Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Fortunes

Getting a glimpse of one's future for a fee is one of those indispensible aspects of Filipino life that's taken so matter-of-factly here despite our Catholic upbringing, and fortune tellers have even found their place in cosmopolitan life. There are some who have set up shop in major malls, while others get invited to be part of Saturday night social events. While the revelations of fortune tellers aren't in general taken so seriously, perhaps due to the casual nature of the practice here, we've taken a gullible stance towards whatever good news the cards purvey while turning a deaf ear to the bad news.

There was a time I would get my updated list of fates through Llewelyn, which offers free tarot readings. It's a nicely designed site where a visitor could choose a deck and a spread, and let the binary-spirits work their tech-magic. Though the results are presented in their cryptic form, one can more or less tell if things are going for better or worse, with one's gullibilty being optional.

I haven't met a really accurate reader in a long while--over 15 years ago--and I'm half-and-half whether I'd want to get a reading done by one who's chillingly dead-on. Gwyn says that there's a reader at the Shangri-la mall who reveals the darndest things in so nonchalant a manner. Perhaps the nonchalance is meant to help dampen whatever negative vibes the reading might evoke. While I'd like to hear some really pleasant news, I don't want to subject myself to the possible bad news, no matter how small the grain of salt I decide to take it with.

Maybe this Shangri-la fortune teller might be interested in taking the Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge sponsored by the James Randi Educational Foundation. The challenge is simple--prove a supernatural claim under scientifically-controlled conditions and be $1,000,000 (over Php48-million) richer. Randi, a stage magician and skeptic, started the challenge in 1964 with $1,000, which jumped to seven figures ten years ago, and there hasn't been any reported successes since Wired reported about it last January.

Then again, what self-respecting fortune teller would want to be tested this way?

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