>
Subject: (urth) Sufficiently Advanced Technology?
Date: Thu, 09 Dec 1999 23:05:41 

You know, during all this recent discussion  of Wofean science and the
degree of “hardness” we should expect to find in it (speaking as one of
the hardline nitpickers), I’m surpised no one has trotted out that quote
from Arthur C. Clarke, or better yet, paraphrased it:

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from theurgy”

We are left wondering particularly if the Hieros attained the stature of
divinity and the Hierogrammates are celestial beings, or if the Hieros
simply advanced so far in their mastery of physics and engineering as to
leave the Urthlings blinking in bemused awe. An awe of unfathomable
technology which is rather like Babbie the Hus contemplating the mighty
slug-gun-wielding sailor Horn (just got _Blue’s_, BTW - and I think that
passage was indeed intended to signal an idea of  this sort!).

Or, perhaps, both, the two being indistinguishable. The science of the
vanished stellar empires even would qualify, with Cyriaca plainly
stating that the “machines” were regarded as deities by their own
people, never mind the Urthlings of eons later. As Master Ash said, the
less advanced knowledge of which he partakes could be expressed either
in scientific terms for such as Sev, or in mystical or religious terms
for the Pelerines. Another Wolfean puzzle for us mortals to chew on.

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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