Tarot card and astrology apps? Should we be funding woo?

tarot card app; astrology app

Maybe everyone didn’t follow the debate.

It was sort of limited to the world of North American VC funding and the start-up community, having been ignited by Josh Wolfe of Lux Capital.

Essentially Sanctuary, a NY-based company has developed an app to provide on-demand tarot, astrology and palm readings and has just received seed funding to the tune of USD3 million.

Everyone agrees that ‘flapdoodle’ is an inventive and beautiful use of the English language, even if personally I think it needs a comma when you associate it with ‘slippery slope’ and ‘snake oil’ … (but that is just the grammar pedant in me).

Where views differ is on whether Josh has a point. Should we have a broader collective view on what does and doesn’t merit investment?

I say, no, and here’s why.

Give the people what they want

Should we ignore the market?

If people want to know about planetary alignments and the secrets of the cards, then let them have it. Sanctuary is obviously responding to a consumer demand. I mean, I assume they have analysed their market, as have the investors who are backing them.

Isn’t that what capitalism is about?

Good luck to them.

One man’s meat is another man’s poison

It is basically all a bit arbitrary isn’t? Maybe Josh isn’t down with the woo-woo, but equally so, when it comes to me, I am not down with … well meat, actually. I wouldn’t call it a poison, but I don’t eat it. (There is a scientific community behind me on this one, meat production being a huge contributor to climate change).

I am also not down with vaping, find a lot of computer games tiresome and addictive and have big question marks around the merits of some social media developments.

Don’t get me on the subject of in-space manufacturing and off-world mining. Does that really fit into a sustainable vision for the future?

And what about financial services companies that encourage ever-greater consumer debt? Can we finance them with a clear conscience?

See where I am going with this?

Don’t we need something to believe in?

Astrology, tarot card reading, palmistry … they all give people a focus.  They don’t necessarily give a clear life direction, and people don’t always follow blindly what they are told, but they flag up forks in the road, things to look out for and questions to ask yourself.

I think in many ways they can give hope.

Some other people will find this in religion for example. A higher being will guide and give hope even in the darkest hour.

The esoteric just links into the universe in a different way.

What’s wrong with giving people a chink of light? Particularly at the moment.

I think Josh sounds quite angry … maybe he is fed up with this damn virus too.

Hasn’t society become a bit polarised?

I am a Brexit orphan. (Sob). Cruelly cut off from the UK and abandoned in France (where there is nice wine and cheese so it isn’t that bad). They didn’t even give me a chance to vote yay or nay, considering I had been out of the country too long.

But seeing my homeland float off into the North Sea is not the worst of it.

The polarisation of the debate around the subject is the most painful.  A fascist Brexiteer or a moaning Remainer? You decide … but there is no middle ground.

The Covid-19 crisis is following the same patterns: you are either a stupid anti-vaxxer who wants to put everyone’s life in danger or a responsible (and more intelligent that the average) citizen.

When did life get so black and white?

And more importantly when did a difference of opinion immediately qualify the other party as ‘stupid’?

Bring on the woo

Maybe this is the point in time where I mention my granny was a tea leaf reader. I’m not joking, it is true. I didn’t know her that well, but apparently, she had ‘the gift’.

So, perhaps I have been a little more exposed to this than most, but is the unknown and inexplicable actually something to be scared of?

I teach meditation. I can’t tell you how many people think that sitting with yourself and bringing your attention to the breath is one stop short of downright weird.

Come on who wants to be alone with their thoughts? Isn’t life about constantly running from ourselves by filling our days with all kinds of distractions.

Before meditation got branded as mindfulness and made more palatable for a Western audience (an excellent job by people like Jon Kabat-Zinn), it was often thought of as an almost cult-like activity. Much like yoga some years before.

Not unlike the human mind, there’s lots out there that we don’t quite understand.

I can roll with that.

I can also roll with the use of words like flapdoodle, even if I secretly prefer codswallop.

But not in this instance. Good luck Sanctuary.

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