A Telephone to the Other Side

My colleague Marion Bowman sent me a link to a new product, The Dragonfly:

a brand new, empowering technology that allows you to communicate with your departed loved ones. It’s a safe and simple device that acts as a phone, so you can talk to the other side. Those who love you are always with you, guiding and helping you in your journey. Through them, you can access a universe of knowledge and understanding. This technology opens a “spiritual internet” of information.

I love the steampunky wood finish. It also reminds me of Derren Brown’s Dream Machine:

Fact is, there’s nothing new about devices like this – in fact this one is based on ideas from the 1950s. But the nexus between technology, supernatural or spiritual ideas and commerce has been a feature of the cultic milieu since at least the 1800s, with Mesmerism in Europe and then Spiritualism coming out of the US. (Rafale Natale’s Supernatural Entertainments is a good exploration of this relationship.)

To me, this makes as little sense as speaking to a loved one at their grave, or praying for that matter. Some might find the use of technological or scientific language troubling, but the underlying presupposition – of an undetectable realm of existence containing agents which can affect this world – should be much more problematic epistemologically.

Find out more at http://www.whatisthedragonfly.com/index.html

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