troyunrau t1_j7devv4 wrote

Furthermore, there are specialized tools like the Schonstedt Maggie (and similar) that are technically magnetic gradiometers -- largely referred to as "pinfinders" -- which are used by legal surveyors to find these buried corner markers on a regular basis. Doesn't help with lead, but anything with iron in it generally works.


troyunrau t1_iy90vyz wrote

I really like Clarke, and yet disliked this book a lot. And probably for the same reasons you liked it.

In the 1950s and 1960s there was a lot of sci fi that sort of dealt with the premise: "we only use a fraction of our brain! Imagine what we could do if we unlocked the rest of it!" There are many books that follow this notion in a variety of ways, including: Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, Le Guin's City of Illusions, and of course, Childhood's End -- and many many more. But it is all largely wishful thinking and power fantasy. No, our brains don't have an unused organ that will unlock telepathy! There are more recent examples too.

So, while it's a fun book, it's flawed by "magic". And not the good kind of magic, as defined by Clarke as "sufficiently advanced technology"