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BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?

Little Hawk 07 Mar 06 - 08:48 PM
M.Ted 07 Mar 06 - 09:02 PM
*daylia* 07 Mar 06 - 09:02 PM
*daylia* 07 Mar 06 - 09:11 PM
Bill D 07 Mar 06 - 10:27 PM
Paco Rabanne 08 Mar 06 - 03:01 AM
Gervase 08 Mar 06 - 03:34 AM
Bagpuss 08 Mar 06 - 05:14 AM
autolycus 08 Mar 06 - 05:48 AM
*daylia* 08 Mar 06 - 07:17 AM
Gervase 08 Mar 06 - 07:36 AM
*daylia* 08 Mar 06 - 07:38 AM
*daylia* 08 Mar 06 - 07:42 AM
GUEST,TIA 08 Mar 06 - 09:27 AM
Alice 08 Mar 06 - 09:33 AM
*daylia* 08 Mar 06 - 09:34 AM
*daylia* 08 Mar 06 - 09:48 AM
*daylia* 08 Mar 06 - 10:10 AM
Bill D 08 Mar 06 - 11:11 AM
*daylia* 08 Mar 06 - 11:29 AM
Gervase 08 Mar 06 - 12:13 PM
Clinton Hammond 08 Mar 06 - 12:52 PM
Alice 08 Mar 06 - 01:07 PM
*daylia* 08 Mar 06 - 01:09 PM
Bunnahabhain 08 Mar 06 - 01:18 PM
*daylia* 08 Mar 06 - 01:36 PM
Little Hawk 08 Mar 06 - 01:53 PM
*daylia* 08 Mar 06 - 02:00 PM
GUEST,M.Ted 08 Mar 06 - 02:11 PM
Clinton Hammond 08 Mar 06 - 02:21 PM
Bill D 08 Mar 06 - 02:24 PM
*daylia* 08 Mar 06 - 02:55 PM
Clinton Hammond 08 Mar 06 - 03:06 PM
Bill D 08 Mar 06 - 03:10 PM
*daylia* 08 Mar 06 - 03:23 PM
Wolfgang 08 Mar 06 - 05:00 PM
Escamillo 09 Mar 06 - 03:19 AM
Bagpuss 09 Mar 06 - 03:49 AM
*daylia* 09 Mar 06 - 06:49 AM
Bagpuss 09 Mar 06 - 07:22 AM
*daylia* 09 Mar 06 - 08:16 AM
Paco Rabanne 09 Mar 06 - 08:22 AM
*daylia* 09 Mar 06 - 08:30 AM
Paul Burke 09 Mar 06 - 08:46 AM
Paco Rabanne 09 Mar 06 - 09:10 AM
*daylia* 09 Mar 06 - 09:27 AM
Alice 09 Mar 06 - 09:31 AM
*daylia* 09 Mar 06 - 09:40 AM
*daylia* 09 Mar 06 - 09:41 AM
*daylia* 09 Mar 06 - 09:42 AM

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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 08:48 PM

Everything is our subjective experience, Bill. But some things we can be surer of than others. The things that the vast majority of us agree on, for instance....

Still, we might be wrong even then, sometimes.

The vast majority have agreed to all kinds of incorrect things in the past and been backed up by the official authorities of their time. I suspect the same thing is happening now.


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: M.Ted
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 09:02 PM

Mercury in Retrograde Clinton........a bit of astrology might help you about now--


"While people speak of  Mercury Retrograde periods that screw up computers and television sets, today's astrologers believe the mishaps happen in more personal realms (Uranus is the planet that rules television and computers).  Mercury rules communication, but more  informal communications, like writing, speaking, short shopping sprees and other erranding endeavors.  So, while Mercury is Retrograde, don't give that party,  be extra aware of what you say and what you interpret when chatting with or writing to friends, cut back on errands, expect that the check will be in the mail longer than usual.   Since the car is usually used for shopping and errands,  don't be surprised if the battery wire loosens or the fan belt snaps just when you have rush out for that one ingredient you forgot to buy.

The good things to do when Mercury is Retrograde: meditate, contemplate, edit the book/poem/song/essay you've been writing, clean house, talk to your pet, listen to music, paint, catch up on sleep! "


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: *daylia*
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 09:02 PM

I 'spose you can guess that I'd suggest that what you 'know' is your subjective experience, rather than the source of it or that it represents 'fact'.....

THere are many, many things that can only be known through subjective experience. I suppose it could be argued that nothing can be known except through subjective experience. That's what you get for being a human being.

Consciousness is still very much a mystery -- an area science (ie neurobiologists) is only just beginning to investigate. And with great difficulty; as you say, as the subjective experience of consciousness is, by it's very nature, quite outside the realm of scientific empirical peer-approvable 'fact'.

But as to 'knowing' the 'source'??   HA!!! I highly, HIGHLY doubt we'd be having this conversation if I 'knew' that particular 'source'!


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: *daylia*
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 09:11 PM

the subjective experience of consciousness is, by it's very nature, quite outside the realm of scientific empirical peer-approvable 'fact'.

That's not really true -- it's way too general.

I think.

Or no ...

....flippin Mercury retrograde!!! Gonna give it up and go write in my journal instead. My oh so UNpeer-reviewed journal   

*whew*

thanks for that, MTed


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 10:27 PM

in retrospect, things are Mercurial around here.

night, all...


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 03:01 AM

Last night I had a chat with the Fairies that live at the bottom of my garden, and even they don't believe that Astrology is real.


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: Gervase
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 03:34 AM

THe meaning of this will be revealed to all potholes in due course. And .. *gasp* yes! Even without the help of astrology!
Hey, you're not related to those odd coves who used to stand on street corners with sandwich boards announcing the immenent end of the world and that eating meat was murder, are you?


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: Bagpuss
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 05:14 AM

I believe that aeroplanes are kangaroos. I just happen to be using different definitions of both words than the entire rest of the the speakers of the English language. I am not wrong, I just define things differently to you all.


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: autolycus
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 05:48 AM

Time for some contemplation and quiet thought till around the 27th.

Escamillo, if you'd like to post me some simple (or not so simple )questions)(maybe after the 27th),I'll see what I can do (after the 27th).

I would like to add my voice regretting the animosity and insult.

There is also PLENTY BESIDES.(Don't know how to do italics and those other typo variants others do, and that's another thread.)

While counting myself an astrologer, I like the joke (steady chaps, please don't chase every rabbit in sight !!) about the meeting of the East Kent Spiritualist meeting next tuesday having to be cancelled owing to unforeseen circumstances.

"A certain awkwardness marks the use of borrowed thoughts but as soon as we learn what to do with them, they become our own." (Emerson)

Best wishes from an Ambrose Bierce fan


Ivor


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: *daylia*
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 07:17 AM

Gervase, no, the description you gave does not fit any of my relatives. Highly inaccurate! What kinda birth data did you use for that one, anyway? ;-)

Seriously though, we don't have street-corner messiahs of any genre in my neck of the woods. You have to make an excursion to big bad Toronto - and even there, they're a mighty rare breed.

BTW what's a "cove"? THe only coves we have around here are the ones that harbour boats....


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: Gervase
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 07:36 AM

From the OED:
Cove, n.2
slang (orig. Thieves' cant)

(kv) Forms: 6-7 cofe, 6 coff, 7- cove. [The early variant cofe has suggested that this is identical with Sc. COFE n., 'chapman, pedlar', the sense having undergone the same transition as in CHAP, which is now nearly equivalent in meaning, save that cove belongs to a lower and more slangy stratum of speech. But the phonetic change of f to v, at so late a date, is not usual; and the origin of the word still remains obscure. Cf. also CO n.2]

A fellow, 'chap', 'customer'; sometimes = BOSS n.6 (see quots. 1812, 1891).
Frequent in the 20th century in Austral. sources.

1567 HARMAN Caveat 84 A gentry cofe, a noble or gentleman. Ibid. 86 What, stowe you, bene cofe..What, holde your peace, good fellowe.
1609 DEKKER Lanth. & Candle Lt. Wks. 1884-5 III. 196 The word Coue, or Cofe, or Cuffin, signifies a Man, a Fellow, &c...a good fellow is a Bene Cofe.
1621 B. JONSON Gipsies Metamorph. Wks. (Rtldg.) 619/2 There's a gentry cove here, Is the top of the shire. a1700 B. E. Dict. Cant. Crew, Cofe, c. as Cove.
1737 in Logan Pedlar's Pack (1869) 147 Now my Kinchin Cove is gone.
1812 J. H. VAUX Flash Dict. s.v., The master of a house or shop is called the Cove..; when joined to particular words, as a cross-cove, a flash-cove, a leary-cove, &c., it simply implies a man of those several descriptions.
1838 DICKENS O. Twist x, That old cove at the book-stall.
1891 N. GOULD Doub. Event 115, I am not in the habit of being called a cove.
1891 LENTZNER Australian Word-bk., Cove, master or overseer of an Australian station.
1911 C. E. W. BEAN 'Dreadnought' of Darling xxxiii. 288 Recollec' that cove with a red beard.
1916 Anzac Book 65 Then a corporal called and wanted to know..when would the rubber boots be ready for the coves in the trenches?
1916 J. B. COOPER Coo-oo-ee vii. 84 'He's one of those smart coves,' said Sam.
1944 F. CLUNE Red Heart 67 'Must be a balmy cove,' whispered one of the hangers-on as he tapped his forehead.
1966 'J. HACKSTON' Father clears Out 190 The young coves round about combed their hair back with soap to keep it in position.
1969 Advertiser (Adelaide) 12 May 5/4 You Aussie coves are just a bunch of drongoes.


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: *daylia*
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 07:38 AM

Escamillo, if you'd like to post me some simple (or not so simple )questions)(maybe after the 27th),I'll see what I can do (after the 27th).

Good plan, Ivor. Ditto for me then. ANd I too regret the animosity here, so please .... *attention* all potholes! Let me clarify the worst of my horrid insults above ... You are obviously stupid enough to throw second-hand half-baked opinion around in spite of your admitted ignorance and obvious prejudices re this subject --- BUT --- this does not necessarily mean you are ignormases in all areas of life.

And if I appear to be ignoring certain of your posts till the 27th (ie those of the troll-and-bait genre) well, that's only because I am.


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: *daylia*
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 07:42 AM

PS thanks for explaining the "cove" bit, Gervase. I thought maybe it meant members of a coven -- (and no, that description does not fit me either)


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 09:27 AM

You respond to good will and conciliation with more animosity and name-calling. You are a hole, but not of the pot variety.


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: Alice
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 09:33 AM

I checked out what Wikipedia has to say on the subject. As I noted earlier, the interpretation of the characteristics of a planet or constellation depends on the culture in which the type of astrology developed (why Babylonian, why not Mayan?). More on the history...

from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrology
"Astrological interpretation is dependent on the particular culture's prevailing mythology. Most classicists think that Western astrology is dependent on Greek mythology. But the Greeks never claimed to have their own mythology. The Greeks claimed that half of their mythology was borrowed from the Egyptians and the other half borrowed from the Hebrew. But where did the myths of the Egyptians and Hebrew come from? The upper Nile River - Ethiopia. (See "Black Athena", Rutgers University Press) The research of the Gauquelin's, which resulted into Neo-Astrology, has modified, updated, but mainly reinforced the Ethiopian/Greek/Roman word association of behavioral characteristics with the particular planets."


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: *daylia*
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 09:34 AM

From Websters:

"know: to perceive directly
: to have direct cognition of
: to have understanding of (importance of knowing oneself)
: to recognize the nature of
: DISCERN : to be acquainted or familiar with
: to have experience of
: to be aware of the truth OR [heads up! this is an very important OR!] factuality of
: to have a practical understanding of
: to have sexual intercourse with (archaic)
: to have knowledge
: to be or become cogniznat -- sometimes used interjectionally with you especially as a filler in informal speech

So just to clarify for the pedants here, when I say "I know" (not 'believe' but 'know') the little I do about about astrology, I mean ALL of the above -- except the last one AND the archaic definition (although I confess I've spent quite a bit of quality time between the sheets with my astrology books over the years, in the soft sweet glow of my reading lamp ....   :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: *daylia*
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 09:48 AM

TIA, i repeat:

You -- and yes, very specifically you -- are obviously dumb enough to throw second-hand half-baked opinion around, even in the face of your obvious ignorance and glaring prejudices re this subject!

BUT --- this does not necessarily mean you are an ignoramus in all areas of life, of course.

I will be ignoring all of your posts here from now on.


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: *daylia*
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 10:10 AM

Alice, say 10 different people were shown a picture of you and asked about their impressions.
The first might say "She's a happy person -- I can see it in her eyes". The second "She has wonderful [fill in colour] eyes." The third "She looks a bit stressed. Does she get enough sleep?" The fourth "She looks about 40." The fifth "Nah, more like 30". THe sixth "Wow, look at those muscles! She must be an athlete!" The seventh "I bet she's a scholar. Look at that all those bookcases in the background". And on and on and on ....

Now, does this mean they are all wrong? Or all right? Or maybe even that you really don't exist at all, because everyone sees something a little different???


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 11:11 AM

attention* all potholes! Let me clarify the worst of my horrid insults above ... You are obviously stupid enough to throw second-hand half-baked opinion around in spite of your admitted ignorance and obvious prejudices re this subject --- BUT --- this does not necessarily mean you are ignormases in all areas of life.

ummmm....I am not an 'expert' with years of study behind me on how to bake cakes using hot peppers, prunes, marijuana and LSD either, but I don't think voicing a cautionary opinion on the practice exactly makes me stupid. Not knowing favorite recipes doesn't make me unqualified to comment on the dangers.

What I DO have is years of experience and college classes in rules of debate and logical discussion and how differences of opinion should be processed....those are the items I have been questioning...NOT as I have said 3-4 times now, not astrology per se.


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: *daylia*
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 11:29 AM

... bake cakes using hot peppers, prunes, marijuana and LSD either

Bill, this has absolutely nothing to do with the subject at hand.

It's just another example of slanted thinking; more evidence of your personal inexperience, ignorance and preconceptions (prejudices) re astrology.


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: Gervase
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 12:13 PM

Enough of the ignoramus-calling, woman!
FYI I have studied astrology insofaras when I was a teenager I was sufficiently interested in esoterica to read several books on the subject and to draw up charts for my own family. The more I read, unfortunately, the more sceptical I became - particularly when looking at the huge gulfs between tradition western natal astrology and Vedic astrology. The scepticism deepened when I became more interested in astronomy than astrology and realised that the zodiac should have around 20 signs rather than 12 (when was the last time you heard someone say they were a typical Ophiucus or Scutum?) and that precession had thrown a spanner in the works. Add to that the fact that every astronomer I came across thought astrology was crap (and they still do!).
I've always had a scientific bent (Fnarr!) and really did seek evidence everywhere for the supposed 'truths' of astrology. Finding none (though this was in the days long before the internet, when all I had was my local public library) I have to say that I eventually junked it along with most of the rest of the esoterica and pseudoscience. I've still got a lovely set of tarot cards, a mistletoe wand and a few other odds and sods, but more for the aesthetics of them as artefacts than anything else.
So it's probably wrong to say I'm ignorant of astrology. I did give it a go, but decided that it was bollocks. And I'm still waiting for a proper test of astrology which shows it to be kosher; the way that tests like this all seem to show it to be bollocks.


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 12:52 PM

So, you're NOT going to answer ANY of the questions put to you in this thread Daylia? You're just going to sit there with your fingers jammed into your easy singing, "LALALAICAN'THEARYOULALALA"....

That's about what I'd expect from someone as blinkered as you....

You and LH must get on like a house on fire....


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: Alice
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 01:07 PM

Hi, daylia, your example of 10 different people having 10 different opinions when they each look at a picture of someone is an excellent example.
It is clear that 10 different people interepreting a horoscope have 10 different opinions (10 different cultures having 10 differing myths about the planets and constellations). If that does not make it clear to you what people have been trying to say in this thread, then I don't know how to get the point across so you can understand it. I'm not trying to annoy or belittle you or your point of view. I'm just offering some facts on the subject. I, like many others, seriously studied astrology when I was younger and now see it as a pseudoscience.


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: *daylia*
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 01:09 PM

Gervase, as I've explained somewhere before on this thread, I am just as skeptical of articles by "skeptics" as I am of articles by "psychics". Slant, bias, prejudice, and partial (if not total) ignorance of the subject at hand are so common in such articles that they are of very little or no practical value / interest to me.

Re cultural differences in astrology (Vedic vs Western etc), please consider my post 10:10 above. I don't want to waste bandwidth cutting and pasting it here.

In any case, I'm glad to hear you do know something of astrology, and those are interesting thoughts re the smaller planets etc -- but for everything, there is a season. It's apparent that somehow, conditions are not ideal for fruitful communication, discourse or debate right now. In light of that, I'll ttyl.


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: Bunnahabhain
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 01:18 PM

The point Bill D was trying to make, as you should very well know, is that you don't have to be an expert to be able to make worthwhile judgements on something.

I can't juggle. Does that mean I can't say juggling chainsaws and flaming torches is not easy or safe?

None of us skeptics have been saying " No, you're wrong, Aries rising means X not Y", we leave that to the experts. We have been trying to discuss the whole question of if it can be verified my outsiders.


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: *daylia*
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 01:36 PM

A pseudoscience? Well that's exactly what it is, Alice.

Re individual and/or cultural differences in perception -- isn't this just the very nature of consciousness, of human nature, of life itself?

No one approach or system of thought - including western science - can possibly explain everything there is to know about this (or any other) subject. Least of all explain it in a way that everyone else on the planet can understand! That's why there are many different "approaches".

Does this make them all hooey? I think not.

I really like what Little Hawk said above.

.... a person can gain more far wisdom from self-observation than from debating endlessly with others about the things they believe or don't believe. Such debates usually change nothing, except that they harden people in their established positions and cause them to dislike one another.

So, once again, ttyl.


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 01:53 PM

"Keep them doagies rollin', Rawhide...."

This thread attracts Clinton Hammond like roadkill attracting crows and vultures, so by all means keep it going. No sense in depriving him of his fun, eh?


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: *daylia*
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 02:00 PM

PS -- If you want to conceal your personal prejudices better, or even to stop your writing here from being discredited by slant, simply use neutral "metaphors" for the subject at hand, instead of all the telltale negative, inflammatory ones.

Comparing the subject under discussion with juggling chainsaws, baking a cake with illegal drugs, blood sacrifices and tinfoil hats etc etc    ad nauseum   are such obvious examples of slanted, prejudiced writing and thinking (possibly even good ole hatred and ignorance), I don't see how you let yourselves get away with it!

Such choice of phrase at best discredits, at worst nullifies the rest of your argument(s).


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: GUEST,M.Ted
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 02:11 PM

Gervase--

The test that you linked to above, at least at first review, seems not to have been designed very well.
The scientist used the astrologers feedback to structure the research, which seems fair enough at the face of it, but the fact is that astrologers, for the most part, have little to know idea how to structure a valid scientific test for anything, even astrology--they are not scientists--

A variety of practical problems skewed the selection of subjects, so that all had certain similar, and therefore confusing, elements in their charts. Another serious problem was that there was no overarching qualification for the astrologers, they were self-selected, and there was no attempt to discern the competency of the astrologers --or even to determine what the criteria for a competent vs an incompetent astrologer would be.

Mind you, I only read over the description briefly--but it didn't seem like a very good study.


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 02:21 PM

"at best discredits, at worst nullifies the rest of your argument"

So then it's still better then yours, which has been nullified almost from the get-go....


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 02:24 PM

thanks, Gervase, for the excellent links to serious studies by experts, and Bunnahabhain for seeing my point about how one ought to view ANY set of claims.

There seems to be a determination to have a favorite answer here, no matter what the evidence to the contrary. I now repost something I have used several times about such situations.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

..I kinda envy those who just say "Oh, I like THIS answer...I'll just believe it from now on, and avoid all that tedious thinking and juggling."

There is a cartoon strip called "Hagar the Horrible", about a silly Viking type with very modern problems. One Sunday saw him visiting the local wizard, Dr. Zook, who had a huge stone ring leaning against the wall, (like that 'money' on Yap Island).

"What's this?", asks Hagar.
"That's my new scientific measuring device." replys Dr. Zook, "Step in!"
....so Hagar squirms into the center of the stone ring....

"More...hunch down...squeeze tighter..." Zook says, as Hagar tries to cram himself into the tight space. Finally, he is in, awkwardly peering out at the pleased wizard.

"There!", says Dr. Zook with authority, "You are exactly 5 feet tall!"

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

I submit that much of the claims defending astrology and the credentials necessary to evaluate astrology are involved in a very similar process of 'distorting' to what Dr. Zook used on Hagar....only this time words and definitions and concepts are being distorted so that the desired answer still fits.

I am sorry if those who are doing this distorting don't 'get it. We don't use this careful nit-picking all day to talk with people, and realizing when precise logic needs to be employed is not always obvious if one has not actually studied the rules of discourse & debate.
(And no, it is NOT the same as "not having studied astrology"! Is is not necessary to spend years learning all the details of a complex system of observation and interpretation in order to comment on whether the system itself is based on dubuious principles!)
Flamenco Ted can create an entire religion about his conversations with the fairies in his garden, but neither you nor I need to take it to his level to realize there are problems. (Besides, the fairies in MY garden say that his are all wet!)

(In case anyone is wondering, I still do NOT expect this to change any minds...the **need** to keep believing something that has been used for years is too deeply embedded and emotional)


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: *daylia*
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 02:55 PM

I know slant when I see it, Bill. Why would a fellow as versed in logic as yourself resort to such obvious and useless tactics? Or find any value in articles by "skeptics"? Or "scientific studies" (???) attempted on a subject which, as we've seen over and over on this thread, lies beyond the scope of Western science?

Trying to learn the truth about astrology via current Western scientific methodology and techniques is rather like trying to weigh yourself with a barometer - a misconceived and futile endeavour.

All the best with that, though.


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 03:06 PM

"lies beyond the scope of Western science"

Except that it doesn't....

Just because you want to THINK it does, doesn't make it the case.....


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 03:10 PM

no, I'm sorry, you do not know 'slant' by simply skimming over my words and deciding that disagreement = bias. That is a comment, like several others, about ME, not about my arguments. I have made a serious error by continuing all this beyond the earlier exchanges. I now withdraw and will allow what I have said to be enough for any passers-by to judge me by.

take care..*smile*


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: *daylia*
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 03:23 PM

From Websters

Slant ...

: a peculiar or personal point of view or position, attitude or opinion ...

: to interpret or present in line with a special interest : ANGLE : (stories slanted toward youth); especially : to maliciously or dishonestly distort or falsify"


This is slant, Bill:

"mmmm....I am not an 'expert' with years of study behind me on how to bake cakes using hot peppers, prunes, marijuana and LSD either, but I don't think voicing a cautionary opinion on the practice exactly makes me stupid. Not knowing favorite recipes doesn't make me unqualified to comment on the dangers."


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 05:00 PM

Peter Niehenke (one of the best known German astrologers) in Meridian (3/1984), an astrological journal, arguing against those astrologers who think that statistical methods cannot be used to test astrology and that present science has nothing to say about it:

(my translation) Astrologers are doing statistics today and from the very start at least from that moment when they formulated the first astrological rule. Even we assume that this rule has come from 'inspiration' and not from observation: In the moment it is formulated as a rule one makes directly or indirectly a statement about frequencies. For one claims that a certain trait is more often appearing with a certain constellation thatn with others - and this way one has arrived at statistics...
One of the main objections to the use of statistical methods in astrology is over and over again the claim that it is not possible to separate the horoscope into parts and that one cannot study single constellations for this way the wholeness would be lost. This argumentation confuses two things. It is actually correct that I can never state something from a single constellation about the whole horoscope and the person...but this does not mean that one cannot study single constellations in group comparisons.


He goes on telling the example that alcohol is one factor in car accidents. This factor alone can never explain a single accident for there are many many other factors like speed, illumination, state of car, wet streets... that also play a role. So in a single case we can never be completely sure which factor or combination of factors have led to the accident. But in a groups studies with a large number of cases, the role of alcohol can be found out.

What daylia misses in her attempt to argue against using statistical methods to test astrology is that in this case the data base on which the scientists study astrology is in most cases exactly the same as the one the astrologers use: Frequencies of cooccurence of traits and constellations. If there were no pattern where from could come something like 'experience', on what basis are astrological books founded? 'Experience' ist based on seeing patterns (existing or not) and patterns can be translated into statements about frequencies. These can be tested fairly easily as TIA has said.

Niehenke, BTW, has done this and the astrological hypotheses have found no support. He has found no more significant correlations than could be expected by chance. He still does astrology in combination with psychotherapy for he finds that his clients like it and he and them have a 'feeling of evidence'.

(If astrology is done this way it may have its uses like many other methods. If a psychoanalysist talks about his client's dreams, if a cheirologist analyses hand lines or if tea leaves are read, one component that may actually be helpful is to ask the client to contribute own interpretations to the (more or less random in my eyes) pattern. Talking about one's life and trying to interpret patterns as such can be helpful in many personal crises.)

But to argue that 'experience' validates a belief and at the same time dismiss counting methods of cooccurences is intellectually dishonest. However, most astrologers are in that field for another reason. Astrologer Niehenke once more: Astrology becomes a kind of religion, a question of faith. But why not...A world in which astrology is true is a more beautiful world than a world in which astrology does not exist. That explains nicely the very emotional reaction of daylia to any alternative point of view. It is not a simple question of correct or false testable statements for her, it is a question reaching far more deep.

A scientist approaches the field very differently. It would be extremely stupid of him/her to start with the assumption that there are no patterns different from chance. Even if most of the astrological theories make no sense from a scientific point of view there could be interesting truths in astrological statements. It is simply an empirical question. (And by the way, each real scientist would hope to find a corroboration for an astrological statement for that would be much more fun and interesting than boringly 'proving' the null hypothesis)

Why would that be more interesting? The sun, obviously has a tremendous impact on humans via warmth, growth and light. The moon has a tremendous impact on some life forms via tides. It could have an influence via changes in illumination level with its phases. It even (remotely) could have a minuscule influence by its gravitation.

As for the planets, there is no serious causal influence, but nevertheless they could be correlated better than chance by spurious correlations with other more mundane influences. Birth season could play a role both for biological and for nurture reasons. The intrauterine environment could change with the season (different food), the first experiences can vary with seaons (learning to walk naked on the grass feels a bit different from learning it in lots of clothes and on snow). Different social classes have different birth frequency maxima (in Germany, the 9 months past carnival maximum is restricted to the lower classes of catholics). There is also the rumour (I've never found real data) that generals tend to be born in August and September for the simple reason that their fathers have been in the army as well and got a Christmas leave. Many interesting theories could be thought of to explain correlations of traits (or disorders) with season of birth. Knowing these things would be helpful in medicine and many other areas.

Such correlations can be found and have been found but they are not in accordance with astrological theories. The field has been tested very often but with no convincing results or with results with extremely low statistical power.

So the 'experience' and the 'feeling of evidence' must come from somewhere else: illusory correlation, Barnum effect, cold reading, retrofitting of patterns are some of the more promising interpretations where from such feelings can come in the absence of any real correlation.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: Escamillo
Date: 09 Mar 06 - 03:19 AM

Thanks Wolfgang, for an excellent work, it is very appreciated.

Daylia, Autolycus, I prefer to discuss this here rather than dealing with personal messages (however I´ll be glad to receive your PMs whenever you like)

I quote my first elementary question:
"If the birth of a child (why not the conception?) is a physical fact, and some kind of energy determines his/her initial conditions in function of his/her moment and place of birth, HOW SHOULD THAT ENERGY BE MEASURED? Is it gravitational (like the body of the mother) ? Magnetic? Light-related ? Sub-atomic particles ? Cosmic radiation ? "

I would add a simple observation: any kind of light-related or cosmic radiation coming from the sun or from stars beyond the sun to a point on Earth that is eventually on the OPPOSITE side of the Sun, is blocked by the mass of the Earth, and in fact the light and radiation reaching that point comes from the night sky. The only radiations passing across the Earth from the sunny side, are the Neutrinos, sub-atomic particles so small that they pass through the inter-atomic spaces of rocks and metals of the whole Earth and through ourselves from our feet. Of course 99% of the stars which could influence us are not in the ecliptic (the plane of the Earth's orbit) but that is another question.

Regarding things "beyond the scope of Western science" : Today, Western science is "world-wide" science. The Japanese and Chinese and all oriental scientific institutions do not show any difference in methodology. Chinese architects may design houses considering some kind of harmony with esoteric entities, but this is part of their culture and by no means are significant in terms of structure of the houses. There are dozens of oriental medical associations which publish thousands of research papers and no one follows methods of ancient Chinese medicine nor deals with it, while the Western hemisphere spends hundreds of millions per year in alternative supposedly oriental treatments.

Un abrazo
Andrés
(Analyst/Programmer, semi-professional tenor, father and grandpa)


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: Bagpuss
Date: 09 Mar 06 - 03:49 AM

Daylia, I find your attitude to the questions and challenges put forward in this thread very enlightening. You have a very strong tendency to view anything which contradicts your beliefs as irrelevant and anything which confirms them as very important. If this is your attitude within astrology too, it explains to me why you find it so convincing. You probably see only the bits of your horoscope which agree with your assessment of your personality and quickly forget the major parts that don't, or find some way to make them irrelevant. I believe this is called the confirmational bias and it seems very strong in you.

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: *daylia*
Date: 09 Mar 06 - 06:49 AM

Bagpuss, there's been absolutely nothing posted on this thread yet that 'proves' or 'disproves' a single thing I've said, scientifically or otherwise.

And you're right -- I have as much use for articles by skeptics - and by scientists on this particular subject, for all the excellent reasons noted above -- as I do for the slanted misinformation posted here by the Mudcat pothole gallery.

Notta smidgeon.

Wolfgang, that article looks interesting although I've only given it a preliminary glance. It does not appear to be one of those biased skeptical time-wasters though -- if that's correct, thanks for posting it and I'll go over it in more detail later.

And wow, look how quickly our resident philosopher professor ducked out of here, as soon as I called a spade a spade and demonstrated his use of slanted metaphor!

Should have done that a LONG time ago. It's one of his regular tactics when discussing things he knows nothing about. LOL!


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: Bagpuss
Date: 09 Mar 06 - 07:22 AM

For anyone that is interested (ie not Daylia) Here is an interesting article on hidden persuaders - the reasons why so many people will be convinced by things like astrology. And there are probably a lot more interesting articles on the website it came from: http://www.astrology-and-science.com/

I have always been very interested in powers of persuasion - the ways in which our biased ways of thinking can be used to convince us of something. I once had a psychology lecturer who used to do experiments in which he posed as a psychic when in fact he was using only the principles of cold reading. I saw a video of one of his "shows" with interviews with those in the audience that he "read". Everyone one of them was amazed by his accuracy and when presented with the truth, some of them refused to believe it, and claimed that the experimenter really did use a psychic gift, but that he just wasn't aware of it.

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: *daylia*
Date: 09 Mar 06 - 08:16 AM

"Science deals with that aspect of reality and human experience that lends itself to a particular method of inquiry susceptible to empirical observation, quantification and measurement, repeatability, and intersubjective verification -- more than one person has to be able to say, "Yes, I saw the same thing. I got the same results." So legitimate scientific study is limited to the physical world, including the human body, astronomical bodies, measurable energy, and how structure work ...

Clearly, this paradigm does not and cannot exhaust all aspects of reality, in particular the nature of human existence. In addition to the objective world of matter, which science is masterful at exploring, there exists the subjective world of feelings, emotions, thoughts, and the values and spiritual aspirations based on them.

If we treat this realm as though it had no contitutive role in our understanding of reality, we lose the richness of our existence and our understanding cannot be comprehensive. Reality, including our own exictence, is so much more complex than objective scientific materialism allows..."

From "The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality" by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Interesting too, what he has to say about his lifelong friendship and mutual intellectual exploration with physicist David Bohm, one of the many great thinkers and scientiest with whom he has studied extensively, and exchanged knowledge:

"David Bohm guided my understanding of the subtlest aspects of scientific thought, especially in physics, and exposed me to the scientific worldview at it's best ... In our conversations I felt the presence of a great scientific mind which was prepared to acknowledge the value of observations nad insights from other modes of knowledge than the objective scientific ..."


May all scientists, and all of mankind eventually benefit from these insights and understandings.


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 09 Mar 06 - 08:22 AM

If it wasn't for scientists the Dalai Lama wouldn't know what an atom was.


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: *daylia*
Date: 09 Mar 06 - 08:30 AM

ANd your point, Ted?

If it weren't for scientists NONE of us would know what an atom was.


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 09 Mar 06 - 08:46 AM

So legitimate scientific study is limited to the physical world, including the human body, astronomical bodies, measurable energy, and how structure work ...

Clearly, this paradigm does not and cannot exhaust all aspects of reality, in particular the nature of human existence. In addition to the objective world of matter...there exists the subjective world of feelings, emotions, thoughts, and the values and spiritual aspirations based on them.


said daylia.

How do you distinguish "feelings, feelings, emotions, thoughts, and ... spiritual aspirations" which are valid from those that aren't? Why is your astrology different from David Icke's patent nonsense? He feels it to be true as strongly as you do.

You are quite wrong about science; if science has nothing to say about various aspects of human experience at the moment, that's not the same as saying it can't say anything in principle. And if there are areas in which it can't say anything in principle, you still have to show that any other approach can.

Why should anyone believe YOUR version of reality rather than someone else's? You must have some tests to distinguish between various models of reality; you've said that they don't involve statistics, what are they? Anything more than the massive egotism of saying "I feel it so it must be true"?


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 09 Mar 06 - 09:10 AM

"version of reality" ia an oxymoron.


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: *daylia*
Date: 09 Mar 06 - 09:27 AM

Those are not my ideas, Paul. They are the Dalai Lama's, and they have absloutley nothing to with the attitudes you describe.

BTW, an individuals'(subjectively experienced) feelings and emotions are neither "valid" or "invalid". THey simply are what they are.

I have nothing of value to offer about David Icke. I've never read any his work, and so I have absolutely no personal experience or direct first-hand knowledge of his ideas to date. Nor do I allow myself to succumb to the foolishness of 'pothole psychology' -- therefore, I will not be tossing out any useless, uninformed, ego-and-bias-driven opinions about him either.


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: Alice
Date: 09 Mar 06 - 09:31 AM

It is very interesting that you give the word "skeptic" such a negative meaning and assign the word "slanted" to others in the way you do. To also readily admit that astrology is a pseudoscience and still think it has validity is amazing. It reminds me of Shermer's "Why People Believe Weird Things". One element of flawed methodology is to focus on what is not known and ignore what is known, emphasize data that fit and discount data that do not fit. Schools need to be teaching critical thinking more effectively.


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: *daylia*
Date: 09 Mar 06 - 09:40 AM

Well, it's obvious that not many (if any) of the potholes here, including you, understands - or even wants to understand - a single thing I've said about skeptics, slant, bias, science, subjectivity vs objectivity, knowledge, belief, astrology or anything else.

And that's just fine by me! Whatever makes you happy ...


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: *daylia*
Date: 09 Mar 06 - 09:41 AM

And it makes me REAL happy ...


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Subject: RE: BS: zodiac/star signs.. do you believe?
From: *daylia*
Date: 09 Mar 06 - 09:42 AM

to get 400! YIPPEEEE!! That's the 200th, 300th, and now the 400th post on this thread. The stars are so happy with me today ... ;-)


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