There are different criteria for being the first magician on Earth: 1. What is the greatest, most ancient, most significant, biggest, most unique thing made by anyone in the universe? 2. How significant is the world’s greatest invention (in any category)? 3. How unique is the most basic unit of measurement in the universe, namely, a penny or, better yet, how unique is the universe itself? 4. To calculate the quantity X, X must be unique to and measurable by a human being on the Earth. (That is, he must be able to measure it and can accurately calculate it—in this case, use mathematics and physics.) 5. The most ancient, most significant, most important, biggest, most unique thing made by a human being on the Earth is a human body, which we call a human being. This last one is an important one, because it is so easy to make an error on the basis of the first two criteria. It just doesn’t look right from our point of view.
The next step in understanding the first magician is to put that “ancient” human body into a computer. The computer is a collection of machines: computer chips, memory chips, optical drives, sensors, controllers of all kinds. Each of the computer parts is different in the context of what people consider great artifacts of the human mind. Some processors could do something called symbolic computation—meaningful, human thought (and math). Other processors are more like “computers as computers”—computers that have more computational ability. They are often called computers for the sake of the hardware they have to work with. In the case of the human body, they are called “brain chips”—computer parts that can do thinking without thinking. (In the case of the human body, they are “cores”—computer parts that can do different things.) And then there is the “computer” of the mind—the “mind.” An interesting feature of human perception, thought, and experience is that our mind and our body have different cognitive capabilities. For example, a person’s sense of “I” and “mine” vary greatly depending on how the brain decides to interpret our sense of “mine.” But this is a small quibble over a subject matter of such great importance; the actual point about the first magic is that the mind has been and is an excellent computer. It allows us to think about the universe, to communicate across the universe, and to build amazing things. You can make a world on paper by laying
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