Need a witch? Find a library.

Sep 25, 2022

Magic has left this world long ago. The days of seeking witches and warlocks to change the very nature of reality has passed. Or has it?

“Ah tis a weighty spell though!” cackled the old crone. “Takes a heavy toll and asks weighty price upon a man… are ye man enough to pay it I wonder…”. The smoke in the hut stung Gunther’s eyes and filled his lungs. “Can you make the maidens like me? that is all I ask! I will do whatever is required.” The witch squinted across the fire for an eternity. “Maybe you do… maybe you do. Be warned though, sir, you must follow the spell to the word, without fail, each day for 60 moon-rises.”. She struggled to here feet, and began rummaging around her bottles. “The first sun-rise you must eat one berry from the bush atop the mountain, you must hurry each day. The second sunrise, eat two, the third three… for 60 mornings.” she muttered as she inspected a particularly evil looking bottle. “Second, you must save your breath for the spell to work… you must keep your mouth closed as much as possible and talk least”. Guther was surprised. “How am I to woo the fairer sex if I cannot speak?”. The witch stared up, eyes unfocused and deep in thought for a moment. “Ask them questions! yes that is it! Ask them questions and let them do the talking. - AHH Tis this I seek!”, her scraggly arms holding a potion aloft. You must carry a gulp of this in your mouth for the count of 100 each day after eating the berry… do NOT SWALLOW, but no less than 100. Then spit it off the cliff - offering it to the gods." Eager to find love, Gunther hurried home. Everyone in the village swore, and feared, the magic of the old crone. Surely her spell would help him. Gunther married the following spring. The magic had worked.

Do we not have magic any more? Did we never have magic?

Let’s break down the witch’s spell in modern terms.

  • 60 days is roughly the amount of time to form a habit.
  • Exercising daily, such as hiking, tones the body, releases endorphins, and helps with weight loss.
  • Studies have shown hiking is much more likely to attract woman over other sports.
  • The berries gamify the hike with a reward system for encouragement.
  • Gunther was a notorious talker… keeping his mouth shut would allow others to talk more.
  • People like talking about themselves, prompting girls with questions gets them talking,
  • As for the potion, a mix of water, alcohol, and mint leaves… freshens the breath.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Arthur C. Clarke

Flower
Once you understand something, the magic is gone. It loses something. We are not invoking some mysterious power, but simply doing work. We still have this magic in the world, found in spell books everywhere. They are now called self-help books. There is certainly a lot of junk, but there is also really good science being done.

Some tips on finding spells:

Want people to like you more, or help you even though they seem unlikely to? Consider the spells from Dale Carnegie’s “How to win friends and influence people ”. Want to cast a hex on people so they cannot stop from consuming your wares? Try Yu-Kai Chou’s “Gamification ”. Having changing your day to day? Try “Atomic Habits ” from James Clear. Maybe you can’t stay focused… try the Pomodoro ritual and it will help you get started and stay focused.

A few hundred years ago witches could give out this advice without understanding why and it carried a supernatural quality. Seeking out such sorcery was surely more exciting than hitting the local library.

Now go forth and start your career in mind control.

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