A Scheme of Heaven The History of Astrology and the Search for our Destiny in Data

In this refreshing work of history and analysis, data scientist Alexander Boxer examines classical texts on astrology to expose its underlying scientific and mathematical framework.

A Scheme of Heaven  The History of Astrology and the Search for our Destiny in Data

An illuminating look at the surprising history and science of astrology, civilization’s first system of algorithms, from Babylon to the present day. Humans are pattern-matching creatures, and astrology is the universe’s grandest pattern-matching game. In this refreshing work of history and analysis, data scientist Alexander Boxer examines classical texts on astrology to expose its underlying scientific and mathematical framework. Astrology, he argues, was the ancient world’s most ambitious applied mathematics problem, a monumental data-analysis enterprise sustained by some of history’s most brilliant minds, from Ptolemy to al-Kindi to Kepler. Thousands of years ago, astrologers became the first to stumble upon the powerful storytelling possibilities inherent in numerical data. To correlate the configurations of the cosmos with our day-to-day lives, astrologers relied upon a “scheme of heaven,” or horoscope, showing the precise configuration of the planets at a particular instant in time as viewed from a particular place on Earth. Although recognized as pseudoscience today, horoscopes were once considered a cutting-edge scientific tool. Boxer teaches us how to read these esoteric charts—and appreciate the complex astronomical calculations needed to generate them—by diagramming how the heavens appeared at important moments in astrology’s history, from the assassination of Julius Caesar as viewed from Rome to the Apollo 11 lunar landing as seen from the surface of the Moon. He then puts these horoscopes to the test using modern data sets and statistical science, arguing that today’s data scientists do work similar to astrologers of yore. By looking back at the algorithms of ancient astrology, he suggests, we can better recognize the patterns that are timeless characteristics of our own pattern-matching tendencies. At once critical, rigorous, and far ranging, A Scheme of Heaven recontextualizes astrology as a vast, technological project—spanning continents and centuries—that foreshadowed our data-driven world today.

More Books:

A Scheme of Heaven: The History of Astrology and the Search for our Destiny in Data
Language: en
Pages: 320
Authors: Alexander Boxer
Categories: Science
Type: BOOK - Published: 2020-01-14 - Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

An illuminating look at the surprising history and science of astrology, civilization’s first system of algorithms, from Babylon to the present day. Humans are pattern-matching creatures, and astrology is the universe’s grandest pattern-matching game. In this refreshing work of history and analysis, data scientist Alexander Boxer examines classical texts on
A Scheme of Heaven
Language: en
Pages: 336
Authors: Alexander Boxer
Categories: Science
Type: BOOK - Published: 2020-01-09 - Publisher:

'A delightful and utterly fascinating work of intellectual history.' Joshua Foer author of Moonwalking with EinsteinDespite a resurgence in popularity, horoscopes are generally considered to be pseudoscience today - but they were once a cutting-edge scientific tool. In this ingenious work of history, data scientist Alexander Boxer examines a treasure
The Church Sunday Scholar's Christian Year. A Scheme of Christian Instruction, Etc
Language: en
Pages: 72
Authors: Thomas ALLBUTT
Categories: Science
Type: BOOK - Published: 1845 - Publisher:

Books about The Church Sunday Scholar's Christian Year. A Scheme of Christian Instruction, Etc
A Scheme Of Scripture-Divinity, Formed Upon the Plan of the Divine Dispensations
Language: en
Pages: 490
Authors: John Taylor
Categories: Theology, Doctrinal
Type: BOOK - Published: 1762 - Publisher:

Books about A Scheme Of Scripture-Divinity, Formed Upon the Plan of the Divine Dispensations
A Scheme of Scripture-Divinity, formed upon the plan of the Divine Dispensations, with a vindication of the Sacred Writings
Language: en
Pages:
Authors: John TAYLOR (D.D., of Norwich.)
Categories: Theology, Doctrinal
Type: BOOK - Published: 1762 - Publisher:

Books about A Scheme of Scripture-Divinity, formed upon the plan of the Divine Dispensations, with a vindication of the Sacred Writings