Re: virus: List of Virion Symbols
Sat, 28 Sep 1996 01:00:15 -0500 (CDT)

On Sat, 28 Sep 1996, KMO prime wrote:

> On Thu, 26 Sep 96 16:57:58 MDT "Jason McVean" <>
> writes:
> >Vicki Rosenweig writes:
> >
> >> My immediate thought on "what techniques can we lift from Tarot"
> >> is that Tarot appeals to people who think visually, and maybe we
> >> should try to create a set of Virian images that would promote, or
> >> serve as reminders of, our ideas.
> I've got one! If you are not familiar with the Lion and his iconic
> function, you should take a look. Can I get an amen?
> Seriously though, I think the virion tarot project, if pursued, could
> generate something of lasting value. I have some facility with image
> generation which I would like to lend to the project. I hope this
> discussion continues and that we can generate a set of useful virion
> icons which symbolize the concepts we need to be able to manage. Here
> are a few concepts that should be included in the set of symbols
> replication
> self-replication
> consciousness
> infection
> feedback
> propagation
> adaptation
> mutation
> selection
> extinction
> Feel free to add to the list. It's going to get very long. How many
> cards in the Tarot? Is there any reason why the Virion deck must have
> that number of items? What's a good cap?

There is no particular reason to match the original breakdown
precisely. I think it would be egregious forcing to even try. To review:
Rider-Waite [master template for most reinterpret-decks]:
22 Major Arcana.
4 Suits of Minor Arcana, 14 each.
I believe that there has been some discussion about this.

A good cap might be 'before the deck is beginning to get unwieldy'.
78 is under this number.
The Russian deck [independent design from Rider-Waite and
reinterpret-decks] makes do with about 50, using compass-directions as
positional data.

If we want to infect the New-Age market ;), I would very seriously
avoid exactly matching the above!

> I don't know the process by which Tarot cards are arranged or read, but
> is there anyway that it could be made into a process that more than one
> person could engage in at one time? Perhaps make it a game which can be
> played solitaire or as a group? Of course we'd want a way to be able to
> "play" over the internet as well as having a physical deck to manipulate.

There are two key parts, in the original:
1) The layout--a frame into which to place the symbols. There are
several different layouts, all symbolically overcharged. I would want more
intelligible layouts, possibly even meta-layouts.
Part of this depends on the shape of the cards. Rider-Waite and
reinterpret-decks use normal playing-card shape [possibly scaled], while
the Russian deck, above, uses square cards.
2) The method of allocating the symbols. Traditionally, random
dealing. My analyses find this inferior to conscious selection of cards
without looking, especially from a sorted deck. [At least, for a reading
on myself.] [Inconclusive is an improvement over less-than-effective.]

> What other aspects of such a system will we need to consider?

We can neglect 'reversed' cards. Those effects can be interpreted
without physical assistance.

> Take care, all. -KMO

/ Kenneth Boyd