Magia no cotidiano?

When Arthur C. Clarke went to the great geosynchronous orbit in the sky last year, he left behind a huge legacy, not least of which was a quote oft cited by Silicon Valley visionaries and wannabes. “Any sufficiently advanced technology,” the sci-fi master wrote in 1962, “is indistinguishable from magic.”

But now my daydreams are different. As technological magic becomes routine, I wonder whether a visit to a preindustrial society might teach me more than it teaches them. The only thing more fascinating than our technology is the idea of getting along without it. Maybe the way to recapture the magic is to turn all that stuff off.

(…)

But what happens when magic is an everyday occurrence? Consider that the Flip MinoHD—a once nearly unobtainable piece of technology—is now a 3-ounce knickknack. Better yet, it’s rendered so elegantly that its coolness is baked in, not slapped on. Barely a minute after opening my review unit, I had the gizmo fired up and ready. My first experiment was to grab a long tracking shot through the rows of Wired’s cubicles. I downloaded the footage and was impressed that all was captured as planned. However, the handheld image was a bit shaky … maybe too vérité. As a result, my first thought was not so much “What hath God wrought?” as “What? No image stabilization? Where’s the built-in steadicam?”

We all, I think, have become inured to Moore’s law. The astonishing advances that once would have brought us to our knees are now reduced to a thumbs-up on Gizmodo. They’re removed from the realm of magic—they’re just cool gear.

Which brings me back to Sir Arthur. His quote makes me think of the European explorers who encountered previously unknown tribes. I used to imagine what it would be like to venture deep into the bush and unveil my latest gadget—a digital tape recorder, an iPod, an electric toothbrush.

via Steven Levy on How Gadgets Lose Their Magic, na Wired.

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