Renay Oshop, Peer Reviewed Science Comes to Astrology |345|

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, Apr 4, 2017.

  1. Renay Oshop

    Renay Oshop Member

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    This looks very interesting. I know of some MS's in nanotechnology in India who are also trained in astrology who are looking into something parallel in spirit.
     
  2. Renay Oshop

    Renay Oshop Member

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    I think one can get even more ornate. For example, some people hire small (or large) teams to increase their follower numbers. Whose chart should we use? Etc., etc. And still, the data bears out the idea of using the account follower numbers to predict something about the account holder's chart

    Even taking astrology out of it, the Zipf-Mandelbrot curve mentioned in the last Remark of the paper holds, no matter who is hired, no matter what gamings are attempted. Remarkable stuff.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
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  3. Renay Oshop

    Renay Oshop Member

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    That is an interesting point, Michael.
     
  4. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Renay,

    I appologise that I am going to come across as an arch sceptic on Astrology, but I can I assure you that is not my general position on the subjects of interest on this forum!
    I know there are some variations in educational success depending on the month someone is born. There are several conventional explanations for this variation, for example, children are going to start schooling at a slightly different age depending on when they are born, or the baby may thrive less well if it is born in the winter, etc.

    Therefore it would be interesting to know if this astrological signature is distributed evenly over the months - particularly over the years when most current celebrities were being born. This would not require more data, just a program that could determine whether the signature did or did not apply at a given moment.
    I am rather wary of what exactly quantum entanglement as such can achieve, even in ψ, because no information can ever be passed through an entanglement link. There is a correlation, but that is only revealed after all the information from both ends of the entanglement are brought together and analysed. On the other hand, who knows if standard QM is the end of the story.
    Great!

    David
     
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  5. Steve

    Steve Member

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    Sorry if this video isn't scientific enough, but it confirms my own experience when astrology is discussed. Both my wife and daughter dabble in it and are both convinced that it 'works'.

     
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  6. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    For anyone interested, I found a fairly simple exposition of the Zipf-Mandelbrot law in the introduction to this paper: cds.cern.ch/record/377204/files/9901035.pdf (highlight the address, right click and select "Search Google" in the right-click menu). Stated simply for human populations, it is that "most success seems to migrate to those people or companies who already are very popular", and the paper gives a couple of examples, which seem to occur in natural demographic situations as opposed to ones that are consciously directed (as quite often in countries like China and Russia).

    However, the law is by no means restricted to human populations (i.e. demography), and can be found apparently operating in many other areas of scientific interest, such as biology and ecology. There is discussion in the paper as to whether the law is a consequence of stochastic (random) processes or, in some cases at least, indicative of a deep underlying regularity which as yet hasn't been fully understood. The jury appears still to be out.

    If Renay's findings are the result of stochastic, also as-yet-poorly-understood mechanisms, then her correlations are no more than intriguing happenchance. OTOH, If there's some underlying, profound regularity, then perhaps there's more going on. But either way, I have no reason to doubt her findings. As long as she sticks with correlative rather than causative language, I don't see how her results can be questioned by "sceptics" who act reflexively on the slightest intimation of "woo-woo".
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
  7. Ricochet

    Ricochet Member

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    IMHO, there is no way a planet's apparent position in the sky relative to earth has anything whatsoever to do with anything. The data says there is a correlation, I can't argue with that, but I guess I'd say causation wasn't linked to the planetary alignment. Rather possibly the influence of several thousand years of collective consciousness co-creation, which would explain why it "works" but yet is rather messy.

    A big thank you to Renay for participating in the discussion.
     
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  8. MaxUsernameLimit

    MaxUsernameLimit Member

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  9. Charlie Primero

    Charlie Primero Member

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    I don't understand what correlation you are talking about.
     
  10. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    Also, because to my eternal regret I have never been any great shakes at maths, I wanted to find a simple explanation of the Monte Carlo statistical simulation, and found one here relating to a more detailed but still readily understandable one here. Check them out if you too tend to get lost in the jargon!
     
  11. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    Then why don't you simply read Renay's paper and the links I have provided to explanations of the Zipf-Mandelbrot law and Monte Carlo simulations? The correlation is between the known birth dates of certain Twitter users (and hence certain planetary conjunctions occurring around those birth dates could be determined quite unambiguously using standard astronomical data -- note not astrological data), compared with the number of followers on Twitter of those individuals.

    The Twitter users selected were those for whom birth data was known (with reasonable reliability), and who had the top 1,000 follower ratings. Not much to understand, is there? It's pretty straightforward. There was a definite correlation (according to ranking of follower counts) between these people and the number of followers they had. I don't get why you say you can't understand it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
  12. Charlie Primero

    Charlie Primero Member

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    Settle down Michael. You weren't clear about which correlation you were referring to.

    Thank you for clarifying.
     
  13. Dbs123

    Dbs123 New

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    This was painful to listen to. The things said and introduced before the guest ever got to say anything were scatter brained and full of name calling and curses. It's really annoying to be totally interested in the guests of a podcast and totally distracted by the host. This show would be 100x better if the "shock jock" factor was removed, if the "angry baby boomer debate style a la fox news or CNN" factor was removed, and if the phrase "biological robot in a meaningless universe" phrase was not repeated over and over as the best argument to fall back on. Let the guests talk!!!

    And as far as the guest's birth chart reading of Alex, it seems the birth time was twelve hours off... so this means that the whole reading doesn't count, and that he shouldn't have dismissed her as a bad astrologer. Astrology is much, much deeper than the "pass or fail" or "follow the data" attitude that i heard on this episode. Natal chart interpretation requires long investigation and is basically divination It requires abstract thinking and inner reflection that seemed totally absent In Alex's tone that suggested "she failed," and I was not surprised at all that Alex was not able to discover the truth in his own chart (even with help from a professional). This is proof that he just doesn't get it. And even though there are specific things within astrology that you probably CAN test, like the things the guest tested in her experiments, testing the validity of an entire natal chart for one specific person is NOT testable in my opinion, and falls into non-linear, non-binary, abstract thinking that science cannot even touch.

    So despite the really rude tone deafness i heard throughout this whole episode, it seems Alex did not take the time to learn anything more about astrology than "are saggitarius's more likely to get into car accidents," and basically just yelled and interrupted the guest the whole time. And then somehow he still decides to believe in astrology, even though his own chart interpretation "failed" in his mind? Wtf?
     
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  14. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    Well, the English language allows one to be precise in what question one asks. If you'd said something like "I'm not sure which correlation you're referring to..." I might have replied differently. It takes two to tango, no? But I'm glad you think I've clarified the matter.
     
  15. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    Oh: I missed that. Can you point me to the info that led you to that conclusion? And who is responsible for the time disparity -- Alex, Renay, or someone/something else? It could cast the issue in an entirely different light, and explain/excuse the inaccuracy of Renay's reading. TIA.
     
  16. Judith

    Judith New

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    As a young mother I got bored and taught myself to cast charts. I found them to be quite accurate. However, when I started to try to learn the finer points of predicting daily or yearly events, I began to feel like I was being led down a rabbit hole. Thanks for the interview.
     
  17. Ricochet

    Ricochet Member

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    Interesting. Is that something you would want to explain a bit? Did you feel you were being nudged somewhere you didn't want to go or what?
     
  18. morvern_c

    morvern_c New

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    I have to agree. I found parts of the interview quite excruciating. Alex sounded really domineering and rude and there was no need. At several points, if I had been Renay I would have told him to get stuffed.
     
  19. Baccarat

    Baccarat New

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    Interesting, one wrong or right hit doesn't make it true or false, but nonetheless interesting, I wonder what mechanisms would be behind it?
     
  20. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    This reminds me of the experiments where mediums operate blindly and still obtain useful results. I can't help wondering if this astrologist is able to tap into something similar, even when blinded to the sitter.

    Renay's evidence is of a different type, because it shows a correlation between an astrological indicator and an entire group of people. This is the strange thing about astrology - it seems to imply that a whole group of people born at the same instant of time, will have similar personalities/life experiences!

    Therefore I think Renay's evidence is important, but I wonder if there the correlation may occur indirectly (see above).

    David
     
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