Monday, November 19, 2007

Not Quantifiable

"The Capricorn child is often far too serious for his own good. And frequently, it is the fault of one of the parents. This child needs mature but cheerful and happy handling that makes a point of not overstressing duty, responsibility and restriction. There are enough of these sobering elements in the Capricorn temperament already. Exaggeration will only create further problems for the youngster as he grows up...
Young Capricorn is very good at schoolwork and a willing little helper around the house. He enjoys running errands and completing small tasks for elders who display trust in him. He is extremely conscientious and wants to please. He usually enjoys study and reading and has a great capacity for sorting out detail and cataloging data. He is well suited for all kinds of hobbies connected with sciences such as chemistry, biology, astronomy, and the like where he can apply his considerable reasoning abilities."

After spending hours working on the history of military technology- and I'm including theory as a technology, a la' Lafayette Ronald Hubbard- I spent several long hours helping Jordy move and dispose of STUFF in her old bedroom. My god.
Anyway, one of the disposed items was an old astrology book. I know astrology is based on faulty understanding of how the stars moved, and woo-woo mysticism, and will surely be a cause of ridicule from the likes of my friends Marko and Tamara. At the same time, the chances of a random description just happening to fit young Johnny Shirley so well are pretty darn slim. I'm just sayin', There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.


Unknown said...

Astrology is a fraud. What is today called astrology is a pale replica of a fraud. Astrology was developed by the Babylonians using Babylonian notions of astronomy and mathematics. It hasn't been translated or updated.

If you find an astrologist using Babylonian cosmology and math, he might be capable of casting a 'legitimate' horoscope for you. The books touting themselves as astrology today are fraudulent on the level of supermarket tabloids.

The Lily said...

One of my most favorite quotes. And I am not a big fan of the bard.

J.R.Shirley said..., to go back to the point of my post, ,Byron, how do you explain so exact a description of me as a child? It couldn't be just a random generation that could fit almost anyone, since telling parents *not* to deeply stress responsibility would be dangerous to most children, right?

Miz Lilly, it is a great quote, isn't it?

Unknown said...

OK, John, I posit random chance within the universe of approximately 1/12 of the total human population who could be categorized as Capricorn.

Interview a few dozen Capricorns and then explain all the ones who have no correlation with the description whatsoever.

If I say that a certain category of person is a ruthless asshole and then go examine that category, a certain number of the category-if large enough-will be ruthless assholes. Does that mean I'm psychic? No, it means that probability and statistics have something going for them.

LawDog said...

We know that the changing of the seasons has an effect on mood, metabolism and behaviour.

We know that exposure to light has an effect on body chemistry -- serotonin, melatonin and such.

I would guess that varying levels of mental body chemistry in the mother could have an effect on the developing child.

If this is the case, it stands to reason that a baby conceived at one point in the year, would be exposed to different levels of the mothers chemistry at different stages in the course of development -- a baby conceived in the summer would be exposed to high levels of maternal serotonin during the initial months of brain-building, then taper off in the successive months, while a baby conceived in the winter would start off it's brain-building with low levels of maternal serotonin, with the levels rising as the months proceeded -- diameterically opposite to the summer baby.

I suppose this sort of thing is bound to have some effect on the structure of the baby's brain -- and thus the baby's personality.

Enough centuries of observation, and I suppose you could come up with a decent guess as to general personality, given a birth date -- best tracked by the monthly position of the Sun, stars and constellations.

Interesting little thought experiment, John. Thanks.

Jenny said...

lawdog - neat!

I'd wondered occasionally if such might be the case. Actually, I was wondering about the effects of changing diet around the year in pre-industrial times on gestation, but your idea is better, I think.

That said, my ol' psych 101 book pretty much said just what Byron said - random chance and vague-ish pronouncements.

All that said... darnfino, as Art might say. :)

J.R.Shirley said...

Lawdog, thanks. I feel sad when folks I think are fairly bright seem to miss what I feel are obvious points, no matter how well they argue their misapprehensions.

Miz Jen, so nice to see you. The thing is, I've seen plenty of very easily applied to any and everyone type stuff in newspapers and magazines. That's the PSY 101-type stuff you're referencing. What I'm talking about now is something that seems much too specific to be random chance. At least the Dawg gave me more to think about, instead of arguing points I conceded at the beginning.

Jenny said...

Well certainly, but even with this info it's still anecdotal. I mean, I'm also a Capricorn, and that description fits me pretty well to. [i]However[/i], without knowing the relative distribution of that personality type across all birthdates, even something that specific isn't definitive.

Still, someone's got to have tested the daylight and/or diet hypotheses by now.. be interesting to read their results. :)

phlegmfatale said...

What sorta blew my mind was that the serious, deep little thinker described fit my 10 year old niece to a T, and she's a Capricorn, too. Interesting.