Thursday, January 22, 2009

Reference: Take a deep breath, Bangkok Post, January 22, 2009

On the eve of the Chinese year of the Ox, Feng Shui masters have predicted that the coming year will be calm, feminine, and peaceful and that the stock market will stay put for a while but will rise in the long run (Take a deep breath, Bangkok Post, January 22, 2009). All this is based on the absurd idea that the universe is made up of five elements, namely, fire, earth, water, wood, and metal and that the Chinese lunar year, though a flawed timekeeping device, is an meaningful period for fortune telling.

On January 19, 2008, Feng Shui masters had predicted a global shortage of potable water leading to a sudden rise in the price of bottled water. It didn't happen. At the same time the masters failed to get any inkling of the huge rise and fall in the price of oil, a global economic collapse of historic proportions, or of the dramatic changes in U.S. politics. We also note that the year of the Rat was supposed to give us abnormally high frequencies of earthquakes, extreme weather events, and "tall building disasters" and a huge and unusual discovery of diamond deposits. All of these predictions turned out to be wrong. What keeps these masters in business is that we tend to forget their miscues particularly those of omission, and remember only their rare freak hits.

Cha-am Jamal

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