Me, Astrology and Data science

You may have predicted by now where am I going with this post. Hold your horses. May be you are right, may be you are not! After all prediction is only a only a hopeful choice until it becomes a fact. Just like a theory is a hypothesis until proved.

The whole IT world is like one big fashion show. Every few years there will be a new technological trend and everybody would try to hop on just to stay relevant.  Companies adapt to the technologies to show they are trendy even though it is of no use to them, developers start reskilling themselves getting ready for the next wave and the non-IT companies will be trying to pick their vendors based on who is following the current trend. Few years back it was cloud, mobile etc.,. And currently the trend is data sciene, predictive analytics, machine learning, Artificial Intelligence etc. While I agree these have tremendous applications, most of the crowd adapt just to stay relevent. This is just my thought, I may be wrong. Data science and analytics are areas of my interest too. (note: interested, not expert. Yet.) The art of analysing some data points and making adjustments to your business so as to be profitable sounds interesting. Strangely it is called a science and not an art.

What the hell does it have to do with astrology, you ask. I was thinking during my walk after lunch (No, you’re wrong. I’m still employed). My family strongly believes in astrology. I have always argued that I believe in astrology as a science and that I just do not trust the astrologer. I do not want to take my life decisions based on what an astrologer says for the reason that he may be not be an expert in the field. But astrology, as a science, is great. The simple fact that the astrologers predict the days of Solar eclipse, lunar eclipse etc without having to google is itself amazing. I could not stop thinking about how much effort would have been gone into collecting the data about stars, suns, moon, planets, their positions, distance, time, birth time, all the surrounding factors at that time, place of birth, family lineage, jatakam or kundalini (some argue that this is extensive understanding of human gene/dna behavior as a simplified coding).  There are innumerable factors to consider. The permutation and combination of these factors would have caused the outcomes, collecting and correlating which would have been pursued as a life goal by few(or many) .

If you think about it, Astrology is a data science. In the current business scenario, data science requires collecting of business transactions and other data. In astrology, our ancestors would have collected data about universe.

In data science, you build models and use statistics to identify the correlation between multitudes of data sets and entities to arrive a meaningful analysis. In astrology, they would have done the same.

In data science, you build models based on the different approaches and different entities. In astrology they built rules.

In astrology, you dont know why these rules were created. What were the analysis that led to these rules? They might have probably be lost in time. In data science, at least currently, people know why they built or how they created these models. But I am assuming it is only a matter of time before data scientists become oblivious to this and start using the models blindly. These models then will become the rules.

In data science, you are trying to predict the future behaviour using past data and try to adjust the course of the business to avoid losses. In astrology, they try to predict the future of your life using the past data and suggest rituals, ceremonies, prayers etc to nullify the evil and course correct your life.

Both in astrology and in data science, the prediction can only be indicative. It cannot be accurate.

Coming to the question why I dont trust astrologers. Data science is new. People are trying to learn in and out of the concept gathering deep knowledge and understanding. These set of people are passionate and they create things. Then the second wave of data scientists would come who would not really be passionate but good at data science. So they end up pocketing above-average salaries. Seeing this, another wave of data scientists would come who will neither be passionate nor good. But just because there will be abundant opportunites, they will be data scientists. This could have very well happened to astrology. Those who studied and compiled astrology may have been the passionate ones. But right now, with so many people insecure, placing their trust on godmen instead of god, and looking desperately for someone who can provide them solace in the form hope, the opportunity is abundant. So you find astrologers like mushrooms everywhere. I am not saying all astrologers are bad. There will be definitely good ones. I am saying I just won’t know who is good.

I am ending this with the prediction that Data Science would eventually reach that state. If someone somewhere in the future stumbles upon this post and finds it true, I would be hailed like Nostradamus. Sadly, I will not be there to know if it happened. That said, I am curious to go back to the scriptures and see what amazing things have our ancestors worked on. Why reinvent the wheel, right?

End of rant. Cheers!



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