Monday, July 13, 2009

I give up.

When Glynis McCants looks at Michael Jackson's life, she sees the number five.

Jackson's talent was discovered when he was 5 years old, he came to fame as a member of the Jackson 5 and he planned a series of 50 concert dates in London, England, as part of a comeback tour before he died on June 25 at the age of 50.

For McCants, a noted numerologist and author...

"Noted numerologist"... That kinda says it all right there, doesn't it? We can crack the atom, send probes to the bottom of the ocean or the farthest reaches of the solar system, speak to each other with a light-speed stream of zeros and ones generated by minuscule changes in electric current through a network that makes "hair-fine" look Brobdingnagian, and yet there is enough of a majority among us that believes in arrant neolithic nonsense like "numerology" to ensure that any charlatan that comes along promising to turn lead into gold and make the beer streams flow will get carried into power on the shoulders of the mob.

In a sane society, this woman would be laughed at until she went and did something more productive with her time. I'm sure there's an unswept street near her home, for instance. Instead people nod their heads and buy her books.

Amazing.

28 comments:

BobG said...

Numerology, astrology, Tarot...just goes to show that if you pump out enough bullshit you can sell anything.

Nathan Brindle said...

Lest we forget, Reagan was deemed to be the antichrist based solely on the fact that his three names, Ronald Wilson Reagan, each contained 6 letters.

(cue spooky music)

doubletrouble said...

wait..what?
She can make the beer streams flow?!?
Sign me up.

Tam said...

No, but I heard Barack can.

Steve Skubinna said...

Whenever I encounter somebody blathering about numerology I throw them a loop by asking "does that work in hexadecimal?" They never have an answer.

Some time ago I interrupted some clown who was going on about the amazing mystical significance of the dimensions of the Great Pyramid of Giza by asking "what if you use other units of measurement? Suppose you use metric, or cubits, or rods?" That shut him up. At least until I was out of earshot.

One day I hope to be as notorious amongst those cretins as James Randi is. I would dearly love to be able to kill a discussion by my sheer presence.

"Whoa, dude, you're putting out way too much negative energy, man."

Greg in Allston said...

FWIW, I seem to recall that Nancy Reagan regularly consulted astrologers about important matters of life and state, which proved quite an embarrasment for the administration, considering that she was one of the President's closest advisers. History is full of people with power and authority that have believed in all sorts of crazy mumbo-jumbo and we all get stuck with the happy job of cleaning up their messes. Considering that there is (and probably always will be) a sufficient critical mass of folks for whom reason, logic and critical thinking is just not their cup of tea, I'm pretty sure that we'll continue being stuck with cleaning up after them for many generations to come. Bummer.

Stretch said...

I went from the computer industry to working at a New Age store (long story - buy beer, get answers). Deal with numerologist, tarot readers, psychics and other metaphysical experts daily. Best reply: nod head and say "Fascinating." Everyone is happy and I don't have to fill out a trouble ticket on a M$ induced error.

Anonymous said...

"No, but I heard Barack can."

Um, Barack makes something golden in color flow, but I don't think it's beer...

Old Squid

Ish said...

"The Law of Fives states simply that: All things happen in fives, or are divisible by or are multiples of five, or are somehow directly or indirectly appropriate to 5.

The Law of Fives is never wrong.

—Malaclypse the Younger, Principia Discordia, Page 00016"

The Law of Fives is never wrong... if you try hard enough. Another way of looking at the Law of Fives, or any other numerology scheme, is as a shorthand for the bias of the observer leading to observations of reality that change the observed event in the observer's mind. In other words, if you look hard enough for "fives" in reality, you will find them. Thus some people will one find conspiracies everywhere, others will find ways to determine the date of the (next) apocalypse, and so on and so forth.

The Law of Fives cannot be wrong, because it proves itself reflexively. when reality is looked at through pink sunglasses, the world appears kinda pinkish. Thus, with the right lens - numerology, the zodiac, 9/11 Truthiness - the observer's perception of reality takes on different hues.

With a lot of this sort of bullshit, it is easily dismissed or dispelled. Biblical codes being spewed by people with little or no biblical scholarship, cryptographic knowledge, or ability to read Hebrew/Aramaic/Coptic, etc; Easy to thwart. People that are selling astrology as the real deal, but couldn't tell a telescope from a telephone, and certainly don't know diddly about astrophysics. Easy to thwart.

Then you've got people who beleive in bullshit like, oh say, Keynesian economics....

Frank W. James said...

Aren't these the same people who sharpen razor blades under a pryamid?

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Anonymous said...

To understand the Jackson reporting, one has to understand why this is transpiring: so that the Media does not have to report bad news for the Obama Regime.

The Media is going overboard on Jackson so they do not have to report the lies of Obama on the economy, or the environment or what have you.

It's sort of like how writers clean the house or do laundry instead of writing. :-)

Shootin' Buddy

Thirdpower said...

"The Law of Fives states simply that: All things happen in fives, or are divisible by or are multiples of five, or are somehow directly or indirectly appropriate to 5.

The Law of Fives is never wrong.

—Malaclypse the Younger, Principia Discordia, Page 00016

An acquaintance of mine, a Baptist minister, once asked me if I really took Discordianism seriously when he saw me reading the Principia.

My reply was that that would be missing the point.

Unfortunately people who believe in astrology et al DO take it seriously.

Casey said...

You people seem to be getting off track here. Lets get back to the discussion of flowing beer. The only way the number 5 comes into account is what's left in the six-pack after you crack the first one :)

Casey

WV-arrab....hmmmmmmm

Dan said...

Numerologist... so THAT'S where the people couldn't cut it measuring peoples' skulls, playing connect the dots with stars, playing cards, reading palms, or getting elected end up?

Les Jones said...

Richard Feynman was right. We don't live in a scientific age.

dave said...

Um, Barack makes something golden in color flow, but I don't think it's beer...

Well, American beer, anyway.

Nathan said...

Is there a lesson here?? With some creative writing and circular reasoning there is a Barrett with unlimited ammo in your future.

Kristopher said...

The law of 23 trumps the law of fives.

2 and 3 are the basic components of five, dontcha know?

Anonymous said...

Here's your sign!!!

DirtCrashr said...

Barak can because after five beer's he's just a renter.

Jim said...

The so called "rule of five" is but numeralogical heresy. Heresy, I say!

Everyone knows that the truth lies in the SIX DEGREES of seperation from Kevin Bacon.

I mean, c'mon!


Jim
Sunk New Dawn
Galveston, TX

Jeffro said...

Now you've done it. I'll have to put my right sock on first for a week, to make up for the disturbance.

T.Stahl said...

To understand the Jackson reporting, one has to understand why this is transpiring: so that the Media does not have to report bad news for the Obama Regime.

You mean, Obama hired the CIA to kill Jacko to distract the media? Damn, I already wondered when the first conspiracy theories would surface. ;-)

Tam said...

Just because someone says "Look! A pony!" to get out of talking about a painful topic doesn't signify that they put the pony in the field, only that the pony's presence was convenient.

T.Stahl said...

Oh Tam, stop applying reason and whatwasthatguysname razor when there are much more complicated and dubious explanations available. ;-)

Tam said...

The other reason that the media doesn't cover the economic news is [Barbie Voice]"Math is haaaard!"[/Barbie Voice]

Kristopher said...

http://sniggle.net/barbie.php

Zendo Deb said...

I had a snarky response about the difference between superstition and religion, but I just don't have the energy.

"Mythology [or superstition in this case] is other people's religion." Joseph Campbell. (You probably don't want to know what he said about religion; it would only upset you.)