Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Blog Post 2: Numbers and Pseudoscience

I am an aspiring accountant and have been a bank teller for two years of my life. It goes without saying that I am no stranger to my numbers. On a daily basis I find myself working with numbers; whether it be at my job at the bank, managing my finances, measuring how much water I need for my ramen, how fast should I go on the Black Horse Pike so that I can get somewhere quickly and not get a ticket, and the list goes on and on. What is rather interesting to me is that their is a great deal of pseudoscience associated with my good friends, "the numbers". There is a pseudoscience called numerology which appears to deeply be related to horoscopes and other astrology and also superstitions related to certain numbers across different religions and  cultures. In light of these situations and pseudoscience, these numbers were assigned "deeper" meanings. Some numbers may be associated with positive things, such as good fortune. On the other end of the stick, some numbers were associated with negative aspects. So in essence people find them selves asking, " what do these numbers mean?!"
Image result for numerology 
First, I would like to discuss numerology. Numerology is the belief that numbers have a mystical deeper meaning and can explain personality traits. In this study, everyone has a "life path" number based on their date of birth. Basically, one would add up the digits associated with their birthday to be assigned a life path number. I will do my birthday as an example. I was born on 2/26/1992. The calculation would be: 2+2+6+1+9+9+2=31 and 3+1=4. Thus, my life path number is "4". According to a website on numerology(I will post the link below the paragraph) "4"s seek " a sense of stability and security". When I read this can I readily agree that I do seek stability. However, who doesn't wish to be secure? This trait can be considered a very vague statement and can be applied to anyone regardless of their life path number.  It is the art of crafting differentiated, yet widely applicable, personality traits that is robustly similar to the techniques utilized by psychics, horoscopes, and graphology. Being vague can lead to recipient of these assigned numbers, signs, or psychic readings to making some judgements off of heuristics. I would like to further note, that I have met people born on the same day as myself. Despite having the same life path number as these individuals, I found that my personality overall was vastly different than those whom I shared my birthday with. Never the less, all of us our human whom share some similar aspects.
(Above is a video of a girl explaining Numerology)
The link to the numerology website: http://astrostyle.com/numerology/

Lastly, I would like to point out that numbers don't create good or bad luck per say. As a teller and my years prior as a cashier, I've seen many combinations of numbers over the years. I've seen the dreaded "$6.66" appear on someone receipt for a transaction multiple times. Despite, "666" being the mark of the devil, no bad luck has come of me or the person buying their hot dog and popcorn. I've seen bank account balances and checks made out for the same evil number and nothing "evil" of the sort has occurred to them. In Chinese culture the number "8" is associated with good fortune due to the number when spoken in Chinese sounding similar to the word for "fortune". I've seen people who lived in houses with "8" in the address have rather poor finances.  Numbers regardless if they are assigned a "deeper meaning" or not, will always appear in various forms. I would say I am just rather skeptical that these numbers have an correlation or causation to any such "deeper meanings". Regardless, I do find it interesting that numbers found their way into pseudoscience and it is fascinating to look at what other's thing about certain numbers. 

Image result for numerology
(Chart of numerology numbers and their meanings.) 

1 comment:

  1. The "life path" thing sounds a lot like the psychic cold readings we learned about. In Ukraine, there is a lot of superstition involved in the number of flowers one gets a gift. Even numbers represent sorrow, while odd number represented happiness. The only time somebody would gift an even number of flowers was for a funeral. Also if somebody was given an even number of flowers, they could take offense to that.