In the first half, Professor Bart Kosko discussed the latest in artificial intelligence, brain implants, noise, and the concept of a 'digital soul.' Deep brain implants, which are usually simple stimulators, are used to treat such conditions as Parkinson's, epilepsy, and depression. While they're considered medically safe, they have a wireless component and could be susceptible to hackers, he warned. In 5-10 years, we'll be able to boost memory through implants, he reported, such that someone could turn on the device during a lecture to retain more information. A recent DARPA experiment has demonstrated a 'proof of concept' behind this technology, he added. He estimates that in 15-20 years, we should be able to implant actual content.
Outlining the way a "digital soul" could work in principle, he cited how a tiny part of the brain could be removed and reproduced in something like an electronic chip and then reinstalled back into the brain. Ultimately, this "back-up" could create a more durable medium for the mind, he noted. Kosko also addressed different aspects of noise in our lives. As we tend to live in overstimulated environments, he recommends that people go on occasional "noise fasts," retreating to a quiet place and unplugging from devices, which helps to reset our hormonal and cognitive systems.
In the latter half, author and ceremonial magician Lon Milo DuQuette spoke about a variety of items including classical magic, Aleister Crowley, Tarot cards, his exorcism of a school, and his latest work demystifying the Qabalah (also spelled Kabbalah). He revealed that the Qabalah, based on very ancient texts, is really the foundation of most of the Western mystical arts such as astrology, alchemy, ritual magic, and numerology.
Qabalah attempts to "itemize the mind of God" through imagery and metaphor, DuQuette continued. A magician acts as a conduit, he explained, by invoking deity or becoming one with the divine will of the universe. In the case of an exorcism or dealing with a demon, a magician expands their own consciousness to include the dynamics of what is behind the demonic behavior, he detailed. When the Catholic girls' school where his brother worked was beset by serious illness hitting the staff, as well as a car accident that killed a teacher, and unexplained poltergeist activity all within a short period of time, DuQuette was brought in to conduct an exorcism, which involved a purification of the location and a banishment.