Check your horoscope today?

I did, and it sounds like it was written by Sarah Palin. Actually, I came across this meta analysis of over 22,000 horoscopes over on Information is Beautiful. It’s spectacular – but I’ll run down a few points here:

From these 22,000 horoscopes came a chart of the most common words (bottom), 90% of which happen to be exactly the same regardless of your sign.  David McCandless also generated a meta prediction using these most common words.  It goes something like this.

Ready? Sure? Whatever the situation or secret moment enjoy everything a lot. Feel able to absolutely care. Expect nothing else. Keep making love. Family and friends matter. The world is life, fun and energy. Maybe hard. Or easy. Taking exactly enough is best. Help and talk to others. Change your mind and a better mood comes along…

Everyone, hopefully, should know that horoscopes and astrology have always been steaming piles. Seeing the data like this just makes it that much easier to laugh in the face of wackiness.  I also love McCandless’s interpretation of star traits.  I’m a “gemini” (or at least was), and the most common words for me are “party, stay, issues and listen certainly”. Interpreted as “emotionally disturbed party animal who never says no”.  Love it.

You might have also heard recently about the scandalous story of wrong star assignments. As it turns out our earth wobbles slightly in orbit; meaning the stars are not exactly where they are in the night sky tonight as they were a few millennia ago when the zodiac was first derived.  So if the stars mold who you are at birth then they do so based on where they are now and not 2,000 years ago. Surprise – many people should now be assigned to a new sign!  Ooooh scandal!  The science of astrology didn’t even come close to predicting this (it greatly pained me to even mockingly call astrology science).  But that’s OK it won’t perturb them, they are well adapt at dodging hard science and spinning BS, and have been doing so for hundreds of years. Back in 1781 astronomers threw a wrench at the heads of astrologers with the discovery of Uranus – and a generation later Neptune appeared on the scene. Oh don’t worry!  Astrologers fudged their own numbers, whined about different “charts and systems” and snuck in two extra star signs to agree with the world as science understood it. Oh, and never mind the rest of the billion, billion stars and planets…

Yet, I can still hear a faint cry down the street here in Berkeley – someone slaps hand to head and exclaims “oh now it makes sense, I was a Taurus all along!”

You should go explore his blog and take a closer look at the analysis.  Better yet, if you have a friend who loves their astrology, you should forward this in their direction.




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