No matter how much we write, lecture, or complain, it's easy to think that we've made little progress. Do you remember 1981? I do. I was as sophomore in High School, and I loved the occult. There was a little shop in Salem, MA where I grew up called Crow Haven Corner. It was run by the "Official Witch of Salem," Laurie Cabot. Yes, that Salem. I grew up near where the witches were hanged and attended Witchcraft Heights Elementary School.
They sold potions, amulets books, etc. It was the only shop of its kind in town, right across from the Witch House, which is the former home of Judge Jonathan Corwin, one of the judges during the witch trials.
Fast forward nearly 30 years, and Salem has become witch and psychic mecca. Crow Haven Corner has moved to a bigger location, and faces competition from a dozen or more similar shops.
Despite all the work of Steve Allen, James Randi, Arthur C. Clarke, Martin Gardner, Carl Sagan, etc. etc. etc., these beliefs persist and thrive, and dishonest or at least deluded people still make money on them.
But all is not doom and gloom today. We have made considerable progress. By "we," I include science and technology, because they're on our side. That's the side of progress and reason. To illustrate this point, I'd like you to watch the attached YouTube video. After you're done, please continue reading.
Yes, that was only 30 years ago. Now, you probably get most if not all of your news from a computer, and it takes a few seconds to load. You can gain knowledge, talk to and see people a world away, and visit places you've never been, all from the comfort of your chair.
In 1981, the only way to do those things was to actually be psychic. Now, the "psychics" are using applied science in the form of the Internet to bilk more people. Science has advanced, and psychics have merely tagged along. In thirty years, psychic abilities have yet to be reliably detected, let alone improved anyone's life. So, if you want to be able to gain new abilities and perform wonders, look to science and technology to make those things happen. "Ancient wisdom" isn't going to get the job done.
It's good to remember that we are making progress. There's still a lot of work to be done, and there probably always will be, but reason and science will win the day.