Dragonpol's "Strange and Bizarre" Mysterious World Thread

11112131416

Comments

  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited August 2022 Posts: 16,322
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    It's strange and bizarre to me that a study has to be done at all to confirm that in a group of children doing academic tasks, the older children will outperform the younger children on average. :-?

    Well it might not be as simple as that, especially where the ages are closer together. According to the findings a child born in July, the oldest in their given school year, shouldn't do as well as a child born in October. If these research findings are correct, surely the slightly younger child has the better chance academically?

    Doesn't school start in autumn in an awful lot of places?

    Yes, it does but the cut off point between being in one year or another appears to be July, at least here in the UK. So they're either the oldest in their year or the youngest. My birthday is in October and I didn't start primary school until January as I wasn't 4 until after the September term began.
  • ProfJoeButcherProfJoeButcher Bless your heart
    Posts: 1,560
    Well, I'd love to see a link to this thing!
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited August 2022 Posts: 16,322
    Well, I'd love to see a link to this thing!

    To the research on the links between time of birth and academic performance? I've definitely read it online. I'll have a search and get back to you with a link.
  • ProfJoeButcherProfJoeButcher Bless your heart
    Posts: 1,560
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Well, I'd love to see a link to this thing!

    To the research on the links between time of birth and academic performance? I've definitely read it online. I'll have a search and get back to you with a link.

    I found several now. Most seem to link it with the age at which you start school.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 16,322
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Well, I'd love to see a link to this thing!

    To the research on the links between time of birth and academic performance? I've definitely read it online. I'll have a search and get back to you with a link.

    I found several now. Most seem to link it with the age at which you start school.

    Ah, I see. Your birthday determines that of course. It was no Mickey Mouse research but proper peer reviewed stuff as I seem to recall, otherwise I wouldn't have cited it.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    edited August 2022 Posts: 21,994
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Saw this story reported in the Fortean Times:


    It must have been the damn Russians. Or God.

    Who knows? The stones are probably only some cosmic joke anyway. We're looking for meaning where there likely is none.

    People have been searching for meaning where there is none since the dawn of our kind. The best example of that is probably astrology.

    Yes, I think or is part of our nature as human beings in idle moments to ponder what we are and how we and the world came about. Without getting too phosophical I'm sure many of us wonder about these things from time to time. Of course some of our species don't see any further than the end of their nose while others find solace in religion and holy books or in science and evolutionary theory. The two don't have to be mutually exclusive of course, as in the case of the Christian Scientists. All too often, however, science and religion have been opposing camps.

    As for astrology I'm sure you're right on that but I have an esoteric friend called Olaf who maintains that, for instance, Hitler's horoscope showed all the peaks and troughs of his life from birth to death. There is evidence to suggest that Hitler was influenced by such astrological charts and he clearly saw himself as a Man of Destiny. There's also the fact that the various star signs often seem to match with the characteristics of those born under that sign. Research has shown that babies born in the autumn/winter seem to do better academically than those born in the summer so the date of our birth does seem to determine one's life to sone extent, if perhaps not cosmically. Of course there are many other factors at play like genetics, environment, upbringing, general health and wellbeing and how well off our parents are and so on. I tend to agree that it is all nonsense but then there's enough evidence in the other direction to make one wonder if there's not something, however small, in it as well.

    I understand that it can be tempting to read something in it. Again, it's part of our perfectly human tendency to look for patterns everywhere. The problem with constellations is that they are misleading. In a way, our eyes pick up a 2D image of the tapestry of stars, but those stars are often hundreds if not thousands of lightyears apart. One star in the same Zodiac sign can be relatively close to us and another one can be on the other side of the galaxy, even if they appear "next to each other". And if distances don't matter, why don't stars from galaxies far away factor in, whose light is so dim that we can't see them?

    Also, we can still see stars (and will continue to see for a long time) that are no longer there. How can stars that died before modern man walked the Earth have something to say about your future or mine?

    And if planetary positions matter so much, how do we deal with the simple fact that some "planets" are now and then demoted to "dwarf planet" or "planetoid" and then to "planet" again, and so on?

    It is furthermore arrogant to presume that anything about our destiny is encoded in the stars. Who are we? Merely one nondescript species in one nondescript spot in the galaxy in one nondescript moment in our galaxy's time. The stars don't care about us. And presuming we're not the only planet with sentient species in the galaxy, are all beings in the galaxy, born on the same day, subject to the same fate? That would be quite odd since "days", "months", and "years" are pretty much different everywhere. If we ever colonize Mars, and if people are born on Mars, their calendars must either artificially follow Earth's or be adjusted to Mars' revolution around the Sun and its own axis. In the latter case, twelve months for you and me are only about six months for our Martian brothers and sisters. What funky horoscopes would they fall under?

    Lastly, how can 155 passengers on the same plane suffer the same fate while not born on the same day or even in the same month? How can the fates of people who were born on the same day be so different? How come ten different magazines publish ten different horoscopes? Why are they so transparently vague, if you get what I'm saying? If gravity has anything to do with it, have people taken into account the fact that the person standing beside you when you were born exerted a far stronger gravitational pull on you than any of the stars in the Zodiac?

    So while we seem to agree, for the most part, @Dragonpol, I won't even accept the faintest hint of "something", no matter how small, being written in the stars. Coincidence is just that: coincidence. And everything else is simply man's desire to find something bigger than himself. But desire alone doesn't make something "be". It's a strong desire, nevertheless, which explains why people still believe in messages hidden in the stars, in life after death, in divine interventions... They want it so badly, that it has become a "truth" for them. It would be logical to give up believing in these things after millennia of trying to find any evidence for them and failing completely--never mind all the faked, unreproducible "proofs" delivered by "witnesses". But the desire is strong, and overpowering for some. I'm not flummoxed that people keep looking; it's in our nature to do so. I just continue to hope that science can eventually convince people of the ridiculousness of it all.

    Meanwhile, I could say that it's all pretty harmless, except that it isn't. It is well known that some CEOs, for example, consult card readers or horoscopes before deciding upon mergers, firing half of their employees, or making big investments. I'd rather they made such decisions based on rational arguments. What if partners decided upon the future of their marriage based on the stars? What if presidents decided to start a war based on what's in their horoscopes? All I'm saying is that there is always some danger involved when rationality is replaced with superstition. And astrology is exactly that: superstition.

    So no, not even the flimsiest, faintest, smallest hint of "something" is in the stars, of that, I am convinced. There are only the cold, cosmic constants and laws. What's most baffling is that some people still crave something more than that. There is so much beauty in our universe, in its mechanisms and patterns devoid of any sentient intervention. And we've only just begun to uncover its secrets. Not even our most creative myths and fantasies can match its mathematical elegance. Anyone looking for something awe-inspiring has but to look at the stars, but as an astronomer, not as an astrologist. What's awesome about the stars are the stars themselves, those beautiful pebbles in the sky; and the best thing about them is that we, humans, are no part of their story at all. We are only spectators, and we should consider ourselves fortunate that we can be, without expecting any supernatural gifts from them.
  • ProfJoeButcherProfJoeButcher Bless your heart
    Posts: 1,560
    Bravo, @DarthDimi !

    I would add that it's also just plain fun to learn the real reasons for things.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 16,322
    Bravo indeed, @DarthDimi. I think that has really helped to settle any lingering doubts I may have still had about the possible accuracy of astrology and horoscopes. You made a very good case, based on scientific principles. It's in my nature to dwell on the religious, the mystical, the supernatural, the Fortean and dare i say it, the Romantic side of the argument as science was never my strong suit. However, I think you've blown away any arguments I could have mounted with your excellent analysis of this particular area of the Unknown.

    It all comes back to the fact that horoscopes are by their very nature deliberately vague. Those publications which feature horoscopes presumably interpret the same astrological data in different ways, just as in the UK the Met Office provides raw data for newspapers and magazines to interpret into a (differing) weather forecast. The fact that horoscopes are so deliberately vague covers the fact that they're meant to apply to a teenage girl, a fifty year old man and a great granny of 89 years of age. They're so vague as to be meaningless as they have to apply to such a diverse readership and impart meaning or guidance to each and every one of them.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    edited August 2022 Posts: 21,994
    Bravo, @DarthDimi !

    I would add that it's also just plain fun to learn the real reasons for things.

    Indeed, it is. Even more fun is to realise how ignorant we still are, and to try and ask the right questions, or to philosophize about the limits of our ignorance--is there any knowledge we will forever not know that we don't know? Every new discovery is a triumph, but the pursuit of such knowledge is the most wonderful journey we can embark on. To look for answers in myths, superstitions, and beliefs is to take a cheap, self-deceptive, and lazy shortcut. I understand that there are things that I shall never know. Countless questions about the universe will not be answered in my lifetime. The knowledge that I now share with my students will probably be refined or even flat-out replaced in the future, and I'll die not knowing anything about it. But that doesn't sadden me. On the contrary. I can witness science at work, and that's the best part of it all. The thrill is in the process, not in its outcome. Scientific outcomes are never final anyway. They are not cemented in stone, untouchable, or dogmatic. That's the best thing about them too. Anything that is "final" is boring.

    Also, if our race endures, evolves, and continues to evolve for millions of years to come, one day, the astronomers of the far future, won't even be able to see as many galaxies in the sky as we do today. Unless they can zap themselves anywhere within a second through wormholes or something we haven't even considered yet, that is. We're living in good times for science. They would, however, be better if more money was spent on scientific research, and less on building things that kill.
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Bravo indeed, @DarthDimi. I think that has really helped to settle any lingering doubts I may have still had about the possible accuracy of astrology and horoscopes. You made a very good case, based on scientific principles. It's in my nature to dwell on the religious, the mystical, the supernatural, the Fortean and dare i say it, the Romantic side of the argument as science was never my strong suit. However, I think you've blown away any arguments I could have mounted with your excellent analysis of this particular area of the Unknown.

    It all comes back to the fact that horoscopes are by their very nature deliberately vague. Those publications which feature horoscopes presumably interpret the same astrological data in different ways, just as in the UK the Met Office provides raw data for newspapers and magazines to interpret into a (differing) weather forecast. The fact that horoscopes are so deliberately vague covers the fact that they're meant to apply to a teenage girl, a fifty year old man and a great granny of 89 years of age. They're so vague as to be meaningless as they have to apply to such a diverse readership and impart meaning or guidance to each and every one of them.

    My pleasure, @Dragonpol. Trust me, I understand the power of wanting to find some purpose for us, our strange and fickle species, our beautiful yet mad little world. "But what if?" is a question that has run through my mind too, countless times in fact, but no more. Maybe one day it will return, but right now, I'm "sober", and I have been since my late teens, early twenties.

    The one thing I still struggle with is death. The death of someone close to me. I get what it means in a biochemical sense--and in a biochemical sense, death does not look good. Decomposition, worms, micro-organisms... yikes! With grief also comes an irrational hope, that maybe one day I can see my grandmother again and talk to her, that maybe I can turn back time and relive the beautiful moments I shared with her, that the dreams I've had since her passing -- dreams that felt so real when I was dreaming them -- are windows to a reality in which she is still where she'd always been in my life. And then my most rational side takes over and informs me that she's gone forever, that she's no more than molecular leftovers of a natural recycling process, and that her character, the sum total of her thoughts, emotions, and love, leaked out of her when she died, like an electric current forever lost to the ground, like precious bits and bytes irretrievably lost after one swift deletion. So there is a downside to trying to be "sciency" about everything. I refute the notion of life after death, therefore I have no hopes of ever seeing my loved ones again, of living on myself, in another reality, apart from in the vague memories of at most one or two generations of my offspring. I don't welcome these thoughts, but they are inevitable. It's the price I have to pay for dismissing superstition and the proverbial "something more" entirely.
  • stagstag In the thick of it!
    Posts: 1,053
    I clicked on the video but got a message 'Video unavailable'.
  • stagstag In the thick of it!
    Posts: 1,053
    There are many things which are beyond our understanding, both here on and beyond earth's boundaries.

    I'm not saying I believe in them all, far from it, and 99.9% of these things can be explained away quite rationally, but to definitely dismiss everything 'mysterious and strange' IMO shows a peculiar blend of ignorance and arrogance which I am not fond of.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,487
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,487
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,487
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited November 2022 Posts: 16,322
    The Guardian - Effigy of Liz Truss with lettuce to be burned at Edenbridge bonfire night:

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/nov/02/effigy-liz-truss-lettuce-burned-edenbridge-bonfire-night
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 16,322
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 16,322
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 16,322
    Scientology in East Grimstead, England (1968):

  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,487
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 16,322
  • ProfJoeButcherProfJoeButcher Bless your heart
    Posts: 1,560
    Dragonpol wrote: »

    Is there a record of these predictions having been made before the events?
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 16,322
    Dragonpol wrote: »

    Is there a record of these predictions having been made before the events?

    I honestly don't know but I'd assume so. I saw a short piece about her predictions for 2023 and decided to seek out a longer article on her. The health warning is that it's on the Internet so it's good to be skeptical.
  • ProfJoeButcherProfJoeButcher Bless your heart
    Posts: 1,560
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »

    Is there a record of these predictions having been made before the events?

    I honestly don't know but I'd assume so. I saw a short piece about her predictions for 2023 and decided to seek out a longer article on her. The health warning is that it's on the Internet so it's good to be skeptical.

    It's also good to be skeptical in general, and about things like this especially! So why the "I'd assume so"?

    I haven't been able to find much beyond fans claiming prophecies after the fact.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited December 2022 Posts: 16,322
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »

    Is there a record of these predictions having been made before the events?

    I honestly don't know but I'd assume so. I saw a short piece about her predictions for 2023 and decided to seek out a longer article on her. The health warning is that it's on the Internet so it's good to be skeptical.

    It's also good to be skeptical in general, and about things like this especially! So why the "I'd assume so"?

    I haven't been able to find much beyond fans claiming prophecies after the fact.

    This is just meant to be a fun thread with occasional postings on the "strange and bizarre" side of life. Members can take the contents with as big a pinch of salt as they like and if they wish to disappear down a particular rabbit hole they can. I've no axes to grind or no particular agenda to push.

    That said, I'd have thought that the likes of the History Channel website would be a more reputable source than, say, a conspiracy theory website put up by a random person posting stuff on the internet from their basement. History is all about sources (both primary and secondary) and their veracity.
  • ProfJoeButcherProfJoeButcher Bless your heart
    edited December 2022 Posts: 1,560
    No, no, I just thought it was an odd article. Her 9/11 "prophecy" was from 1989, and referred to airplanes as "steel birds". Now why would you say "steel birds" instead of "airplanes" in the late 20th century? :))
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited December 2022 Posts: 16,322
    No, no, I just thought it was an odd article. Her 9/11 "prophecy" was from 1989, and referred to airplanes as "steel birds". Now why would you say "steel birds" instead of "airplanes" in the late 20th century? :))

    Yes, I get your point. It reminds me of the prophetic "Black Nun" who lived in a local town some centuries ago and who was buried in the graveyard within the grounds of a friary. She was said to have predicted the advent of the motor car - she spoke of people going around on wheels or something vague like that. These seers, such as Nostradamus, always seem to write in a deliberately vague style which helpfully leaves their words wide open to interpretation.
  • ProfJoeButcherProfJoeButcher Bless your heart
    Posts: 1,560
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    No, no, I just thought it was an odd article. Her 9/11 "prophecy" was from 1989, and referred to airplanes as "steel birds". Now why would you say "steel birds" instead of "airplanes" in the late 20th century? :))

    Yes, I get your point. It reminds me of the prophetic "Black Nun" who lived in a local town some centuries ago and who was buried in the graveyard within the grounds of a friary. She was said to have predicted the advent of the motor car - she spoke od people going around on wheels or something vague like that. These seers, such as Nostradamus, always seeem to write in a deliberately vague style which helpfully leaves their words wide open to interpretation.

    Right! So presumably the 'Black Nun' had a vision of motor cars and lacked the vocabulary to describe them well. That's what's funny about this one: she presumably saw a vision of airplanes and then called them 'steel birds' because she's emulating a centuries-old version of her racket.
  • One of my favourite predictions is in Arthur C Clark's 2001 book, when he describes someone reading a newspaper from a screen, and touching little pictures on the screen to make the pages appear. That must have seemed like magic in the late 60's.
Sign In or Register to comment.