My original interlocutor made a comment on my last piece, so we have some more to go on this week! Pontifus’s original question (which, shamefully, I have not even approached answering), was about the connection between magic as practice and magic as plot device. Specifically, magic as practice is the use of metaphor et al to reconstruct oneself, the world, and everything else. Magic as plot device is a way to produce a metaphor for something else. Therefore, highly systematized fictional magics are pointless if not actively stupid, since they systematize what’s meant to be interpreted.