Silicon Valley Tarot by Thomas Scoville: A Review
(c) Cheryl Lynne Bradley 2005

Silicon Valley Tarot is the creation of Thomas Scoville who refers to himself on his webste as a "feral information theorist". He has, at various times in his career, been a knowledge engineer, a Unix systems programmer and a Network security engineer as well as a published author. He describes the creation of the Silicon Valley Tarot as a simultaneous satire on the New Economy and the Tarot and he likes to make fun of, what he terms, kitsch spiritualism..

The Silicon Valley Tarot was available online for a couple of years before popular demand led to the creation of the print version. The deck consists of 70 cards - short of the standard 78 cards in traditonal decks - and a 44 page guidebook containing Thomas Scoville's insights into the card meanings.

The 22 Major Aracana cards are: The Hacker, Venture Capital, The Network, The Consultant, IPO, The Futurist, Layoff, Spam, The Server, The Stockholder, The Next Big Thing, The CEO, Flame War (one we are all familiar with as an internet discussion forum staple), Bugs, The Guru, Double Latte, Stock Options, Sea of Cubicles, Stock Options, Encryption, Firewall, El Camino Real, The Sysadmin, The Garage (the birthplace of all great technological marvels)

The 58 Minor Arcana cards are broken down into four suits: Cubicles, Disks, Networks, Hosts in Aces through to 8 with the Court Cards represented as CIO, Salesman, Marketer and New Hire.

You can immediately see the appeal of this deck for computer geeks, hackers, economists, anarchists, engineers, venture capitalists and the techno-Druids writing programs in the garage.

The artwork leaves much to be desired and is cartoonlike in its quality - the print version is supposed to be better quality than the images available online. You can view images, try an online reading and order the deck at Silicon Valley Tarot.

Sample interpretations of card meanings shows the tongue-in-cheek facetious quality of this deck. It really is more for fun and should be viewed as a novelty deck as opposed to being a useful deck for readings. The Aces of Disks: Q: What is the sound of one disk crashing? A: ZenFS. Mass storage is fundamental. Shun bottlenecks.; The Five of Disks: 24x7 web surfing, Usenet, even; The Layoff: There will be a sudden and conspicious reduction in your project team. But there'll be a helluva happy hour binge immediately after. Take the good with the bad bunky.

Well, maybe that would have a higher meaning to the New Age techno afficiandos.......


This page was created March 31, 2005.