Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A "meme" for me!

I follow almost every Monday the "memes" from Strawberry Singh. They normally go into personal things, and I honestly feel I'm not that interesting and just let them go. However, if I ever decide to be a stalker, I sure will go back into all her "challenges" and all the posts that people have written as an answer, to have profiles of people I'd like to harass.

This week's "meme" ("interview", I'd say) has broken my barriers and it's one I'd like to complete, even though I know that barely nobody reads me here (say hi, mom). The Zodiac. It sure inspires pictures in my mind about magic, mysteries and stories. But when we come back down to reality, things are quite different to me.

  1. What is your birthday and/or Zodiac sign?

    My exact birthday isn't too relevant. I was born by the end of the year. For those that like trivia, I'd say that my birthday happens when in Spain we have our own "fools day" sort of thing (we don't do April's fools, but we do another day in the year: that day is my birthday, and I know, I did a bad prank to my mother, I'm always said that and it got old when I was 10 years old.)

    That would mean that my Zodiac sign is Capricorn. However, I have to bring bad news here. I am not a Capricorn. The Zodiac was established more than two thousand years ago, by arbitrarily dividing the sky in 12 areas, and the qualities assigned to people were based upon the animals/figures that people then, thought that were seeing. So, Leo people, feel happy that the ancients saw a lion there, and not a trash can.

    I will not even go to the matter that the visible divisions in the South hemisphere differ from those we see in the North, that the divisions actually have not the same size (Capricorn is smaller than Virgo, for example, so there should be less days of Capricorn), and that 12 isn't the correct number of arbitrary divisions anyway.

    Is it relevant somehow, that these arbitrary divisions of the sky were done more than 2000 years ago? You bet it is. Because of something called "precession of the equinox" (here and here), it turns out that I'm not even a Capricorn. I'm a Sagitarius. Well, that, if I'm taking the version where the 12 signs span for the same time. If I take the accurate version where the more than 12 signs have different duration, I could even be Ophiuchus (actually no... but I always wanted to be Ophiuchus!)

    So this pretty much sums up why saying my exact birthday isn't relevant anyway to determine my Zodiac sign. If I were to pick the exact one, astrologers wouldn't want to "read my future", because that would make them to be aware... That I already know what they're talking about.
  2. Do you believe in or follow astrology?

    That is a wrongly put question. Astrology does exist. The question would be, do I believe in what astrology states? And then, the answer is a clear "no". What does "follow astrology" mean anyway? If I read about it? Sure I've read about it, and I will continue to read about it. If I follow the advice I'm given based upon my birthday? I can't follow any advice about my future that comes from a person that isn't capable of winning lottery tickets every time. (Yes, I know, "your powers aren't for that", but you either make excuses, or you actually prove that you can read the future.)

    However, I would like to do some clarifications about where my "no" comes from. They belong to the next question.
  3. Do you feel your sign's attributes reflect who you are?

    Astrology profiles rely in qualities that every people share in a high percentage. Let me prove this.

    I can see that you're a kind and loving person. Protective of your family, you may engage in arguments to defend their good soul. You're open to new experiences, however some situations may make you feel shy. Normally you will work hard to achieve your goals, however, at times you will prefer to give up on some, to favor someone else. You have a high sense of honor, and will defend your principles. Humor might be a part of your life, however you don't take that as an excuse to abuse from the weaker ones.

    Have I been accurate?

    Notice the use of words such as "maybe", "normally"... and when I've said something without those adverbs, it's been to highlight good qualities ("kind", "loving person"...), which we always believe we are and are eager to hear from a stranger. (Who is really open to admit "I'm a cheater", "I'm a backstabber", "I rip the work from others"...? And why those traits never show up in horoscopes?)

    The usual lack of self criticism sure helps in our astrology profile to fit :o) (Remember that it will fit in what we believe we are, not in what we really are.)

    What I've done by writing that "profile" is using a technique that belongs to the whole set of "mind tricks" called cold reading, and because of a psychological effect named confirmation bias, we will seek correctness in the prediction if we believe in astrology, which will continue to strengthen our belief in it.

    That, and not the scientific evidence, is what "makes" astrology to be "true" (Only for the people that believe in it! But planes fly for everybody. Think about that.)

    Do the following experiment: Read any random astrology profile, and then tell me if you, honestly, aren't like that. In that case, I will show you the similarities with the profile you say you don't fit in, and your own Zodiac sign's profile.

    So, to sum it up... I would believe that who I am is reflected by my sign's attributes... if I were to admit that simplified, horizontal and "Mary Poppins" alike version of ourselves that astrology gives from each one of us. Plus, have you ever even considered as a feasible fact that there are really just 12 kind of people in the whole world? Doesn't that sound like quite limiting in the complexities an human being shows? What sign the assassins are then?

    But perhaps, the most important question is... Are you really allowing that a belief with no evidence supporting it, tells you how you are, and sets you in one from twelve plain, boring profiles?
  4. Have you ever been to a psychic or astrologer either in RL or in SL (are there any in SL?)

    Yes in RL. I get to do very weird (and at times, risky) things in order to have answers to my questions. Needless to say, predictions failed. Perhaps it's my scent.

    I know there are astrologers in SL, and I'm really curious about what they'll read about me (Anyone interested? I am! IM me!)

    I also have to say that I find interesting to see the words "psychic" and "astrologer" mixed in the same question, because they aren't the same.
  5. Do you read your horoscope daily and try to follow any advice, recommendations or warnings it may have for you that day?

    I don't read it daily, and when I read it, I do it for fun. In fact, each time I read a different sign, and oh my God! They're always so right it scares me! ("You're about to face a change: Be careful". Oh really?)
  6. Do you have very strong feelings about astrology, either negative or positive?

    Despite of all I've explained, I don't have "hard feelings" against astrology. I may like jewelry with my sign... or other signs (I really love to bait strangers into making them think they will know me just by knowing my sign). I may write stories with a paranormal plot, mixing the Zodiac... That's okay, as long as I know that all of it belongs to the realm of fantasy.

    Actually, I think that it's kind of stupid to have "hard feelings" against an idea, any. To put an extreme example, the idea of fascism doesn't appeal to me, but what scares me is the people that embrace it, not the idea itself. The idea will not come to my house and kidnap and torture/kill me because of my own ideas. Some people will do it, given the chance. Having "hard feelings" against an idea also doesn't allow you to learn more about, and will take from you the chance of even knowing if you're falling into that idea you say you dislike so much.

    However, there's something I would like to point out. Believing in something without evidence makes you an easy target for predators (you will say you don't fall for that - heard it before, seen people fall), and opens the door for you to believe in more things without evidence... which increases the number of predators that may (and will) take advantage of you. When those beliefs enter into leaving others taking decisions about anything important to your life (health, sex, money, work, relationships...), consider yourself a puppet of some sorts (I know, you aren't a puppet... been there, seen that, got the t-shirt). And I tell you, that's the only trait that astrology profiles should write down, if they were about telling the truth about ourselves.

    If it's just for fun... bring it on!

    What I've found is that, when people learn about my not believing in astrology, and ask about my reasons... once I start explaining, they stop me to say "Why are you trying so hard in making me stop believing in it? So much of a closed mind you are, so afraid you are of astrology being true, that you spit all this crap on me?"

    To this, I have a couple of things to add.

    Thing #1, if you don't want to hear the answer, then don't do the question. I'm not trying to make you not believe, but explaining why I don't, since you asked. If you can't tell the difference, you have a problem.

    Thing #2, if I were a closed mind, I wouldn't have studied astrology in detail (Did you know about the precession? Did you ever think about what's the astrological sign of an assassin? Ever considered why twins aren't identical psychological profiles? Ever realized that astrology profiles only highlight good traits and just mildly "bad" ones that are turned into good anyway? Don't call me a closed mind then)... and if you were an open mind, you would give some consideration to what I explain to you... which isn't but an answer to your question. You are free to believe without evidence if you so wish, I will not stop you :-)

My two cents. Have everybody a nice day :-)


  1. Brilliant! Well analysed and expertly debunked, but I would say that wouldn't I, I'm a Virgo.

  2. Now see, you were incorrect, we do read you!!

    Excellent read too by the way. I feel like reading you I have read 2 sides to a coin. You might be a great politician!

  3. Very informative! I'm glad you decided to join us this week as I really learned a lot from your post. Thank you for sharing!