Jonathan Zap is an author, philosopher, journalist, and teacher who has written extensively on psychology and contemporary mythology. In the first half, he discussed the potential dangers of AI and the possibility of an impending "viral apocalypse." He warned that "someone with some biological training, a $20,000 desktop gene editor, and open source AI, could today create gain of function viruses that can bring an end to human civilization." This might be an individual with the psychology of a school shooter. The idea of a malign actor creating a novel pathogen that can self-mutate and cause extinction-level events is the premise of his recently published sci-fi book, Parallel Journeys (available to read for free online). He related what's going on with AI to what he called a number of years ago, the Singularity Archetype, which foresees a quantum evolutionary shift in the human species. "Now I actually feel we are in that zone," he declared.
Zap noted that for many years, he was critical of apocalypticism, but now he finds himself in the ironic position of sounding the horn himself. At this point, it will be hard for technology companies to put the brakes on AI, as "one thing that human beings are not capable of doing is putting the genie back in the bottle," he commented. Yet, Zap conceded that it's not all doom and gloom as his work with the Singularity Archetype has indicated that unusual possibilities can emerge. "It could be that when the entire genome is threatened, that it will spur human evolution," he said, adding that evolution could even continue through a different species or via profound changes to the human species. One intriguing possibility that he has contemplated is using VR headsets to displace what's called proprioception, or the sense of where your body is in space, in order to create out-of-body experiences on demand. For more, view Zap's related article.
In the latter half, professional Tarot card reader, scholar, writer, and poet Julia Gordon-Bramer shared the living wisdom of the Tarot, based on her more than 40 years of experience as a reader, including how to grow your strengths, conquer problems, and move on from painful situations. The Tarot deck has 78 cards, and 22 of them are the major arcana, which represent the milestones or big issues. They are among the most well-known images like the Lovers, the Hermit, and the Death card. Interestingly, she noted that the Death card isn't a bad thing but indicates change or transformation. It's saying your old life is behind you, like when you graduate, get married, or have children. The minor arcana, which correspond with regular playing cards, are thought to involve more day-to-day material, she detailed.
One of the unique things she offers her clients during in-person readings is the chance to choose a specific Tarot deck that fits them best. Usually, for a new client, she uses the traditional Celtic cross reading with 11 cards that offer a glimpse of someone's past, present, and future. As far as the future, she said her readings extend out about two years, looking at "where you're going...what might be tripping you up, [and] what you might want to focus on to build and grow, and what you might want to change." Each of the Tarot cards has positive and negative attributes, and typically, when a card is reversed (upside down), it has more of an unfavorable meaning. However, one card may have many meanings, and she uses her psychic abilities to intuit and interpret. The actual image on the card can suggest different possibilities, she pointed out, as well as how the cards relate to each other. During the last hour, she gave readings for callers using a three-card spread.