Just another Reality-based bubble in the foam of the multiverse.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Knowledge and Curiousity in a World of Muggles and Death Eaters

Like everyone else with teenagers now, my kids have learned to read with the Harry Potter series.

Rowling's work certainly meets my approval. In the last three books, what started off as a groundswell against a government and a system of tyranny has turned into a tidal wave against the unfairness of power for power's sake and its inevitable blind self-destruction. As I've pointed out, the Dominionists hate it, and so will the Rethuglicans, as soon as someone will explain it to them. Slowly.

For someone used to reading several papers on molecular biology a day just to figure out his next step in the lab, they're a cakewalk and a pleasure to read.

Something that stands out though, is the oddity of a world of magic totally devoid of curiosity about the magic.

Even the most learned, bright, and curious individuals in the series look upon knowledge of the world as a way to do things. The operative term is "power". Nobody asks about why the wands do what they do, or where and how a whole world of mystical beasts came to be, or its relation to the muggle world, which coexists right along side of it.

Nobody tries to explain what time and space are doing in those pocket universes where Hermione stores her stash or where, exactly, Dumbledore's army trains.

No one in Harry's world even thinks about it.

Nobody much has more than a high school education, or seems to see the need for more, either.

No one cares about the forces that keep a broom, or a dragon, in flight, against all the rules of muggle physics.

No one thinks about the genes that make you a muggle. Or a wizard. Or a werewolf virus.

In this, the inhabitants of the muggle world, whether in Rowling's books or our own bubble of the multiverse have much in common.

It certainly makes it easier for the aspiring Dark Lords among us.

No comments: