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Blind Boy Apollo
and the All-White Astronauts

New Age "Asiatic" thought ... is establishing itself as the
hegemonic ideology of global capitalism. (Zizek)

Monday, July 25

technology and superstition

Proving that you don't need to be into angels or astrology to be a modern-day druid, Ray Kurzweil weighs in again on his favorite subject. The volume below is a sequel to his 1999 bestseller, The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence. Here's how the new one -- Are We Spiritual Machines? -- describes itself.
Computers are becoming more powerful at an ever-increasing rate, but will they ever become conscious? Artificial intelligence guru Ray Kurzweil thinks so and explains how we will "download" our software (our minds) and "upgrade" our hardware (our bodies) to become immortal -- before the dawn of the 22nd century.
Juxtaposed below against this purported 21st century "science" are some of the superstitions it was supposed to save us from, and conversely, which hope to save us from the retrograde views of Western Science (not to be confused with chili cook-offs and bull roping). The following are the subcategories Amazon lists in its New Age section. Before we can talk about the NewAge++ superset, we need at least some vague (and they are) conceptual boundaries around the plain old garden variety New Age.
There's something more than a little fishy going on here. All this incorrigible blather is pandering to the wildest hopes and darkest fears of a people running on empty, running scared. But ah well, you know what they say. Markets are conversations...
The following are a few of the core resources that have been helpful in sorting out how all this spooky bamboozlement got going in the first place, and how it has played out into the 20th century. You can search inside both at Amazon by clicking the images.
for the chapter:

images of the [story mafia] non-machines above are from exactitudes, an amazing book and perhaps even more amazing website

British Occultism and the Culture of the Modern

19th century developments

a companion volume
The Occult Establishment
covers the 20th