Magic in our pockets

In the world of Harry Potter, wizards and witches stayed in touch by sending each other owls.

Given that the book was set in a pre-internet, pre-smartphone era, sending scrawls of paper attached to owls was seen as a ‘magical’ means of communicating.

In the 25 years since the series was invented, we have far superior means of staying in touch. I am sure nobody would trade-off communicating with a smartphone or via video conferencing with owl post. Not even the wizards and the witches of the Harry Potter world.

Yet, given that we have grown up along with these technologies, we fail to recognize them as being magical.

Arthur C. Clarke was right when he remarked that ‘any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic’. The innovators among us are those whose eyes shine with the same wonder on seeing new technology, as those of a little child when she flicks across the magical pages of the Harry Potter world.

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