what’s your sign?

a while ago, hail wrote an interesting post about astrology and how there might be a little something to it.

i’ve thought this, too, from time to time — that there might be a kernel truth or “folk wisdom” at the bottom of all the astrology hocus-pocus nonsense. clearly our fates are not written in the stars — and i highly, highly doubt that our personalities are affected by the positions of the planets when we are born (unless there’s some really weird, quantum physics, interconnectedness sh*t going on…).

no. what i think that people over the ages might have noticed is that there are some differences in the frequencies of personality types and|or psychological conditions depending on what time of the year people are born.

for instance: “Studies have indicated that children born during certain times of the year (winter and early spring) have a higher than normal incidence of schizophrenia.”

if das volk happened to notice over the centuries that more joan-of-arc type people were born in late winter, they may have sought an explanation. that they latched on to a wrong one just shows how most people don’t think logically and scientifically — but they may have noticed some genuine patterns out there!

the other interesting astrological system is the chinese one which varies over the course of 12 (or 48) years. i’ve wondered for a long time if this is somehow connected to the length of generations in humans (especially if women in a society start giving birth at around the age of 12) — each generation following the next behaving somewhat differently from its predecessor. ?? dunno. just wondering.

(note: comments do not require an email.)


  1. Possibly interesting, but the max/min ratio is about 20% judging from the graphs, smaller than the error bars.. In other words, it might be statistically significant but I doubt that it would be a large effect size.

    I was born in late February, by the way :)


  2. @anonymous commenter – “In other words, it might be statistically significant but I doubt that it would be a large effect size.”

    sure. i used this as just an example of the sort of thing i was thinking of. it may not be the best example, tho.

    @anonymous commenter – “I was born in late February, by the way.”

    (^_^) i wasn’t born in the winter, but i do have a helluva lot of snps that have been associated with schizophrenia. never heard any voices, tho. (~_^)


  3. @anonymous commenter – “In other words, it might be statistically significant but I doubt that it would be a large effect size.”

    just thought of something. this chart represents schizophrenia cases in the modern world. the suggestion is that schizophrenia is related to lower amounts of sunlight in the winter and, therefore, lower amounts of vitamin d, possibly leading to vitamin d definciencies in pregnant women and, therefore, developmental problems in fetuses.

    nowadays, especially in the west, we have pretty good diets and many take vitamin supplements, so few of us are lacking in essential vitamins. the situation was quite different in the past, so perhaps there was a greater number of schizophrenia cases in the past.

    just a thought.


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