As if there was any doubt, this is a sign that superstition still, in our technobabbly age, holds more sway over Humanity than Humanity cares to admit. It's the latest addition to my product line, a double-or-triple-purpose tarot reading mat / table-altar mat / talking board mat that I made simply because I wanted one for myself: something stylish that looks old and looks like it's engraved wood although it is neither.
When I posted it on Facebook, the reactions that I got were amusing and surprising to say the least. Here's a thought: dire warnings of the evil-ness of Talking Boards as objects would be more effective if they were made with proper grammar and punctuation. But even a person that I know in real life and respect as being an otherwise sensible woman expressed dismay over this design. Why? As another friend, SF author Sharon Lee, pointed out, talking boards and talking board mats are just objects -- and objects are neither intrinsically good or evil. It's what people use them for that decides their merit. This particular one is designed to have many uses -- it can even be used as a door mat!
It's not the last one I'm going to design, either. I like Talking Boards as Design Objects. I've never used one myself with any degree of "success"-- I don't believe and I don't disbelieve, I just think that a lot of them are great art that looks great on your wall.
A modern "scientific" study suggests that people move the planchette unconsciously -- although how they can do this blindfolded seems to be another question.
But how about this -- has anyone ever tried an old-fashioned Talking Board with Autistic children? Tecno-types have devised fancy computer programs to use with children who have problems communicating -- these are essentially high-tech talking boards that cost bazillions of dollars to develop and use. Old-fashioned Talking boards are at least as visually interesting as a computer program, a heckova lot cheaper, and their whole design and purpose in life is to aid communication.
What's so scary about that?
You can find mine in the "Tarot Accessories" section of The Duck Soup Emporium.