(As a starting seed for this topic, I offer up this recent interview video with my initial comments. Bringing science awareness into our practice has increasing interest for some, and has merit to discuss the benefits, negatives, and learnings.)
The YouTube cover image for this March 2023 video (linked below) sort of belies (or oversimplifies upon first impression) the very grounded, substantive discussion and many strong points made in this interview (and Dean Radin's book), and I commend it to anyone here -- or particularly a peer or friend who may be on the fence with a deeper metaphysical path -- who is willing to entertain and season some idealistic thinking within their base of scientific or material-based perspectve of reality -- specifically as regards the paradigm that consciousness is something infusing all existence, and that embracing this notion even an inkling can open one's life to a more holistic way of living and "seeing."
The discussion is also important in highlighting the way some mainstream religious perspectives have papered over their own esoteric-leaning practices behind language and social walls that, as a fearful and often counterfeit collective, are designed to exclude or condemn the more individual, free-thinking, creative experiences of life's vast mysteries. These latter aspects -- free exercise of human minds in collaboration with some pervading cosmic mental essence, or great Mind -- can enrich the meaning and value one gains from living, and thusly be rendered back into broader society as immense, life-affirming value-adds... versus being feared and supressed to the detriment of our gifted human spirit.
So maybe if you aren't familiar with Dean Radin's work, give this recent interview a shot as an intro into the scientific and statistical-based studies he conducts around magic(k)al practices and our potential/actualized connections with non-local, all-pervading Consciousness. Although this may be redundant to some, for others it may spark or reenforce certain aspects of their own personal, secular, or spiritual questions and studies.
For more on Dean Radin:
- Cosmo Rubiconis
Video Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MY0XGtijebQ
As regards interactive/virtual storytelling (I digress a bit here from magickal practice), I've always viewed this as a good next step in audio-visual entertainment, as honestly there are only so many linear story-combinations to be exploited, and too often things feel awash in the sameness of over-saturated content across viewing sources (often with only slightly different character variations/motivations).
Setting aside the legit concerns for the moment (needing safeguards for protecting privacy, coercion, etc.), I think the user/collective could state "tuning parameters" for the type/progression they want as the backbone of the story (when they purchase their viewing), along with a choice of baseline scene/context and certain story milestones, and then let the AI storytelling drape a "function" of experience tuned to reenforce the selection.
Maybe today I want the story to overfit its tuning/monitoring for a deeply emotional, though predictable experience-output (therapy needs), where tomorrow I want to watch that same story-nugget unspooling as a violent horror, where I choose less knowns to tune so it underfits, as it were, to allow for more surprise and slop in the viewing, or to get a bit more of the surreal and unexpected. In any event, it gets us closer to actualizing the mystery and richness of dreams.
A notable topic (one being covered via AI Alignment and AI Ethics) encompasses the subtle complexities of tuning AI/algorithms to do their best work within our world of the living, while minimizing harm. Namely, it brings to light age-old moral dilemmas we humans still struggle with -- making best-effort trade-offs in a messy connected world -- at the same time we are teaching and reenforcing (and infusing our/these unavoidable impurities into) new emerging "life forms"... ones that had perhaps started as blank slates of purest potential before their training layers set in.
Given we are talking about present and future tech that fundamentally supplants aspects of our most revered human feature -- our brain -- these next years will be a time of deeply serious discussion and personal/societal decisions -- a Rubicon moment -- about what it is to be human, what gives us meaning and satisfaction in life, and what tradeoffs we will allow in the evolution and redefinition of our human path.
The engineering work (and pace) and institutions must not be given the full keys as gatekeepers of our minds and these crucial decisions, but we must exercise our individual agency and collective empathy to find direction and balance within this symbiotic, dynamic relationship as we funnel toward -- and through -- the portal of this new coming age. It is important to lay a foundation of human-centric thoughtwork that the next generations can build on as they solve real-world problems and actualize untold powers of human imagination.
It is also about finding renewed resolve to struggle and ascend beyond the ever-present voraciousness of our consuming, often self-focused violent natures -- a micro-reflection of the larger Nature of existence and survival. What values within us do we want to manifest into our future?