Luna's third Call for Papers, A Shadow Within: Evil in Fantasy and Science Fiction will be released on Wednesday the 14th of August, at Dublin Worldcon. Explore the 21 brilliant papers you will find in the book.
Today, we would like to introduce you to Sharon Day (USA). Occult Researcher, Writer, and Historian. Creatrix of the Alexandrian Witchcraft Historical Timeline website. Alexandrian Witch & Priestess. J.D. in Law.
Presenting the paper: Through the Veil of the Digital Revolution and into the Abyss of Artificial Intelligence: The Insidious Desensitisation of Humanity.
"As the ‘Silent Generation’ (b.1929-’49) is gradually enfolded in the rapture of the afterlife, it is their issue, the Baby Boomers (b.1946-’64) who are the last generation to straddle the precipice between the pre-Digital Revolution and the abyss of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The Boomers’ issue, ‘Generation X’ (b.1964-’84) were born into the abyss by a USB umbilical cord and could be argued to have activated the dissolution of fundamental social norms and manners-of-being upon which the bedrock of the cliff-face from which they were ejected, was established. For all the virtues of millisecond data search results and apps that calibrate every aspect of daily life, the ebb and flow of the collective consciousness gives way to an insidious, permeating ‘evil’ that ripples through Gen X and their progeny, the Millennials (b.1984-’04) to the point that their, and their offspring – ‘Generation Z’s, brain patterns are ‘rewired.’ Further assimilation into the abyss of AI, an initialism which also aptly translates into ‘artificial insemination,’ spawns the question of exactly what is gained or lost in this new breed of human. Whilst the benefits of shifted brain patterns are readily extolled through a plethora of commentary, the erosion and sometimes wholesale stripping of the essential human element of ‘empathy’, is overlooked. Max Tegmark, President of the Future of Life Institute, who encapsulates the ideals of many an end-of-alphabet generation, identifies three separate misconceptions about AI – that of concerns about ‘consciousness, evil, and robots.’ (2016) Herein lies the crux of the ‘evil’ – making AI the scapegoat rather than focusing on a contingent of humanity dispossessed empathy. In order to acquit oneself of the lack of empathy, it must exist in the human psyche in the first place. Remove it via a rewired brain from the individual consciousness, which has exponentially mushroomed into the collective, and that, I propose, is the true evil."
American by birth and British by marriage, Sharon began her international academic career as an exchange student to Japan in 1980; returning for college and then again after graduating law school in New York City, as an expat to Tokyo with her British husband. After repatriating to London in 1997, Sharon was drawn to the Occult and joined The Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons (Freemasonry for Women), thereby becoming the fourth generation of Freemason in her family.
In later years, she discovered a vocation in Alexandrian Witchcraft and her search for training and experience took her from London to Australia, to the United States, and back to London, where she became the personal student of Maxine Sanders, a prominent Witch and co-founder of the Alexandrian Tradition. She was initiated in 2013, took her higher degrees in 2016, and currently leads The Coven of the Stag King in London with the benefit of Mrs Sanders’ guidance.
Sharon’s ongoing endeavours include Craft teaching; giving talks and interviews; authoring several publications; and evolving her brainchild, an online historical archive and timeline of Alexandrian Witchcraft (alexandrianwitchcraft.org). She is also a Trustee of the ‘Friends of the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic’, a charity which supports the Museum in Boscastle, Cornwall (friendsofthewitchcraftmuseum.co.uk).
Follow the progress of A Shadow Within: Evil in Fantasy and Science Fiction on the "Books in Progress" page!