Monday, August 20, 2007

Is Your Astrologer Smarter Than A Monkey?

"I can calculate the motions of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people"

-Sir Isaac Newton

"A typical mutual fund is providing nothing for the mutual fund owner that they could not get by throwing a dart at a dartboard."

-Paul Samuelson, Nobel Prize-winning economist

Meet Adam Monk, the Chicago Sun-Times stock whiz. His record consistently beats out most of the major investment houses, each of which invests thousands (if not millions) of dollars to predict and project the course of the stock market. He outperforms the major indexes every time.

Adam Monk is not a trained professional. He is a Capuchin Monkey.

Mr. Monk performs two useful duties for me. First of all, he's a reliable guide to investment. He's also an excellent reminder... not of the limits of prediction, but of our society's values when it comes to what we make predictions about. People pour billions of dollars into the market based on the advice of major investment houses. Some win, some lose, but the game continues. And how often do you hear people complain that all investment houses are frauds, based on the poor performance of the one they chose to listen to?

On the other hand, these same people gather around the sun-sign forecast in the paper at work and have a good laugh. "Hey Bob, what sign are you? Aries? This says you're gonna get lucky today!" And then everyone goes back to work, buying and selling stock.

The Wall Street Journal regularly runs a feature comparing the stock market performance of major investment firms to the performance of stocks picked at random by throwing darts. In the ongoing battle between trained professional humans and the darts, the humans are winning... but only by a ratio of 45 to 34. These are not the sort of odds I would want to run my personal life by.

You don't see a lot of undercover news reports about rogue stock traders playing on people's fears and vulnerabilities about their economic futures. But I've seen the same sort of thing when it comes to astrologers, psychics, and "fortune tellers." Sadly, such things do happen in my line of work. I'm sure there are plenty of crooked investment advisors out there, but somehow it's more telegenic when the crook in question is sitting in front of a starry backdrop, acting all mystical.

A lot of astrologers no longer perform their traditional role... hard prediction, or de-emphasize their role in that capacity. That's okay by me... the psychological/holistic approach can have profound benefits for a client. I've seen it. But I think a lot of astrologers have drifted away from hard prediction (and understandably so) based on a few memorable, dramatic failures. I know it's happened to me.

To those astrologers out there who have more-or-less completely drifted away from prediction... the hard-and-fast observable forecasts... I urge you to do what I've done recently, particularly if you have your doubts about your own ability to forecast with the accuracy and detail you'd like. I've gone over a long list of my previous consultations of late, and I've discovered that my track record -- although far from perfect -- consistently beats the big investment firms (who have the benefit of millions of dollars of research, and some of the best mathematical minds out there). I'm also outperforming the monkeys and the darts, thank you very much.

I believe that a consistent, logical, objective application of the traditional predictive techniques offered by astrology can be accurate and useful in a consistent, logical, objective way. Experience backs this up. I see it happen all the time... and if you're a half-decent astrologer, you probably see it happen too. So why aren't I and every other working astrologer out there offering our advice every fifteen minutes on CNN? My guess is that it's a cultural thing... we all like to think we're perfectly in control of our lives, and yet the stock market represents a larger, mostly-beyond-our-control Force Of Nature that we attempt to predict and negotiate with... just like all those "primitive" cultures we like to snicker at, praying to the Rain God for a good harvest.

Either that, or CNN is secretly run by jealous monkeys. I can accept either explanation.

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The Amazing Surprise Economic Turnaround Astrology Experiment continues! Click here to read more, and to join in!

2 comments:

Neith said...

LOL! I worked for a "financial" advisor for a couple of years and was rather thoroughly disillusioned . . . Astrology is much more consistent in it's patterns & rhythms!

Thanks for the new post . . . I was just about to nag you again! :-D You really do write some of the funniest, best astro-humor around!! (that's to encourage you to keep doing it regularly . . . remember that Scorpio Fairy!)

*star* said...

I don´t think we´re perfectly in control of our lives.

I do pray, as in a ritual of the "primitive" cultures, to the Gods and Goddesses of the Universe for the good rain to come and wash me clean and for a good harvest for us.

Good to know that MTA is smart , witty and wise. ;)