Eureka! It's 'The Astrology Of Tech'
Jessica Murray close reads our techno-age labyrinth with the finetuned perspicacity of a prospector mining for gold. Available for download now!
MY FRIEND JESSICA MURRAY and I share a suspicious eye about our culture’s exponentially mutating technological revolution. Like Perseus’ witches, we’ve passed the ‘eye’ back and forth through years of email correspondence. Inquiries and tirades that give new meaning to the term ‘curmudgeonly Luddites’.
Are we trapped in our past, waylaid by generational blindspots? No, I don’t think so. We both take advantage of the new media that tech provides. It’s more about the unexamined disconnect that piques us, the lightspeed cultural shift from real-world living into the ideology of tech—the Church of the Virtual. And the individual’s disappearance into the manic static. As electronic media prophet, Marshall McLuhan warned: “The more the data banks record about each one of us, the less we exist.”
I’d imagine the entire Pluto in Leo generation (mostly comprised of ‘Me Generation’ Baby Boomers) feels a similar aversion. And oh boy, I wonder what’s in store for us when Pluto moves into Aquarius—Leo’s opposite sign—in 2023).
Jessica and I both enjoy dissing idiotic contraptions like self-driving automobiles, identity-annihilating Oculus headsets, Amazonian drones, and lightbulbs you can turn on with your iPhone.
Yesterday I emailed her a press release about Mark Zuckerberg testing a new feature on Facebook that will allow users to make and respond to prayer requests. And then five minutes later I was groaning through a brutal New York magazine expose on the therapeutic text messaging craze, created to replace, you know, face-to-face meetings with the mental health expert you hired to help you overcome your social anxiety.
And then there is the most striking symptom of our culture’s immersion into Kookamungaville—the coterie of just-out-of-puberty Silicon Valley moguls. This generation’s Carnegies and Rockefellers. Manchildren who now oversee and moderate the entire global network that influences (and distorts) our planet’s ongoing sociopolitical dialogue.
Many of our most pointed conversations have involved critiquing the monstrous growth of social media. Like cancer, Facebook and Twitter have eaten through the foundation that shores up whatever common ground used to exist in our democracy.
The Aquarian Age dream of widespread humanitarian principles associated with social media’s promise to ‘connect the world’—individual by individual—link by link—has proven to be a chimera. Democracies across the globe have died in tandem with the expanse of social media.
Professor of History at Yale University Timothy Synder tells us:
[T]he Internet has not spread liberty around the world. On the contrary, the world is less free, in part because of the Web. In 2005, when about a quarter of the world’s population was online, common sense held that more connectivity would mean more freedom. But while Mark Zuckerberg was calling connectivity a basic human right, the more traditional rights were in decline as the Internet advanced.
Astrology, with its long history of reading cyclic trends, movements and innovations is a great device for assigning rhyme and reason to any cultural moment. More than natal astrology, it is mundane astrology, the astrology of the collective—that, when interpreted intelligently—allows us to comprehend the Zeitgeist, our unique moment in time.
But having this grand overview ‘presented intelligently’ is rare nowadays. Fortunately, Jessica is on board with her prescient eye—wisdom gleaned from her long career as a professional astrologer—providing semiotic close reads we might miss otherwise. And after a decade of ongoing dialectics with her on this subject, I can confirm Jessica’s savvy to guide you through the techno-labyrinth. And her new web-based video presentation The Astrology of Tech provides just such an opportunity.
“In this webinar,” Murray explains, “we will use planetary symbolism to look at the tech revolution and the enormous moral, epistemological, and existential questions it raises; among them, artificial intelligence, mass surveillance, remote activity, and the up-ending of interpersonal norms.”
For some of us, this up-ending is psychologically disorienting. For others, it generates a kind of technophobia—a fear of disappearing into the infoglut. No one wants to become just a number—a data node assigned to an algorithm. To comprehend the overarching story, its origin, and where it might be headed, is invaluable. Within it lies the possibility of developing a way to creatively contribute to the narrative. And Murray offers as much in her fascinating summary.
I love attendee Frank. L.’s published review of the webinar. He captures both the spirit of Jessica’s presentation and the curiosity that compelled her impressive research.
“Murray offers us a razor sharp analysis of today’s alluring technology in the light of astrological influences, and the lurking shadows which have weaponized this newfangled digital glamour to attain unprecedented power, whose ramifications have yet to play out. There’s so much wisdom packed into this presentation you’ll need to hug a tree for goodness sake. This is an essential webinar for everyone concerned about the role of the heart and soul in today’s rapidly transforming paradigm. This needs to be presented to the 2000 generation. They are living history—just like the revolutionary Americans of 1776.”
I know that bit about hugging a tree had to appeal to Jessica’s well-grounded, nature-loving Tauri sensibilities. (And I can hear her laughing right now while reading this).
Why not do the same and ‘ground’ yourself this weekend? The recording of Jessica’s webinar is available now from Tony Howard’s outstanding Astrology University website. Download The Astrology of Tech now.
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Opening image: Reaching Out, by Terry Ringler of Trash Riot.