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(Cracked)   The six most terrifying implications of the Harry Potter universe   (cracked.com) divider line 145
    More: Scary, Harry Potter, half bloods, potter, Voldemort, Dumbledore, Hermione Granger, fat lady, American South  
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17102 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 14 Mar 2012 at 12:50 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-03-14 11:59:57 AM
#5. Technology Is Frozen Forever

Isn't that a pretty common trope among magic-themed books/games/movies? Basically magic does everything technology was created for, so there's no need for technology when you have magic.

Skyrim and Dragon Age handled it pretty well with the dwarves & dwemer having very little magic ability, but made up for it with amazing technological feats. "Ohh you've got a squishy wizard? I've got a 15 foot tall Centurion Master with axes for hands and crossbows for eyes."
 
2012-03-14 12:17:32 PM
List fails if it doesn't include "a sequel"
 
2012-03-14 12:28:16 PM

scottydoesntknow: Isn't that a pretty common trope among magic-themed books/games/movies? Basically magic does everything technology was created for, so there's no need for technology when you have magic.


It's subverted in The Dresden Files, mostly because of the "hex effect" magic users have on machines and technology (only a Volkswagen Beetle is non-techy enough for Dresden to drive) but other members of the circle use modern technology (Odin, for example). So it's not as lazy as the Potterverse.
 
2012-03-14 12:50:15 PM

The English Major: scottydoesntknow: Isn't that a pretty common trope among magic-themed books/games/movies? Basically magic does everything technology was created for, so there's no need for technology when you have magic.

It's subverted in The Dresden Files, mostly because of the "hex effect" magic users have on machines and technology (only a Volkswagen Beetle is non-techy enough for Dresden to drive) but other members of the circle use modern technology (Odin, for example). So it's not as lazy as the Potterverse.


It's the same in the Harry Potter universe. Hermione says it in Goblet of Fire - technology doesn't work in magical places because of the magical interference.
 
2012-03-14 12:56:18 PM
But isn't there a radio in the Harry Potter verse?
 
2012-03-14 01:00:51 PM

ArkAngel:

It's the same in the Harry Potter universe. Hermione says it in Goblet of Fire - technology doesn't work in magical places because of the magical interference.


The Darksword books handle it pretty well. As powerful as the mages were, they couldn't stand up to the tech for pure stamina reasons.
 
2012-03-14 01:01:13 PM
texdent:
But isn't there a radio in the Harry Potter verse?

There's "wizard radio," based off of unnamed magical principles.
 
2012-03-14 01:06:26 PM

The English Major: scottydoesntknow: Isn't that a pretty common trope among magic-themed books/games/movies? Basically magic does everything technology was created for, so there's no need for technology when you have magic.

It's subverted in The Dresden Files, mostly because of the "hex effect" magic users have on machines and technology (only a Volkswagen Beetle is non-techy enough for Dresden to drive) but other members of the circle use modern technology (Odin, for example). So it's not as lazy as the Potterverse.


I think that's a consequence of belief in modern wizards, to an extent. Dresden mentions the major defining "works/won't work" split to be around WW2, or (in my opinion) the invention of nuclear weaponry. Since then, technology has improved in leaps and bounds and at an accelerating pace. The change in status quo may be happening too quickly for the world to really catch-up, in terms of collective belief.

Dresden mentions again and again that belief fuels magic, almost defines it. This could be occurring on a personal level as well as a collective level--the wizards don't THINK it should work well with modern technology, so magic tends not to (even for people who think it should). You'll notice, though, there are regular exceptions--most often when Harry really, really needs a piece of technology to work, and when he's very distracted by other thoughts (or critters), tech seems to function better.

Folks like Odin (and Gard) see the world differently than wizards do--most of the tech users are really old school, folk who have seen a lot of changes in the past and don't view modern tech as leaving behind the old world, but rather a natural progression of it.
 
2012-03-14 01:13:00 PM

palelizard: The English Major: scottydoesntknow: Isn't that a pretty common trope among magic-themed books/games/movies? Basically magic does everything technology was created for, so there's no need for technology when you have magic.

It's subverted in The Dresden Files, mostly because of the "hex effect" magic users have on machines and technology (only a Volkswagen Beetle is non-techy enough for Dresden to drive) but other members of the circle use modern technology (Odin, for example). So it's not as lazy as the Potterverse.

I think that's a consequence of belief in modern wizards, to an extent. Dresden mentions the major defining "works/won't work" split to be around WW2, or (in my opinion) the invention of nuclear weaponry. Since then, technology has improved in leaps and bounds and at an accelerating pace. The change in status quo may be happening too quickly for the world to really catch-up, in terms of collective belief.

Dresden mentions again and again that belief fuels magic, almost defines it. This could be occurring on a personal level as well as a collective level--the wizards don't THINK it should work well with modern technology, so magic tends not to (even for people who think it should). You'll notice, though, there are regular exceptions--most often when Harry really, really needs a piece of technology to work, and when he's very distracted by other thoughts (or critters), tech seems to function better.

Folks like Odin (and Gard) see the world differently than wizards do--most of the tech users are really old school, folk who have seen a lot of changes in the past and don't view modern tech as leaving behind the old world, but rather a natural progression of it.


I always thought the problem was electronics. Older tech doesn't involve electronics, so it isn't affected by magical energy. The reason Odin and those like him could use electronics was because their power was distinct from magic.
 
2012-03-14 01:14:16 PM

scottydoesntknow: #5. Technology Is Frozen Forever

Isn't that a pretty common trope among magic-themed books/games/movies? Basically magic does everything technology was created for, so there's no need for technology when you have magic.

Skyrim and Dragon Age handled it pretty well with the dwarves & dwemer having very little magic ability, but made up for it with amazing technological feats. "Ohh you've got a squishy wizard? I've got a 15 foot tall Centurion Master with axes for hands and crossbows for eyes."


Medieval Stasis? Oh my yes. (new window)

Very few stories feature savagery, super science, and sorcery. I think the moon has to crack for it to be possible.

I thought it was going to be the terrifying implications that there are tribes of centaurs just waiting to rape uptight biatches.

You know it happened, and the heroes didn't mind one bit.
 
2012-03-14 01:27:40 PM
#6. The People in Paintings Are Alive

I was under the impression that they weren't alive, they just appeared to be alive. A kind of magical Artificial Intelligence.

#5 has already been covered, but let me address the issue with modern weapons. It seems to me that the reason they don't fear modern weapons is because they can disable them magically. They don't have to understand what a nuclear bomb is because they can transform it into a sofa.

#4. A Magical Education Is Hardly an Education
We do know they have hospitals -- but only for the magically infirm, which makes us think that Harry Potter's world is one where no one understands the human body or how it functions, because they've never had to learn.

Wizards are able to treat illness and injury with magic. Madame Pomfrey was able to regrow the bones in Harry's arm, something that Muggle medicine is incapable of.

#3. There Are No Career Options

Just because you don't see them doesn't mean they don't exist.

#2. Harry's Magical Map, and Magical Invasion of Privacy

I'll buy that, but I imagine that if you knew someone had a magical map, you could figure out a magical countermeasure. (The Easter Egg of the map showing two students having sex was awesome.)

#1. In the Wizard World, Nothing Is Private; No One Is Safe
Harry, as an underage wizard, is not supposed to be using magic outside of his school, and so the Ministry of Magic wanted to make damn sure he knew that they had their eye on him, thanks to their ability to invisibly monitor everything he does, 24 hours a day. Job done, Ministry of Magic. Job done.

I imagine it wasn't so much monitoring everything he does as a general spell that detects the use of underage magical use. Something akin to the seismic monitoring stations that are used to detect nuclear explosions.

As for the other examples, those spells/potions were very difficult/dangerous to make. Some of them required extensive knowledge of the Dark Arts, which not everyone would have.

/I'm such a nerd.
 
2012-03-14 01:28:45 PM

ArkAngel: technology doesn't work in magical places because of the magical interference


farm2.staticflickr.com

/nonsense
 
2012-03-14 01:31:44 PM
I'm not saying it's perfect, but the books cover it enough not to be anything more than any other minor plot holes in other books of the genre (It was a kids book until book 4. You can't just suddenly change the rules in a series and not be criticized for it). Movies always gloss over the subtle points without a monologue.

#6. The People in Paintings Are Alive

Yes an no? They seemed more like the equivalent of computer A.I. Most paintings are given commands to help where ever they are hung. So alive is a subjective term?

#5. Technology Is Frozen Forever

Already been covered in thread. Remember the Salem Witch Trials? It's mentioned in book one somewhat. Wizards don't want random curious not-wizards barging into thier house and burning them alive. They have magic fark-CPU-technology so they don't get mobbed to death. People use phones and shiat. WWII era cars and bikes work, other stuff probably can.

#4. A Magical Education Is Hardly an Education

Yup. In one of the books, I think it's mentioned that most parents are required to home school thier kids so they can read and do simple math. It's covered pretty good in the movies, and alot better in the books that Hermione and Harry are the smartest people in Britain's Wizard Community. Everyone else is a brain dead idiot who relies on magic waaaaay to much. Same way if we time travel to the past, we would be morons cause we have no clue how to survive by making fire and cleaning an animal.

(I always wondered what the enchantment for birth control was. Wizard families are freaking huge.)

#3. There Are No Career Options

Eh? Everyone knows everyone by first and last name. That implies there are at most 3000ish (cause you can't literally know everyone) wizards in Britain. Wizards can easily be a store owner of some type. Wizards don't seem to move alot, so I imagine the job market is pretty stable. And the government seems to employ the most people (inject your own political statement here), so as to stop people from doing crazy shiat to other normal humans and wizards.

#2. Harry's Magical Map, and Magical Invasion of Privacy

Yep. That's why they do stuff like in the 5th movie where they hide houses and have barriers like in the 7th(s?) movies. I didn't think it was that hard to not figure out. If we are going to write about very obvious things, how did THE VERY EXISTENCE OF MAGIC not count as the most disturbing thing?

#1. In the Wizard World, Nothing Is Private; No One Is Safe

It's not true today either. Give me a gun, a swiss bank account, and some phishing software, and I probably could go around killing people too. That's the whole point of police and courts and prison in real life and in the movies. Stop pointing out obvious things damn it!
 
2012-03-14 01:34:47 PM

macadamnut: ArkAngel: technology doesn't work in magical places because of the magical interference

[farm2.staticflickr.com image 489x640]

/nonsense


www.deigames.com

Damn skippy!
 
2012-03-14 01:47:37 PM
Cracked misses the point. I would much rather live in Harry's magical world, or in Dritzz's world, or Belgarath's world than here. Screw technology!!! Give me the ability to create/destroy things with my mind!!!!
 
2012-03-14 01:47:45 PM

Fano: macadamnut: ArkAngel: technology doesn't work in magical places because of the magical interference

[farm2.staticflickr.com image 489x640]

/nonsense

[www.deigames.com image 377x485]

Damn skippy!


I don't recognize the adventure, but I know what Blackmoore was..

The tech deficiency always bothered me.. seemed like the entire wizard world was about ready to be discovered by modern spy satellites at any time. Not to mention messages carried by birds on pieces of paper, I imagined some tech savvy wizard trying to show the rest how to share spells on a hidden part of Usenet or something.
 
2012-03-14 01:54:32 PM

Alphax: The tech deficiency always bothered me.. seemed like the entire wizard world was about ready to be discovered by modern spy satellites at any time. Not to mention messages carried by birds on pieces of paper, I imagined some tech savvy wizard trying to show the rest how to share spells on a hidden part of Usenet or something.


I think that's what Netcaster was for.
 
2012-03-14 01:55:35 PM

Alphax: Fano: macadamnut: ArkAngel: technology doesn't work in magical places because of the magical interference

[farm2.staticflickr.com image 489x640]

/nonsense

[www.deigames.com image 377x485]

Damn skippy!

I don't recognize the adventure, but I know what Blackmoore was..

The tech deficiency always bothered me.. seemed like the entire wizard world was about ready to be discovered by modern spy satellites at any time. Not to mention messages carried by birds on pieces of paper, I imagined some tech savvy wizard trying to show the rest how to share spells on a hidden part of Usenet or something.


I imagine you'd remember Blackmoor, ALPHAX. There was a followup to that adventure called City of the Gods. Part of a neat little trilogy for basic D&D. The first of the trilogy was just an introduction to Blackmoor using a time travelling inn.

And how did stuff the wizards in HP not control also take part in the Masquerade? Like Dragons and other mythological beasties? I suppose it's best not to think too hard about it and just say "a wizard did it." I'm curious about the sorcerers in the rest of Harry Potter world as well.
 
2012-03-14 01:57:20 PM

Fano: I imagine you'd remember Blackmoor, ALPHAX. There was a followup to that adventure called City of the Gods. Part of a neat little trilogy for basic D&D. The first of the trilogy was just an introduction to Blackmoor using a time travelling inn.


Yeah, I had that part 1, might still be around somewhere.
 
2012-03-14 01:58:23 PM
There's no art.

Seriously, there were no art classes in the books or films, and the only art that existed were paintings that contained the subserviant spirits of the dead.
 
2012-03-14 02:01:45 PM

stevetherobot: #6. The People in Paintings Are Alive

I was under the impression that they weren't alive, they just appeared to be alive. A kind of magical Artificial Intelligence.


Alan Turing would like a word with you.

In short, what's the difference between AI that good, an actual living intelligence? How would you tell them apart? Is there morally any difference?
 
2012-03-14 02:11:25 PM

Abner Doon: stevetherobot: #6. The People in Paintings Are Alive

I was under the impression that they weren't alive, they just appeared to be alive. A kind of magical Artificial Intelligence.

Alan Turing would like a word with you.

In short, what's the difference between AI that good, an actual living intelligence? How would you tell them apart? Is there morally any difference?


I always thought that the painting people were more or less frozen in time. You know they can learn facts (such as when they use painting people to transfer messages), but they can't learn new concepts and their personality doesn't change. It also appears that they don't think for themselves, but merely react to the circumstances around them, and even then are ultimately most content just sitting in their pictures being paintings.

You never see a painting person actively subvert someone, and you also never see a painting person try to help someone of their own initiative.

I think if you painted Voldemort, he'd just sit in his painting and get huffy at people. I don't think that painting Voldemort would even have the capacity to want to overthrow the wizarding world.
 
2012-03-14 02:12:06 PM

Abner Doon: stevetherobot: #6. The People in Paintings Are Alive

I was under the impression that they weren't alive, they just appeared to be alive. A kind of magical Artificial Intelligence.

Alan Turing would like a word with you.

In short, what's the difference between AI that good, an actual living intelligence? How would you tell them apart? Is there morally any difference?


Only if they dream of electronic sheep.
 
2012-03-14 02:13:24 PM

Fano: And how did stuff the wizards in HP not control also take part in the Masquerade? Like Dragons and other mythological beasties? I suppose it's best not to think too hard about it and just say "a wizard did it." I'm curious about the sorcerers in the rest of Harry Potter world as well.


They couldn't control them, but they could cover up their actions.
 
2012-03-14 02:15:51 PM
Yeah, there appear to only be like five careers in the wizard world.

six careers actually... they forgot about:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbB2hiqn3sA&ob=av3e
 
2012-03-14 02:16:08 PM
To defend the "medieval stasis" idea, humanity pretty much was in medieval stasis for a thousand years, and in "classical stasis" for thousands and thousands of years before that, with only an occasional new innovation or technology happening every hundred years or so. Of course, by the time the actual Middle Ages came about, the pace of innovation was getting faster and faster, but the really the norm for humanity isn't for one century to be completely different from the last, it's for change to happen so slowly that from a modern perspective, it might as well be in stasis.
 
2012-03-14 02:16:52 PM

Abner Doon: stevetherobot: #6. The People in Paintings Are Alive

I was under the impression that they weren't alive, they just appeared to be alive. A kind of magical Artificial Intelligence.

Alan Turing would like a word with you.

In short, what's the difference between AI that good, an actual living intelligence? How would you tell them apart? Is there morally any difference?


Gibson? Is that you?
 
2012-03-14 02:20:30 PM
Here's one of my concerns, even if Tech after WWII or so is stymied by particle interference (for all we know the Higgs Boson is the building block of Magic), there are still practical things some stories overlook. In one of the Myth books, Little Myth Marker, a game of Dragon Poker is thrown, in spite of all sorts of wards, charms, spells counter-spells, and the like to keep the very complicated card game on the up and up. Turns out, the actual cheat was regular old marked cards, because all the wizards playing were too used to being on guard for mystical forms of cheating not a single one (except for Skeeve, but it was much later, and he kicked himself for not catching it first thing) ever thought or knew of such a thing being used.

At least the article touched on the use of guns, look at the final confrontation between Avatar and Blackwolf in Wizards. Best wizard battle ever.

Now when someone creates a printed circuit that can either handle or create magical energy, we gots ourselves an apocolypse.
 
2012-03-14 02:22:16 PM

palelizard: The English Major: scottydoesntknow: Isn't that a pretty common trope among magic-themed books/games/movies? Basically magic does everything technology was created for, so there's no need for technology when you have magic.

It's subverted in The Dresden Files, mostly because of the "hex effect" magic users have on machines and technology (only a Volkswagen Beetle is non-techy enough for Dresden to drive) but other members of the circle use modern technology (Odin, for example). So it's not as lazy as the Potterverse.

I think that's a consequence of belief in modern wizards, to an extent. Dresden mentions the major defining "works/won't work" split to be around WW2, or (in my opinion) the invention of nuclear weaponry. Since then, technology has improved in leaps and bounds and at an accelerating pace. The change in status quo may be happening too quickly for the world to really catch-up, in terms of collective belief.

Dresden mentions again and again that belief fuels magic, almost defines it. This could be occurring on a personal level as well as a collective level--the wizards don't THINK it should work well with modern technology, so magic tends not to (even for people who think it should). You'll notice, though, there are regular exceptions--most often when Harry really, really needs a piece of technology to work, and when he's very distracted by other thoughts (or critters), tech seems to function better.

Folks like Odin (and Gard) see the world differently than wizards do--most of the tech users are really old school, folk who have seen a lot of changes in the past and don't view modern tech as leaving behind the old world, but rather a natural progression of it.


I believe he mentions in one of the novels that 'ye olde ancient mages' would be blamed for (and possibly actually caused) the curdling of milk and other wives tales.

I thought it was presented as an issue of 'Mage vs current technology' whatever the current mark is.
 
2012-03-14 02:36:41 PM
Right out the gates, and they get it wrong. The people in the paintings are not "alive." They're dead. They just happen to also be animate.
 
2012-03-14 02:38:01 PM

The My Little Pony Killer: Right out the gates, and they get it wrong. The people in the paintings are not "alive." They're dead. They just happen to also be animate.


And sentient enough to have conversations with.
 
2012-03-14 02:40:00 PM

AppleOptionEsc: #4. A Magical Education Is Hardly an Education

Yup. In one of the books, I think it's mentioned that most parents are required to home school thier kids so they can read and do simple math. It's covered pretty good in the movies, and alot better in the books that Hermione and Harry are the smartest people in Britain's Wizard Community. Everyone else is a brain dead idiot who relies on magic waaaaay to much. Same way if we time travel to the past, we would be morons cause we have no clue how to survive by making fire and cleaning an animal.

(I always wondered what the enchantment for birth control was. Wizard families are freaking huge.)


There's also the small matter (covered right at the beginning of book 1) that incoming wizards and witches don't get their invitation letter until their 11th birthday. They had better damn well know some basic reading writing arithmetics before then.
 
2012-03-14 02:44:56 PM

Need_MindBleach: To defend the "medieval stasis" idea, humanity pretty much was in medieval stasis for a thousand years, and in "classical stasis" for thousands and thousands of years before that, with only an occasional new innovation or technology happening every hundred years or so. Of course, by the time the actual Middle Ages came about, the pace of innovation was getting faster and faster, but the really the norm for humanity isn't for one century to be completely different from the last, it's for change to happen so slowly that from a modern perspective, it might as well be in stasis.


palelizard: The English Major: scottydoesntknow: Isn't that a pretty common trope among magic-themed books/games/movies? Basically magic does everything technology was created for, so there's no need for technology when you have magic.

It's subverted in The Dresden Files, mostly because of the "hex effect" magic users have on machines and technology (only a Volkswagen Beetle is non-techy enough for Dresden to drive) but other members of the circle use modern technology (Odin, for example). So it's not as lazy as the Potterverse.

I think that's a consequence of belief in modern wizards, to an extent. Dresden mentions the major defining "works/won't work" split to be around WW2, or (in my opinion) the invention of nuclear weaponry. Since then, technology has improved in leaps and bounds and at an accelerating pace. The change in status quo may be happening too quickly for the world to really catch-up, in terms of collective belief.

Dresden mentions again and again that belief fuels magic, almost defines it. This could be occurring on a personal level as well as a collective level--the wizards don't THINK it should work well with modern technology, so magic tends not to (even for people who think it should). You'll notice, though, there are regular exceptions--most often when Harry really, really needs a piece of technology to work, and when he's very distracted by other thoughts (or critters), tech seems to function better.

Folks like Odin (and Gard) see the world differently than wizards do--most of the tech users are really old school, folk who have seen a lot of changes in the past and don't view modern tech as leaving behind the old world, but rather a natural progression of it.


Dresden magic sticks mostly to EMP rules with some fudging as it appears magic in that universe can also screw up something non-electric but complicated, like an automatic weapon. But not always, only as Butcher requires it for plot development... :) However, Butcher is usually pretty good about stressing that Harry has to stay verrrry calm when being in the presence of anything electronic, and staying completely away from computers. I think they only thing Harry didn't have an issue with was the werewolves' SUV.

And for everyone else, David Brin wrote a great short story about belief and fey creatures:

Those Eyes (new window)
 
2012-03-14 02:46:04 PM

Orgasmatron138: There's no art.

Seriously, there were no art classes in the books or films, and the only art that existed were paintings that contained the subserviant spirits of the dead.


They aren't spirits of the dead. They're representations of people (alive AND dead) that have a basic artificial personality and intelligence. They can't really think, reason, or feel. They only exist to follow some basic commands, portray the image intended by the artist, and spout catch-phrases and quotes attributed to the subjects of the paintings.
 
2012-03-14 02:48:13 PM

nocturn: And for everyone else, David Brin wrote a great short story about belief and fey creatures:

Those Eyes (new window)


Well, now this is in my head. (new window)
 
2012-03-14 02:50:12 PM

Nix Nightbird: Orgasmatron138: There's no art.

Seriously, there were no art classes in the books or films, and the only art that existed were paintings that contained the subserviant spirits of the dead.

They aren't spirits of the dead. They're representations of people (alive AND dead) that have a basic artificial personality and intelligence. They can't really think, reason, or feel. They only exist to follow some basic commands, portray the image intended by the artist, and spout catch-phrases and quotes attributed to the subjects of the paintings.


Think of them as a magical painting version of Dick Clark on New Years.
 
2012-03-14 02:50:19 PM
I agree with #5, insofar as the wizards in Harry Potter are shockingly naive about the Muggle world. They don't even know what guns are (one of the Prophet's newspaper articles had to describe it as a "muggle wand for killing"). The problem isn't that they couldn't use magic to protect themselves, it's that they wouldn't even be aware that they needed to. I mean, Arthur Weasley spent his life studying Muggle stuff and still doesn't know how a freaking AIRPLANE works, so the average witch or wizard would be completely unaware of what a nuke was or that they needed to protect themselves.

Plus, I'm pretty sure Rowling herself has said that wizards would ultimately fall against Muggle weaponry.

I want a sequel with wizard al-Qaeda getting a magical WMD.
 
2012-03-14 02:58:38 PM

Fubini: You never see a painting person actively subvert someone,


I may be misremembering from the books, but didn't the Gryffindor door painting change passwords on Neville a few times to mess with him?
 
2012-03-14 03:00:00 PM

Fubini: Abner Doon: stevetherobot: #6. The People in Paintings Are Alive

I was under the impression that they weren't alive, they just appeared to be alive. A kind of magical Artificial Intelligence.

Alan Turing would like a word with you.

In short, what's the difference between AI that good, an actual living intelligence? How would you tell them apart? Is there morally any difference?

I always thought that the painting people were more or less frozen in time. You know they can learn facts (such as when they use painting people to transfer messages), but they can't learn new concepts and their personality doesn't change. It also appears that they don't think for themselves, but merely react to the circumstances around them, and even then are ultimately most content just sitting in their pictures being paintings.

You never see a painting person actively subvert someone, and you also never see a painting person try to help someone of their own initiative.

I think if you painted Voldemort, he'd just sit in his painting and get huffy at people. I don't think that painting Voldemort would even have the capacity to want to overthrow the wizarding world.


Yeah, but they aren't frozen in time, since like you say they can learn facts. The way you describe it almost sounds even worse, it's like they're copies of the original, except magically enslaved to do whatever "real" people require of them.

If you took a person and stripped away most of their feelings and independent will from them, that would clearly be wrong. Is it wrong if you create a copy without those same feelings and independent will? Hmm, not sure. Sounds pretty skeevy somehow though. It seems a bit related to the philosophical question of if you are in a prison that you aren't aware of, is it still a prison?
 
2012-03-14 03:00:15 PM

Optimal_Illusion: Now when someone creates a printed circuit that can either handle or create magical energy, we gots ourselves an apocolypse.


I would like to introduce you to Charles Stross and his "Laundry" series
 
2012-03-14 03:00:24 PM

Nix Nightbird: spout catch-phrases and quotes attributed to the subjects of the paintings.


They also delivered messages and served as "spies." So it would seem that they had the capacity to learn at least a few phrases, if only to relay them back to the order-giver.
 
2012-03-14 03:01:22 PM

nocturn: Dresden magic sticks mostly to EMP rules with some fudging as it appears magic in that universe can also screw up something non-electric but complicated, like an automatic weapon. But not always, only as Butcher requires it for plot development... :) However, Butcher is usually pretty good about stressing that Harry has to stay verrrry calm when being in the presence of anything electronic, and staying completely away from computers. I think they only thing Harry didn't have an issue with was the werewolves' SUV.


I thought he burnt out the SUV's fancy electronics and made it run rough.
 
2012-03-14 03:01:25 PM
Oh, and another thing about the paintings. They had to be very specifically placed, because a painting subject could only move between their own paintings. For instance, Dumbledore could not move into a painting of anyone else.
 
2012-03-14 03:02:15 PM
I don't get why they have their own currency. Do they really need their own monetary system? I can't believe the wizarding world would be able to sustain its own economy.

Seriously, there were no art classes in the books or films, and the only art that existed were paintings that contained the subserviant spirits of the dead.

It would have been a nice humorous element to have all Wizard art totally suck, just to have something that Muggles can do that Wizards can't. We could have Ron grooving to some god-awful Wizard band that sounds like the Shaggs, or a Wizard museum filled with crappy Thomas Kinkade style paintings and the like.
 
2012-03-14 03:03:44 PM

The_Six_Fingered_Man: Oh, and another thing about the paintings. They had to be very specifically placed, because a painting subject could only move between their own paintings. For instance, Dumbledore could not move into a painting of anyone else.


Not true. They could visit other paintings, the Fat Lady ended up hiding in another painting after Sirius shredded hers. There's even mention of it in the book that some of the paintings go visit each other, and they're not of the same subject.
 
2012-03-14 03:04:52 PM

TimSTP: Ron grooving to some god-awful Wizard band that sounds like the Shaggs


You mean like "Weird Sisters" that showed up in Goblet?
 
2012-03-14 03:05:44 PM

TimSTP: I don't get why they have their own currency. Do they really need their own monetary system? I can't believe the wizarding world would be able to sustain its own economy.

Seriously, there were no art classes in the books or films, and the only art that existed were paintings that contained the subserviant spirits of the dead.

It would have been a nice humorous element to have all Wizard art totally suck, just to have something that Muggles can do that Wizards can't. We could have Ron grooving to some god-awful Wizard band that sounds like the Shaggs, or a Wizard museum filled with crappy Thomas Kinkade style paintings and the like.


I'm pretty sure that there's a crappy Wizarding World female torch singer who's worse than Celine Dion that Ron's mother really likes.

Also, don't dis The Shaggs, they're so awful they come full-circle back into awesome.
 
2012-03-14 03:06:10 PM

BohemianGraham: The_Six_Fingered_Man: Oh, and another thing about the paintings. They had to be very specifically placed, because a painting subject could only move between their own paintings. For instance, Dumbledore could not move into a painting of anyone else.

Not true. They could visit other paintings, the Fat Lady ended up hiding in another painting after Sirius shredded hers. There's even mention of it in the book that some of the paintings go visit each other, and they're not of the same subject.


Only within the same building.
 
2012-03-14 03:06:20 PM

Strolpol: I agree with #5, insofar as the wizards in Harry Potter are shockingly naive about the Muggle world. They don't even know what guns are (one of the Prophet's newspaper articles had to describe it as a "muggle wand for killing"). The problem isn't that they couldn't use magic to protect themselves, it's that they wouldn't even be aware that they needed to. I mean, Arthur Weasley spent his life studying Muggle stuff and still doesn't know how a freaking AIRPLANE works, so the average witch or wizard would be completely unaware of what a nuke was or that they needed to protect themselves.

Plus, I'm pretty sure Rowling herself has said that wizards would ultimately fall against Muggle weaponry.

I want a sequel with wizard al-Qaeda getting a magical WMD.


*hand goes up*

Since there are a fair number of "mudbloods" that come from non-wizarding families, shouldn't there be a number of wizards that have at least SOME knowledge of muggle tech? At least up to the time they were 11 or so. Granted, UK kids might not know the technical details of a gun, but I would imagine they'd remember a lot of other things. Or heck, maybe it just doesn't mean much when you've got a wicked cool spell that can do the same thing. Or maybe their old teachers, even the hip new ones beat it out of them.
 
2012-03-14 03:08:03 PM

arcsecond: Optimal_Illusion: Now when someone creates a printed circuit that can either handle or create magical energy, we gots ourselves an apocolypse.

I would like to introduce you to Charles Stross and his "Laundry" series


There's also a comic fantasy novel, Grunts, in which the bad guys get their hands on modern human weapons and other tech and combine it with magic.
 
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