Why should I listen to a deck of cards?

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These are my notes from a presentation by Uel Aramchek with a bunch of other weird twitter personalities in March of 2021.

Problems with Tarot

Believing that tarot holds some deeper level of secret meaning doesn’t really work out. There’s no deep “Egyptian Mystery Religion” to harken back to, there’s no “great white brotherhood” maintaining tarot’s existence.

Many of the people who popularized tarot were bad, either for other reasons (colonialism, racism, etc.) or because their approach to tarot was itself in bad faith.

Uel says not to listen to anybody who says “we live in a cold, dead universe where the very idea of meaning is a false comfort that leaves one’s hands empty at every grasp.”

Why do we trust a deck of cards?

I Ching, an ancient divinatory practice, used 2^6 (base-64) to understand readings and reached Leibniz, a mathematician, at precisely the same time he was discovering binary mathematics himself. Leibniz, as a result of this and coinciding

“Modern computing is built upon a divinatory scaffold.”

Whenever there is uncertainty, there is some amount of divination required to discover things. We negotiate with objects to obtain information every day. (Computers)

Uel points out that Tarot was a meaning-making-object that was designed/created/grown with human understanding and knowledge as the goal, whereas most of the technology we interface with today is commercial space.

“Which [objects] are considered absurd to look at and imagine we can derive meaning from, and which do we think are entirely reasonable to derive meaning from?”

Tarot was built through games, interaction, and friendship–why wouldn’t it be a great framework to communicate with?


The video

Wikipedia on Leibniz

Wikipedia on I Ching

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