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    Re: Immutable firmament?
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2010 Dec 6, 02:10 -0800

    Gary,

    Well, astrology is off-topic, so I will try not to annoy people by going on about it (besides I DO think it's nonsense). But, no, that's not how "standard" astrology works. What counts there is essentially numerological. If Jupiter is 60 degrees from the Sun, that has one significance. If it's 90 degrees from the Sun, that's an entirely different significance. As for the positions within the zodiac signs, similarly, it's the angular position that is the "input" into the black box of prediction. It really is the "sign" in the old astronomical sense that counts: the ecliptic longitude divided up into thirty degree slices, so precession is not an issue. In fact, the stars themselves don't have to be considered. The big catch in any account of the "system" of astrology is that there are many, many traditions of astrology. You can always find some group that does it differently. I studied up on it at one point as a possible money-making software project, but there were clearly too many other people doing the same thing. The code I wrote did, however, make a good party game.

    When I was in college back in the 1980s, there was a weird old man who worked as a professional astrologer and he had made some kind of deal with the character who ran the computer lab to run up his astrological charts on the Dec-20 computer system there. When he left, he always politely said thank you to the computer operator (the most boring part-time job I ever had), and he would also bow to the big mainframe and say rather dramatically, "and thank YOU, Mister Computer." I sometimes do that now (minus the drama) when the computer at the supermarket tells me "and please remember to take your receipt."

    -FER
    PS: Regarding your other comment, if you ever decide you're ready to understand the Coriolis acceleration properly, give me a yell.


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