Future of Fortunetellers Looks Dim

After all, who needs a fortuneteller, or even one of those fancy "intuitive" readers, when your employer or government snoop can just read your handy-dandy brain scan, showing not only what you think, but picture-images of everything you see, including images from your dreams!

Don't worry, you'll get used to it. In fact, you'll grow to love it (him).

Sound like Minority Report scif-fi?

Nope, it's modern science, moving us rapidly toward Borgification.

Wired ran an article today entitled "Brain Scans Reveal What You've Seen", and while that is no doubt a bit of hype concerning the present state of the technology, the article notes concerning future applications:

"You could have someone talk to themselves, and have it come out in a machine."

Who needs cold reading when you've got one hot thought-reading machine?

Hey, at least we won't have to listen to all the dunderheads over at the EFF blathering about "privacy", and "rights". What passé things are those, even now, but especially after Web 4.0 links the collective active thoughts of humanity into one massive Borg Collective.

And we certainly won't have to waste our time reading those awful Tarot books, promising to teach us how to read cards for self-exploration and transformation. Nope, as with so many human activities that are rapidly being deemed too dangerous for individuals to control for themselves, the exploring and transforming of your selves will be in the hands of your loving and efficient governments, the very ones that we all know are constantly making excellent decisions thinking mainly about your best interests.

I'll bet most of you, who don't wish to be waterboarded into submission anyway, are just thrilled at the prospect you won't have to suffer with all that hard, exhausting thinking stuff for much longer. And your children? Oh, isn't it a comfort knowing they will never have to struggle like you did, because no matter what their material circumstances, they'll be getting steady affirmations of SOMA-streams right into their brains from Big Brother.*

And you know, he LOVES you. Almost as much as you'll love him.

So, I think the future of Tarot is purely artifactual.

And then only in terms Big Brother deems appropriate for any public consumption.

Enjoy your last days of personal folly. Soon that burden shall be lifted from you.

Sweet dreams.

*—Yes, I know, that's a mixed-dystopian allusion. Hey, I'm multicultural!



Compliments to the author, fun satire!

Of course, the collective unconscious and collective subconscious are merely aided by the newest tools, that extends the corporal reach of mankind.

The enlightened awareness of the enduring and the invisible of a 'sensitive few' will likely never be superseded by enhanced abilities to economize human communication (i.e., through direct thought transfer versus traditional modalities, e.g., speech, writing, facial expressions, etc.
Anonymous said…
"the collective unconscious and collective subconscious are merely aided by the newest tools"

Ja, und Arbeit macht Frei, richtig?

Well, it is comforting that people get what they deserve, which is to say what they tolerate.

Jason said…
But wouldn't a dedicated study of tarot give the practitioner a bit more power against machines like this?
Being able to conjure and control the images that make up your consciousness seems like a useful weapon against invasion of thought.
Anonymous said…
Jason, certainly the traditions of occultism, and certain views of a disciplined and enlightened consciousness, suggest it would have an ability to resist manipulation.

But, here we are talking about an invasion that isn't an invasion, but is instead a merging and submerging of the individual into a mass consciousness.

The human mind, and the sense of individuality, is an essentially weak construction. It can be threatened with just an alteration of brain chemistry, which can be achieved with drugs, or physical torture—or physical pleasures leading to addictions.

Under those conditions, the tendency for the brain to produce false beliefs is considerably elevated. And once formed, even under normal conditions, we know that people tend to hold to whatever they believe.

But the situation we are discussing will be like nothing normal any of us has ever experienced. The ability to know and to manipulate the mass of human consciousness will essentially be the death of individual existence, at least psychologically.

We are talking about the mass extinction of the individual, mass suicide really, and no amount of dedicated study of the Tarot, or anything else, is going to stand up to that kind of brutal, omniscient power.