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Trump, Clinton, Astrology and "Spooky at a Distance"

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Submitted by Michael S (United States), Sep 16, 2016 at 16:29

Hello again, Moh

I just did some lookups about "action at a distance", to see whether I have any understanding at all on the matter. My point of contact with this thinking, of course, is in quantum mechanics -- specifically, the quantum-mechanical view of bonding, especially in crystals. The main trouble scientists seem to have had with QM, is the "non-locality" of it all. Linus Pauling, for instance, presented a view of molecular bonding several decades ago, that seemed to work well in explaining organic chemistry. It was based on very local interactions between atoms in the molecule. In trying to understand crystal structure, however, Pauling's model breaks down because it can't explain things like the Jahn-Teller effect. Enter QM, which presents a new model of bonding based on adding the wavefunctions of the atoms of the ENTIRE CRYSTAL (i.e. not just local interactions). What's more, it includes the concept of "spin-pairing", which speaks of electronic interactions between atoms that aren't even "bonded" to one another.

Stranger than any of this, to me, is the fact that this bonding model is based not on atomic orbitals, which have a physical reality; but on the wavefunctions, which do not. To be specific, atomic orbitals and molecular orbitals alike are manifestations of the SQUARE of the wavefunctions. Orbitals can therefore exist in "real" space (as in, the "real number system"), even when their wavefunctions are made up of complex imaginary numbers (numbers including the physically impossible √-1. The very "real" molecular orbital or crystal orbit, then, derives not from something that is "real", but from something that is imaginary.

I had this sort of thing in mind, when I asked you what you thought of astrology. This ancient intellectual endeavor suffered much from rationalists in recent centuries, because it seemed to be based on real planets "influencing" (through "local interaction") not only our physical and emotional makeup but also intangibles such as our outlook on life, things we deem important or not, career fields and hobby interests, etc. In cases such as lunar cycles influencing the tides, and even menstrual cycles, the planets, sun and moon are understood to influence things by dint of their mass, affecting us through gravitational and perhaps electromagnetic forces.

According to the notion of local interaction of heavenly bodies, affecting one another through forces such as gravity, the earth should have the greatest influence on us, followed by the sun, then the moon, then (a long way off) Jupiter; and the other planets should have little impact on out makeup. Astrology, however, treats all these bodies equally: even Mercury and Neptune (and to many astrologers, Pluto and even Ceres) are thought to "influence" us a great deal, depending on which "sign" and "house" they are in, how they are "aspected" to other planets, etc.

Gravity and electromagnetism do not explain or support such notions, just as trying to combine atomic orbitals cannot explain the Jahn-Teller effect. Just as molecular bonding can be understood by underlying "imaginary" wavefunctions, though, it is not unreasonable to conceive of the planets interacting with one another, and with life forms on one another, according to an underlying "imaginary" function.

Do you get my drift? I am not talking here, about psychics, tarot-card readers and "sun sign" astrologers who write columns for the newspapers, often found alongside the comic strips. I am talking about astrology as a putative SCIENCE, based on possibly yet-to-be-explored "laws" described by mathematics.

One strong argument for the mathematical, scientific nature of astrology, is the fact that the "signs" of the zodiac are not based on lunar months, nor even on solar days: A "sign" is exactly 1/12 of a year, and a "degree" is not a day, but exactly 1/360 of a year. Moreover, the "signs" no longer correspond to the constellations when astrology first came to the fore, well over 2000 years ago: The orientation of the solar plane, or "ecliptic", and the stars and constellations has changed over the years, so that people born "under" the zodiacal sign Aries are now physically born under the constellation Pisces. The astrological interpretations, however, are not based on which constellation is physically overhead, but on a purely mathematical "clock" attuned to the days of the Magi.

Astrology, thus, is not a pseudo-science based on the "influence" of various constellations and of the mythical gods they correspond to; it is a poorly-researched (by modern standards) science based on astrological observation and mathematics. It is poorly understood, because the manifestations of its operations are not easily measured, as is, for instance, the rate of acceleration due to gravity. Instead, it manifests in proclivities, general appearances, personality traits and the like.

My first contact with astrology, happened when a woman was roughing out my "chart", based on my birthdate. According to her rough calculations, I should have had a "Taurus ascendant". The moment she saw that, she said, "but of course, you're not a Taurus rising; you're Aries rising." Was she a psychic? Not at all: Aries and other fire and air signs rising indicate tall people, whereas Taurus and other earth and water signs rising indicate short people; and I am extremely tall. Even my features could be considered "ovine", rather than "bovine". She noticed other traits as well, some of which are suggested at

https://kannonmcafee.wordpress.com/rising-signs-2/

I was rather amazed at the fact that she could have been so certain in her estimation; and indeed, when the math was corrected for my exact time of birth, as well as my longitude and lattitude of birth, I was found to be solidly Aries rising. Everything in astrology is not that clear-cut. By reading "your" sun-sign reading in the local newspaper, for instance, you could probably read the "readings" for all twelve signs and exclaim, "Why, that's exactly me!". Professional readings, likewise, are more likely to leave one confused or deluded, than inspired and directed.

It is for these reasons, that I have not spent a great deal pursuing astrology. The idea of an underlying, "imaginary" (yet very real, in another sense) "clock" being like a musical score written for a celestial "conductor", is intriguing. What is your opinion?

Concerning relevance to matters at hand, the planetary alignments for the upcoming US Presidential election contain nothing that I would note as being of long-term importance. The NEXT inauguration, however, on 20 Jan. 2020, is an auspicious day. That is one reason I am not awfully concerned about which geriatric candidate gets elected this time around.

Good to talk with you again. Shalom shalom :-)

Submitting....

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