astrology

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astrology

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jan 25, 2020 7:16 pm

From time to time astrology pops up here at ILP.

Personally, I would love to be able to comprehend how those who believe in it are actually able to convince themselves that it can even be taken seriously at all.

To me it's just a particularly irrational manifestation of the "psychology of objectivism".

My own take on it "here and now" basically aligns itself with this:

Astrology Debunked
Richard Dawkins in Enemies of Reason
https://youtu.be/dlMiKrwCRQ0

On the other hand, given my own philosophical assessment of these things, I cannot rule out the possibility that given new experiences, new relationships and access to new information and knowledge, I may well come to accept it myself.

I'll let you know if I ever do.
Objectivists: Like shooting fish in a barrel!

He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: astrology

Postby iambiguous » Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:39 pm

In Defense of Astrology
by HILARY CARITO in the Lesley College Public Post

We live in a world today where everyone claims to have “The Answer,” the coveted explanation for why things are the way they are and how to make the most of life. We go around searching for one easy solution, but eventually find that it is by looking inward toward oneself (while paying attention to one’s outward experiences) that will ultimately inform us of the truth.


Bingo: the psychology of objectivism. And while many insist that astrology is among the least credible examples of this, it is still derived from one or another yearning to embody something or other in the way of a teleological font.

Some call this God, while others call it one or another of the many secular equivalents: philosophy, science, ideology, reason, nature. The point is that whether our fate lies "in the stars" or is more in sync with another more plausible, acceptable fundament, the impetus is still the same: to anchor "I" in that which allows one to feel connected to some overarching sense of a meaningful and purposeful life.

One of the places people may choose to look for grand explanations of their personal experiences is by turning to astrology. Astrological horoscopes can easily be found in newspapers and magazines and consist of a list of brief words of advice categorized by titles denoting specific ranges of dates of birth. So if you were born between October 24th and November 21st, you would be known as a Scorpio, symbolized by a scorpion. However, if you were born between November 22nd and December 21st, you would be considered a Sagittarius, represented by a centaur archer.


Ah, but it is precisely facile descriptions of astrology like this that some of its advocates insist distorts the "deeper" insights of those who delve into it far more seriously. And down through the centuries to a time when astrology and astronomy were deemed by some to be two sides of the same coin.

Thus:

Unfortunately, astrology has been given a bad rap in the modern world: too many people associate astrology with the cheap horoscopes that come out in daily newspapers. But these are merely fluff, and tend to read like fortune cookie slips, sounding unspecific and universally applicable. In my experience, if you do your own research and experimentation within the realm of astrology, you may find that it actually deserves more credence than it receives.


Okay, maybe. But all those like me can then do is to wait for those who do this research and experimentation to note the evidence that they have come up with that might persuade the skeptics.

So, for those here who might be in this camp, what evidence is there?

And, of course, in regard to my own interests here, how might this evidence be relevant to conflicting goods on this side of the grave and the fate of "I" beyond it.
Objectivists: Like shooting fish in a barrel!

He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: astrology

Postby surreptitious75 » Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:54 am

The only member of this forum I know of who is definitely into astrology is Jakob who gets very irritated with anyone who dismisses it without investigation
While I understand his frustration it does not mean that astrology is a valid discipline simply because he has studied it extensively and uses it in his own life

What would make me less sceptical about it is actual evidence that astrology works and that would involve subjecting it to the rigours of the scientific method
But if that is not possible then I have no choice but to remain sceptical because the only other method available is personal testimony which is very subjective

I cannot accept as true something that cannot be determined objectively as I have no way of knowing if it is actually true or not for it could just as easily be false
Believing in something does not equate to it being true and even if it is that is mere coincidence so for me there has to be another means that is far more reliable
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Re: astrology

Postby iambiguous » Mon Feb 03, 2020 7:05 pm

surreptitious75 wrote: The only member of this forum I know of who is definitely into astrology is Jakob who gets very irritated with anyone who dismisses it without investigation
While I understand his frustration it does not mean that astrology is a valid discipline simply because he has studied it extensively and uses it in his own life


With him though I am not able to bring the discussions down to earth. Or, rather, so it seems from my own point of view. Whether in regard to astrology or value ontology.

I'm only really interested in investigating them as they relate to the behaviors he chooses in a particular context. Behaviors that come into conflict with those who believe different things. Or with those who reject astrology and VO.

That's my thing here: morality on this side of the grave, mortality/immortality on the other side of it.
http://astrologyclub.org/good-evil-astrology/
https://www.quora.com/What-does-astrolo ... -afterlife

surreptitious75 wrote: What would make me less sceptical about it is actual evidence that astrology works and that would involve subjecting it to the rigours of the scientific method
But if that is not possible then I have no choice but to remain sceptical because the only other method available is personal testimony which is very subjective

I cannot accept as true something that cannot be determined objectively as I have no way of knowing if it is actually true or not for it could just as easily be false
Believing in something does not equate to it being true and even if it is that is mere coincidence so for me there has to be another means that is far more reliable


This is basically my own reaction as well.

Let's face it though, existence itself is a really, really mysterious thing. Why does something exists and not nothing? Why does this something exists and not another? How is the meaning of existence itself able to be grasped ontologically? Is there a teleological component able to encompass one or another purpose "behind" existence?

And then all of the religious assumptions about God.
Objectivists: Like shooting fish in a barrel!

He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: astrology

Postby surreptitious75 » Mon Feb 03, 2020 10:06 pm

I think that the state of existence is eternal because absolute vacuums only exist at the quantum level for an infinitesimal period of time
Nature simply cannot tolerate an eternal state of nothing which is why there always has to be something - whatever that may actually be

We are merely points on the spectrum of existence and are no more or less important than anything else on the spectrum
Our first person subjective perspective makes us think we are important as it is the only way that we can observe reality
But from a truly objective Gods Eye perspective we are not observers of reality but a part of it just like everything else is

Existence is simply the natural state of the eternal now and whatever is occurring within it at that point in time
So it makes precisely zero difference whether or not that involves human beings or for that matter anything else
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Re: astrology

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:39 pm

surreptitious75 wrote:What would make me less sceptical about it is actual evidence that astrology works and that would involve subjecting it to the rigours of the scientific method
But if that is not possible then I have no choice but to remain sceptical because the only other method available is personal testimony which is very subjective
There was a French guy, Gauequelin, a statistician, I believe, who set out to disprov astrology, but decided that there was something to it and developed his own form of astrology. But there are two main ways it can be scientifically tested

as a practice.

You get a group of astrologers who are well respected by their peers and clients.
1) The first process is to give them 100 sets of birth information, with the gender. Make all of them within one sun sign. That eliminates people's own sense of themselves as, say, a Cancer or Virgo. Most people think the sun sign is the only thing, and this is also true of critics. So, the group of astrologers does page long 'readings' of each of the 100 horoscopes. These are then given in pairs to each of the hundred. IOw they get their reading PLUS one other reading for someone else. They then pick the reading that they feel fits them best. Their own or one that is for another Cancer or Virgo as far as sun sign. Statistics then come in and it would be easy to see if there is any significant getting of hits. A better, though harder to organize form of this test would be to have someone who knows the person read the two readings.
2) Come at it the other way. The 100 people with the same sun signs answer a questionaire about their personality, how they relate romantically, what they do for a living and what they like and don't like about it, etc. Perhaps twenty questions with short, 3-4 sentence answers. The astrologers, in this case, are presented birth information and the answers from two different people. They then decide, based on the generated charts, which of the two self-descriptions fits the horoscope. In this case the group could even opt to not decide on some charts where the self-descriptions are very similar. IOW they would choose just those charts where they had some confidence. Since there is nothing, within science, for them to base this confidence on, these creates no problems. If they managet to pick the correct person in statistically significant numbers, then there is something to it. If not, not. Of course a number of studies would strengthen the evidence.

Both methods eliminate completely all the cold read criticisms. There would be no way for the astrologers to figure out the right answers or to affect the 'clients' who are reading their readings.

both those methods would be effective tests. And regardless of any paradigmatic issues one may have with positive results, positive results would mean there is something to it. Negative results would all have significance and be meaningful in a way

that speculative deduction by people ignorant of astrology does not.

People who know little about astrology often make 'arguments' based on confusions and ignorance and think they can rule out astrology. That's fine, of course. People do this in all sorts of fields.

But if you actually want evidence, either way, the two tests above would be a way to get this.

Notice, I said, 'as a practice'. What we are focusing on is how the task works out when experts perform it.
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Re: astrology

Postby promethean75 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:56 pm

Nah those 'scientific' methods of testing wouldn't work either. It's the ambiguous nature of the properties ascribed to the signs that would make the test moot. What, exactly, does 'romantic' mean... or 'brave', for example. These can't be quantified or even narrowed down to descriptions of only a small number of behaviors (e.g., how many different ways is there to be romantic).

Now if you found that a great majority of Aries were less than 5' 7" tall or the vast majority of Libras make the best sharp-shooters, you might be on to something. But even though these are unambiguous, quantifiable properties, you'd still not be able to rule out correlation between signs and properties/behaviors. It might just be incidental that all the Aries are less than 5' 7" tall, and have nothing to do with the fact that they're Aries.

So the short answer is: astrology is baloney. Or, if there IS something to it, no astrologer would be able to know it, to confirm that it was real.
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Re: astrology

Postby Carleas » Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:23 pm

iambiguous wrote:Personally, I would love to be able to comprehend how those who believe in it are actually able to convince themselves that it can even be taken seriously at all.

I'm not a believer, but I can offer some defense of the practice (if not the theory) of astrology.

I forget where I read it(from here, see section 5), but my understanding is that astrology-like practices were very useful in early wars. Suppose an invading state had to choose one of two cities to attack, and a defending state had to choose one city to defend, and if the defender guessed right they would repel the attack, and if they guessed wrong their city would fall. If this scenario is repeated over the course of a campaign, the best strategy for the attacker is to pick the city at random, because any other strategy can be learned and countered. But since humans are bad at doing things randomly themselves, the best strategy ends up being to resort to divination as a kind of random number generator.

Similarly, astrology might be beneficial where it injects beneficial randomness into people's lives. In addition to making them more daunting foes in prisoners dilemmas, it may force them to take slightly more risk or to explore slightly farther from what they would otherwise explore, and those divergences will pay off in many contexts.


Somewhat paradoxically, another benefit could be that it crystallizes intuitions that might not otherwise rise to the level of action. A vaguely worded horoscope that someone interprets as talking about the very thing they've been struggling to make up their mind about can push them to the conclusion that they would have made anyway sooner, which is almost always better (if it's right, you get compounding returns; if it's wrong, you fail faster and move on sooner).

Karpel Tunnel wrote:There was a French guy, Gauequelin, a statistician, I believe, who set out to disprov astrology, but decided that there was something to it and developed his own form of astrology.

Worth noting his studies have been challenged on multiple grounds. My immediate thought on reading this was that it could easily be a statistical artifact, and the wiki points out that I am not the first to think so. He was testing a number of astrological beliefs on the same dataset, that makes spurrious correlations more likely and increases the threshold for significance. This is something that is obvious in retrospect, but was not widely accounted for until recently (cf. replication crisis).

promethean75 wrote:hat, exactly, does 'romantic' mean... or 'brave', for example.

That doesn't seem to matter in Karpel Tunnel's experimental design. Even if we hypothesized that libras are more likely to select descriptions that contain the word 'romantic', if that's a statistically significant result it would be noteworthy.

I do think there are other confounds, though. For example, in the US we have hard birth date cutoffs for school enrollment, so that kids born in August are effectively a year younger than some of their classmates born in July (and no similar gaps for kids born in March). That could affect personality later in life, and create a birth-month-based difference in adult personality without having anything to do with the alignment of planets or stars.


[EDITs: typos, typos, typos]
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Re: astrology

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:53 pm

promethean75 wrote:Nah those 'scientific' methods of testing wouldn't work either. It's the ambiguous nature of the properties ascribed to the signs that would make the test moot. What, exactly, does 'romantic' mean... or 'brave', for example. These can't be quantified or even narrowed down to descriptions of only a small number of behaviors (e.g., how many different ways is there to be romantic).
You are quite incorrect. If the astrologers can choose people's birthdates from two options, or if 'clients' pick one description of themselves over the other this would mean that specific information is being gleaned through the charts.

Now if you found that a great majority of Aries were less than 5' 7" tall or the vast majority of Libras make the best sharp-shooters, you might be on to something
. You don't know much about astrology, which is common and fine. But this is just ridiculous.


So the short answer is: astrology is baloney.

Actually all you demonstrated was that your criteria are not useful and that you didn't understand my descriptions of the testing protocols. Perhaps I did not explain clearly.

But here's the issue in a nutshell. If the astrologers can look at two different birth info sets and decide which one fits people's self-descriptions significantly above chance, then astrology works to some degree and where and when one is born given the positions of the planets, the Sun and moon and horizon, does indicate qualities of the person. If not, not.

The testing protocols I outlines remove any issues around the vagueness of words. If astrologers, in the first can determine which birth info fits the correct self-description (rather than the other self-description they receive) then information is conveyed by that birth info and somehow, by means unknown, by th positions of various heavenly bodies.

I should have added that everyone should come from the same city. That eliminates any possible cultural clues.

If you still don't get it, imagine yourself in the astrologers shoes. You get two self-descriptions in answers to a questionaire. You have the birth info. Do you have anyway of increasing the likelihood of choosing the right self-description over chance. No, you do not. You have a fifty percent chance. If expert astrologers could pick the right one significantly over change with regularlity, then information is being conveyed based on something no scientist currently acknowledges.

It can be tested and those are both good tests.
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Re: astrology

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:07 pm

Carleas wrote:
promethean75 wrote:hat, exactly, does 'romantic' mean... or 'brave', for example.

That doesn't seem to matter in Karpel Tunnel's experimental design.


No, it doesn't matter at all. As I pointed out to him above, he would have way to increase his odds of choosing the right birth info related to the people's self-descriptions. Over time everyone would end up around 50%. It's a coin flip. Regardless of what people mean by romantic and whatever adjectives they use in their self-descriptions, if these selfdecriptions lead to astrologers choosing significantly over chance in repeated experiments, they are getting information, somehow, in ways that do not fit current scientific paradigms. If they don't they don't. But the test absolutely present a way to test the hypothesis.

Even if we hypothesized that libras are more likely to select descriptions that contain the word 'romantic', if that's a statistically significant result it would be noteworthy.
And further I included in the protocols that all the test subjects would have the same sun sign.
I do think there are other confounds, though. For example, in the US we have hard birth date cutoffs for school enrollment, so that kids born in August are effectively a year younger than some of their classmates born in July (and no similar gaps for kids born in March). That could affect personality later in life, and create a birth-month-based difference in adult personality without having anything to do with the alignment of planets or stars.
AGain this can easily be avoided by choosing all participants with birth dates in the same sign and the same month, and even the same year. There are factors in a chart that change very rapidly - the rising sign, and allow for significant interpretive differences, even between people born the same day. This eliminates theses kind of seasonal/schedule effects.

And any possible effects like this can also be used by teams to compete with astrologers. If they think somehow they can find some other explanation for how information like that needed to distinguish (either by clients or by astrologers) between descriptions, they can use those tools to compete with astrologers. If they think that those towards the end of the Capricorn period have some different qualities related to schedules or other cultural factors, they can use this information and try to achieve similar or better results than the astrologers, should the astrologers be getting significantly better than chance. But I actually don't think there would be any if you restrict down to one sun sign. It is only one placement amongst at least 11.
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Re: astrology

Postby Carleas » Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:49 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:AGain this can easily be avoided by choosing all participants with birth dates in the same sign and the same month, and even the same year. There are factors in a chart that change very rapidly - the rising sign, and allow for significant interpretive differences, even between people born the same day. This eliminates theses kind of seasonal/schedule effects.

Interesting, I didn't know this. I agree that this would address my concern.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:And any possible effects like this can also be used by teams to compete with astrologers. If they think somehow they can find some other explanation for how information like that needed to distinguish (either by clients or by astrologers) between descriptions, they can use those tools to compete with astrologers.

This is a very different experimental design, and I don't know if the results would show what we're interested in. Even assuming the astrology is true, it's very likely that a well-designed machine learning system could make better predictions based no people's self-assessments, and might even be able to make 1-pagers that are more appealing to their intended targets. That wouldn't tell us much about what we're looking for, though.
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Re: astrology

Postby promethean75 » Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:46 am

You don't know much about astrology


Quite true, but I'll make you a deal. If you can prove to me that the stock exchange was having trouble, and Daryl was more ambitious at work, and the Yankees won six games, and Marcy fell in love twice, and Carey became more spiritual, and three countries were on the brink of war, because Venus was over there *points at solar system chart* and Mars was over here *points at solar system chart*... I'll admit to you that not wasting any more of my time studying astrology to learn more than what little I do, might have been a bad idea. Whadaya say? I'll even let you teach me all about it... once you provide the proof I asked for.
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Re: astrology

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:55 am

promethean75 wrote:
You don't know much about astrology


Quite true, but I'll make you a deal. If you can prove to me that the stock exchange was having trouble, and Daryl was more ambitious at work, and the Yankees won six games, and Marcy fell in love twice, and Carey became more spiritual, and three countries were on the brink of war, because Venus was over there *points at solar system chart* and Mars was over here *points at solar system chart*... I'll admit to you that not wasting any more of my time studying astrology to learn more than what little I do, might have been a bad idea. Whadaya say? I'll even let you teach me all about it... once you provide the proof I asked for.
But that's not the topic of my post or your response to it. The topic was could it be tested scientifically, and it can be, and your objection to that test was incorrect.
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Re: astrology

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Fri Feb 07, 2020 6:01 am

Carleas wrote:
Karpel Tunnel wrote:AGain this can easily be avoided by choosing all participants with birth dates in the same sign and the same month, and even the same year. There are factors in a chart that change very rapidly - the rising sign, and allow for significant interpretive differences, even between people born the same day. This eliminates theses kind of seasonal/schedule effects.

Interesting, I didn't know this. I agree that this would address my concern.

This is a very different experimental design,

It is, but the point is that we can still check to see if astrology, somehow, is giving the astrologers information. In fact the astrologers could be given the same sociological data, to offset the advantage sociologist statisticians have. Thus evening out that information, to make it clearer if they somehow have other information that 'should not be there' in the birth data.


and I don't know if the results would show what we're interested in. Even assuming the astrology is true, it's very likely that a well-designed machine learning system could make better predictions based no people's self-assessments, and might even be able to make 1-pagers that are more appealing to their intended targets. That wouldn't tell us much about what we're looking for, though.
I actually agree in a sense. Reading a chart is extremely complicated and in some of the ways that human minds still have potential advantages over AIs. This is in part because you have to prioritize tendencies as they would interact in a person. However, I think the better current AIs could do well enough and they will get better. The wonderful advantage is that it would be cheap and fast. No gathering of experts and meeting and arguments and voting. Data in, readings out and back to the test 'client's' in minutes. Any seeming significant results would of course result in learning - why did I get those right and not the others?
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Re: astrology

Postby Ierrellus » Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:17 pm

"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars
But in ourselves if we are underlings."
"We must love one another or die." W.H.Auden
I admit I'm an asshole. Now, can we get back to the conversation?
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Re: astrology

Postby Carleas » Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:47 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Reading a chart is extremely complicated and in some of the ways that human minds still have potential advantages over AIs. This is in part because you have to prioritize tendencies as they would interact in a person.

I'm skeptical of this. I admit I don't know a ton about chart reading, but I do know some about the current state of AI. Even classical computers are very good at applying complex rules, so if the issue is balancing some set of interacting web of astrological laws, a computer should far outperform a human. And AI is better than humans at discovering complex rules; assuming there's any truth to astrology, given a large dataset, AI should beat humans at finding whatever connections exist. That shouldn't be surprising, given the sloppy, haphazard process over many generation with little or no formal testing, most of which were ignorant of the concept of scientific or statistical rigor, and which incorporated many ideas about the world we can now reliably say are wrong (and many conclusions of which have been shown to be wrong).


In related news, it appears that your study design has actually been done:
The author of a 1985 study wrote:Two double blind tests were made of the thesis that astrological "natal charts" could be used to describe accurately personality traits of test subjects. In the first test, we attempted to determine· whether a person could recognize his own personality when described by an astrologer through a "natal chart interpretation". In the second test, we attempted to determine whether astrologers could correctly match a person's natal chart to the results of a well known and scientifically accepted personality test (the California Personality Inventory or CPI). Care was taken to make sure that the procedures satisified both scientists and astrologers. Subjects' recognition of their own natal chart interpretations was poor, but we draw no conclusion from this first test because the same subjects failed to recognize their own CPI profiles as well. The abilities of astrologers to match natal charts to CPIs was not significantly different from that predicted by the "scientific" hypothesis (i.e. their choices were no better than random), a result which strongly refutes the astrological thesis.

I haven't read the whole study, but it appears to have been published in Nature, so should be taken as basically reliable. And it concludes that astrological results are no better than chance.

We might be able to find flaws in this study, but in the absence of a study of equal or better quality providing conflicting results, we should conclude that astrology is devoid of predictive power.
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Re: astrology

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Fri Feb 07, 2020 8:47 pm

Carleas wrote:I'm skeptical of this. I admit I don't know a ton about chart reading, but I do know some about the current state of AI. Even classical computers are very good at applying complex rules,
The rules involve integrating a lot of fairly abstract tendencies and applying them to human behavior. A person who tends to idealize male figures and likes to learn by via physical participation and who has a fairly short attention span might be the derived interpretations from the first even more abstract level. Then you need to integrate these into giving a description of how this person would be in public school, say. I think that kind of thing would be very hard for computers to do now.

Now computers could start doing enormous statistical analyses, and learn something over time. But I think a vastly better approach would be to do exactly as they first did with chess computers which is to use strong players to create heuristics so that the number crunching advantages can really play out. Even now combined human/computer teams beat the best computers. Someday computers will be able to crunch the whole damn thing of chess, but they aren't there yet.

In related news, it appears that your study design has actually been done:
The author of a 1985 study wrote:Two double blind tests were made of the thesis that astrological "natal charts" could be used to describe accurately personality traits of test subjects. In the first test, we attempted to determine· whether a person could recognize his own personality when described by an astrologer through a "natal chart interpretation". In the second test, we attempted to determine whether astrologers could correctly match a person's natal chart to the results of a well known and scientifically accepted personality test (the California Personality Inventory or CPI). Care was taken to make sure that the procedures satisified both scientists and astrologers. Subjects' recognition of their own natal chart interpretations was poor, but we draw no conclusion from this first test because the same subjects failed to recognize their own CPI profiles as well. The abilities of astrologers to match natal charts to CPIs was not significantly different from that predicted by the "scientific" hypothesis (i.e. their choices were no better than random), a result which strongly refutes the astrological thesis.

I haven't read the whole study, but it appears to have been published in Nature, so should be taken as basically reliable. And it concludes that astrological results are no better than chance.
Actually what I read there is the the CPI test may be poor. Please read that abstract again.
We might be able to find flaws in this study, but in the absence of a study of equal or better quality providing conflicting results, we should conclude that astrology is devoid of predictive power.
We would not have concluded that they had predictive power if the single study had shown positive results, that is something we can be sure of. And while Nature, is, yes a very respectable journal, it is also much more likely to be biased towards things that fit their own paradigms, and to be less critical of papers that fit than those that don't. To me that abstract screams not remotely conclusive of anything due to the problem of the CPI potentially being the problem.

Thank you for bringing that article to my attention. I have been surprised that such a testing protocol hadn't been tried. I have also tried to interest both astrology organizations and scientists in precisely that protocol and no one has been interested. I do understand some of the motives on both sides, but sometimes it seems people would rather babble without much knowledge of the other side for decades and decades then to try to actually resolve things.

It seems silly that they did not retest using some other personality description than the CPI, one that people recognized better than chance. I mean, if you are interested in drawing a clear conclusion. Imagine a medical paper trying to find out about a treatment for a disease and using as a core part of the experiement a test for the disease that might not work at all. That would be laughable.
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Re: astrology

Postby Carleas » Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:48 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:The rules involve integrating a lot of fairly abstract tendencies and applying them to human behavior. A person who tends to idealize male figures and likes to learn by via physical participation and who has a fairly short attention span might be the derived interpretations from the first even more abstract level. Then you need to integrate these into giving a description of how this person would be in public school, say. I think that kind of thing would be very hard for computers to do now.

Should we expect two astrologers doing a reading on the same person to produce the same result?

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Even now combined human/computer teams beat the best computers.

In many fields, this probably isn't true anymore. For example, AlphaZero doesn't use human input at any point during its training, and is much, much stronger than any human. It is unlikely that pairing it with a human would improve its performance. Even where humans can sometimes bring intuition, more often they introduce unforced errors.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Actually what I read there is the the CPI test may be poor. Please read that abstract again.

So, if we say that the CPI is flawed, and that's what led to the null result in test 1, then we must say that astrology is also flawed, because the results were the same. The authors propose that self-recognition is to blame, and so they don't hold this against astrology. But if you choose instead to hold it against CPI, you must also hold it against astrology. If we reject them both, then we can discount the second test, but then we don't need the second test because we have our answer.

But the CPI has been used and tested a lot, its validity and reliability are well attested. There have been criticisms of it, but there are criticisms of all personality tests, and CPI is about as good as any we could use in your experimental design. Vindication for astrology would look like having the same validity and reliability as the CPI.
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Re: astrology

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:45 pm

Carleas wrote:Should we expect two astrologers doing a reading on the same person to produce the same result?
No, though there would be a lot of overlap if they know their stuff. Nor would two AIs produce the same result. And this, in part, is why I would want groups of astrologers, when testing them. To get that overlapping core. I could even see eliminating 'clients' when there isn't consensus.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Even now combined human/computer teams beat the best computers.

In many fields, this probably isn't true anymore. For example, AlphaZero doesn't use human input at any point during its training, and is much, much stronger than any human. It is unlikely that pairing it with a human would improve its performance. Even where humans can sometimes bring intuition, more often they introduce unforced errors.
I don't think you read me correctly. COMBINED computer and human teams beat computers working alone. At least according to a recent book I read. The humans provide strategy and focus for 'crunching' the computers do that tactical crunching. I believe this is also true for Go.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Actually what I read there is the the CPI test may be poor. Please read that abstract again.

So, if we say that the CPI is flawed, and that's what led to the null result in test 1, then we must say that astrology is also flawed, because the results were the same. The authors propose that self-recognition is to blame, and so they don't hold this against astrology. But if you choose instead to hold it against CPI, you must also hold it against astrology. If we reject them both, then we can discount the second test, but then we don't need the second test because we have our answer.
Ah, good point. But the second test is tainted if the CPI is not good. The astrologers were comparing its results with cpi descriptions. I'd be interested in how they chose the astrologers, were they in groups or alone, had they worked with written descrptions or just dialogue with clients, were they well respected by their peers and clients. I'd be interested in exactly what the 'clients' were told and what they were given to choose from/between. AGain, I am a bit proud that what I thought was a good protocol matches many facets of what both scientists and astrologers came up with. Both parts. However I don't have enough to go on yet to know their whole process. It's also one study.

But the CPI has been used and tested a lot, its validity and reliability are well attested. There have been criticisms of it, but there are criticisms of all personality tests, and CPI is about as good as any we could use in your experimental design. Vindication for astrology would look like having the same validity and reliability as the CPI.
Well, it did as well in terms of self-recognition :lol:
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Re: astrology

Postby iambiguous » Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:59 pm

surreptitious75 wrote:I think that the state of existence is eternal because absolute vacuums only exist at the quantum level for an infinitesimal period of time
Nature simply cannot tolerate an eternal state of nothing which is why there always has to be something - whatever that may actually be

We are merely points on the spectrum of existence and are no more or less important than anything else on the spectrum
Our first person subjective perspective makes us think we are important as it is the only way that we can observe reality
But from a truly objective Gods Eye perspective we are not observers of reality but a part of it just like everything else is

Existence is simply the natural state of the eternal now and whatever is occurring within it at that point in time
So it makes precisely zero difference whether or not that involves human beings or for that matter anything else


All of this may well be true but:

1] how would one go about demonstrating it?
2] how might it be relevant to the lives that we live?
3] what does it have to do with astrology?
Objectivists: Like shooting fish in a barrel!

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Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
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Re: astrology

Postby iambiguous » Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:31 pm

Carleas wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Personally, I would love to be able to comprehend how those who believe in it are actually able to convince themselves that it can even be taken seriously at all.

I'm not a believer, but I can offer some defense of the practice (if not the theory) of astrology.

I forget where I read it(from here, see section 5), but my understanding is that astrology-like practices were very useful in early wars. Suppose an invading state had to choose one of two cities to attack, and a defending state had to choose one city to defend, and if the defender guessed right they would repel the attack, and if they guessed wrong their city would fall. If this scenario is repeated over the course of a campaign, the best strategy for the attacker is to pick the city at random, because any other strategy can be learned and countered. But since humans are bad at doing things randomly themselves, the best strategy ends up being to resort to divination as a kind of random number generator.


Well, I always say, "whatever works".

And, with astrology, all one need do is to believe in it. Or, sure, not believe in it but able to convince others to believe in it. It's like God. The truth about Him need not be relevant if any particular human behaviors are predicated on the belief that He does or does not exist. The consequences are still the same.

It all comes down to a particular war in a particular set of circumstances and who has the greater knowledge of what those circumstances actually are. If the stars and/or God can be used to achieve your objective, then, here, you are willing to be either more or less cynical about it.

Of course defending the means is one thing, defending the ends another thing altogether. Them is where the components of my own argument come into play.

Carleas wrote: Similarly, astrology might be beneficial where it injects beneficial randomness into people's lives. In addition to making them more daunting foes in prisoners dilemmas, it may force them to take slightly more risk or to explore slightly farther from what they would otherwise explore, and those divergences will pay off in many contexts.


With the prisoner's dilemma, it depends on who the prisoners are in relationship to the other prisoners. The calculations here are often anything but "analytical".

And "randomness" with astrology seems particularly problematic. Are the stars and the moons and the planets "in place" because there is some teleological component in the universe that brings all of this about? Or, instead, is it all just embedded in some mysterious "force"...a reality "out there" that makes it so for entirely -- largely? -- unfathomable reasons?

And then that existential gap between the heavens propelling you to choose as opposed to compelling you to choose. That mysterious instance when "I" makes or breaks a particular outcome.


Carleas wrote: Somewhat paradoxically, another benefit could be that it crystallizes intuitions that might not otherwise rise to the level of action. A vaguely worded horoscope that someone interprets as talking about the very thing they've been struggling to make up their mind about can push them to the conclusion that they would have made anyway sooner, which is almost always better (if it's right, you get compounding returns; if it's wrong, you fail faster and move on sooner).


And, again, the beauty of it all is that, for any particular individual, it doesn't matter what he or she can or must know about any of this, but what he or she simply believes they know about it.

And, me, I'm willing to keep an open mind. If they are able to demonstrate that what they believe about it is true, it's got to be a hell of a lot more "comforting and consoling" then what I have come to believe I think I know about what's left of my own essentially meaningless existence.
Objectivists: Like shooting fish in a barrel!

He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: astrology

Postby iambiguous » Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:43 pm

In Defense of Astrology
by HILARY CARITO in the Lesley College Public Post

First of all, people generally understand astrology simply as knowing one’s sun sign. If you’ve ever heard the goofy pickup line, “Hey, what’s your sign?” that is referring to the sun sign. In fact, we all have many signs, including a moon sign as well as a rising sign. While your sun sign describes your core nature, your moon sign ascribes a personality to your emotional self and your rising sign, or ascendant, defines your outer shell, or how you immediately meet and are met by the world. This all may sound unnecessarily complicated to someone who has little to no interest in this field, but in fact the knowledge that is embedded in this means of understanding phenomena is actually a wonderful window into the self.


In other words, it goes "deeper" than those who are only out to make a buck on it in the popular media. But, however deep one goes, there is still the part where, through experiments, predictions and replicated results, one is able to demonstrate that there really is "something to it."

After all, there are those who argue that, in ways other than those defended by astrologers, we are all "at one" with the universe in some manner. Either literally in a universe wholly determined or in some "spiritual" sense -- a connection that can only be experienced on the path to enlightenment.

Still, my interest is always focused on the manner in which this can all be explained given the behaviors we choose in our interactions with others from day to day. Whether the font is astrology, religion, nature, philosophy, science, political ideology or something else, how is one able to describe in some detail the manner in which their own beliefs impact the things that they do choose to think, feel, say and do. Why this and not that?

And how do their set of assumptions stack up against my own?

Out in a particular context.
Objectivists: Like shooting fish in a barrel!

He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: astrology

Postby Fixed Cross » Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:51 pm

Surrep is right that I get irritated. I get irritated by flat-earthers too. Its so simple to find out the truth, and so much effort is spent on avoiding it. Please, just, let it lie or study it. But... the Shadow. You cant do astrology and run away from yourself at the same time.

One time I showed Sauwelios his progressions. He concluded that it was all far too accurate for comfort and that he didn't like for life to be written out, and then decided, consciously, to disregard it because he preferred ignorance. He's honest like that.

I used to be in the habit of reading peoples charts for free, out of interest and philanthropy and what not but its dangerous stuff - especially partial self-knowledge, when the knowledge is profound, can fuck up a psyche very deeply.

Its not that hard to develop a falsification system and prove the validity. Ive proven it in many ways one of which I have performed here, by having people give different dates and me "guessing" the one that is their birth date. It's science.

Ive realized the reason people don't investigate it is pain; astrology is the way of attaining the profoundest self-knowledge, and most people would rather die than know themselves in any profound way.

Odin agrees with them; "it is best to be moderately wise." Of course he doesn't usually follow the advice he gives to men.

Its not for everyone.
The strong do what they can, the weak accept what they must.
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Re: astrology

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:17 pm

Fixed Cross wrote:Ive realized the reason people don't investigate it is pain; astrology is the way of attaining the profoundest self-knowledge, and most people would rather die than know themselves in any profound way.
Yes, this reminds me that it is often stated, even by professionals in the relevant fields, that people fear public speaking more than death. I am not sure how they manage to measure this and I am skeptical. But I believe the fear of public speaking is incredibly high precisely because through the eyes and ears of others we fear getting a very strong, uncontrolled glimpse of what we are. Politicians and stand up comics and actors have spend so much time controlling what they show, they are not risking showing their true selves when getting up in front of the crowd. Though all three will go through, in most cases, a hellish transition period.

Of course you cannot turn weaknesses into strengths if you don't want to notice the weaknesses at all.

We manage impressions and manipulate other people, as much as we can - by hiding things that are facets of us and claiming things that are not true about ourselves - much more as a rule that most of us want to admit or notice at all. If they think I am X, then it is easier for me to think I am X. And this is especially true in relation to not being X. Trying to get other people to think 'I am not X' is the root of so much social behavior.

What's tucked away in the 12th house?
What is Saturn sitting on?
When Pluto transits a natal planet or the ASC or MC, do you want to deny your own Plutonic facets? Well, good luck cause then they come home to roost from the outside.

Anyone whose responses (and responses to criticism) could all be looked as 'I'm just...' likely has a huge un-integrated shadow.
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Re: astrology

Postby Fixed Cross » Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:30 pm

Astrology is a bit like LSD I a sense, it will fuck you up in some way. Truth, beheld like that, is just able to fry your ego.
This is why it is used as a weapon. More perhaps than as a healing tool.
A brainwash programme of the Pentagon will first of all go into the natal chart.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Fixed Cross wrote:Ive realized the reason people don't investigate it is pain; astrology is the way of attaining the profoundest self-knowledge, and most people would rather die than know themselves in any profound way.
Yes, this reminds me that it is often stated, even by professionals in the relevant fields, that people fear public speaking more than death.

I suppose it is a kind of death but one you have to live with.

I am not sure how they manage to measure this and I am skeptical. But I believe the fear of public speaking is incredibly high precisely because through the eyes and ears of others we fear getting a very strong, uncontrolled glimpse of what we are. Politicians and stand up comics and actors have spend so much time controlling what they show, they are not risking showing their true selves when getting up in front of the crowd. Though all three will go through, in most cases, a hellish transition period.

Many high representative politicians have gone through an extensive mind-moulding neurolinguistic programming trajectory before they attained that MC Hammer attitude.



Of course you cannot turn weaknesses into strengths if you don't want to notice the weaknesses at all.

And there are so many of them, in almost everybody.
So much so that each strength is also a thousand weaknesses.

We manage impressions and manipulate other people, as much as we can - by hiding things that are facets of us and claiming things that are not true about ourselves - much more as a rule that most of us want to admit or notice at all. If they think I am X, then it is easier for me to think I am X. And this is especially true in relation to not being X. Trying to get other people to think 'I am not X' is the root of so much social behavior.

What's tucked away in the 12th house?
What is Saturn sitting on?
When Pluto transits a natal planet or the ASC or MC, do you want to deny your own Plutonic facets? Well, good luck cause then they come home to roost from the outside.

Anyone whose responses (and responses to criticism) could all be looked as 'I'm just...' likely has a huge un-integrated shadow.

Yes - and still - even when we engage these things knowingly its not going to be easy or even successful necessarily.
Sometimes I do think it is more useful to not know ones own chart.
But then, it is the truth, and it's just too fascinating.
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