Does knowledge limit magic?

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Enjoying a fresh cup of coffee this morning I am in awe at a most amazing sunrise. Reds and oranges color the eastern sky with a fluorescent palette—a work of art. But why? Why the color in the morning and not at noon?

Ordinary sunlight is composed of a spectrum of colors that range from violets and blues at one end to oranges and reds on the other. When light passes through air molecules it scatters. Because tiny air molecules are closer in size to the shorter wavelength of violet light than to that of red light, pure air scatters violet light three to four times more effectively than it does the longer wavelengths. At sunrise or sunset, the sun takes a much longer path through the atmosphere than during the middle part of the day, increasing the amount of violet and blue light being scattered out of the beam. The light reaching your eye early or late in the day is noticeably reddened.

That's the knowledge base. And it is often thought that knowing these facts takes the magic out of the experience. Like a magician watching another practitioner of the art.

If you understand technology is there still magic? Arthur C. Clark wrote, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

That is certainly true, but then I struggle with the opposite.

I understand how an amp works, yet that knowledge doesn't diminish the magic that comes through speakers.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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