I hate horoscopes. They are such B.S. Like, how could everything that
each of the billions of people on the earth do today all fall into one
of twelve categories based on when they were born? It's total crap,
and the only way the horoscope writers do it is by making the
predictions so vague that there is no way for them to be wrong. As
proof, I decided to read my horoscope this morning and then work all
day to disprove it. Well, what started as an insane attempt to prove
myself to an already discredited branch of fake science turned into an
even more insane mental game in which I based my actions on what I
thought would be the best way to stick it to the forces of cosmic
providence, even though I was trying to prove they didn't exist.
Read on for the horoscope, followed by a true account of my battle against it.
Taurus. You feel an expanded sense of self-confidence and optimism. You may
receive appreciation for the goals you have attained and you may
broaden your contacts with successful, professional people. It's a good
time to improve your education or broaden your experience through
travel. As you tend to feel lucky and your expectations are high, it is
better to avoid over optimism in your investments and purchases. You
can feel increased self-confidence and courage. You can command the
support of others and advance your goals through leadership and
generosity. You can take pleasure through physical activity, such as
sports, games and dancing. You may feel increased responsibility
towards a friend who needs your encouragement now.
a.m. Decide to take preventive measures against this so-called
"expanded sense of self-confidence and optimism." See the following on
washingtonpost.com homepage: "Terror Report Draws Sobering Conclusions--Intelligence estimate released Tuesday depicts a global jihadist
movement that is likely to grow more quickly than the West's ability to
counter it." Read entire article and feel decidedly un-optimistic.
Points: one for me.
a.m.: Am almost tricked by horoscope. Notice that I should "avoid over
optimism" in my "investments and purchases." Am about to check my
401(k) balance, pat myself on the back and congratulate myself on what
will surely be enough money to
support me after my retirement. Quickly stop when I realize that doing
so would also fulfill the "expanded self-confidence" prediction. Get a
bag of pretzels instead.
Work to maintain neutral attitude toward investments to so as to avoid
avoiding over-optimism while also avoiding optimism.
Points: none for either side.
p.m.: My manager comes into my office and gives me an award for a
project I did. Damn. This reeks of "appreciation for the goals I have
attained." Sense of self-confidence also expands slightly.
Points: two for horoscope, dammit.
1 p.m.: After fate's big
lunchtime power play, am desperate to take the lead back. Scan
horoscope for ideas. Note that I haven't broadened my contacts, made
any kind of travel plans, commanded the support of others, or engaged
in physical activity yet today. If I can get through the day without
doing any of those, that will be four big points to my name. Am
Points: none yet.
2:30 p.m. Another bombshell. Out of nowhere, Emily Guskin messages me:
Emily: interested in going to mexico for a week in january?
Well, not if it will improve my education or broaden my
experience. Seriously though, how do I answer this question? Decide
to let Emily give me some details as I wonder how far I can go before
I'm making my horoscope correct. If I say I'm interested and I'll let
her know, that means I'm acting in alignment with the horoscope. If I
say no, that would be kind of a whack reason to turn down a cool trip.
Dammit, horoscope! You have cornered me. Must concede this point.
Points: one more for the damn horoscope.
2:40 p.m.: Am floundering to stay competitive here. Decide to tackle last sentence of horoscope. Hastily send message to Kelly.
me: ok i have a cryptic question to ask you for a blog post
me: Do you feel like you need my encouragement today
like right now?
thats your blog post?
me: it's a question for it
well, um, not really
point for me
i needed that one
anything for the blog
Points: one for me. Kind of a cheap one, but I'm allowing it so I can get back in the game.
4:00 p.m.: Am very aware that the horoscope is not going down without a fight. Decide to challenge the increased courage I am supposed to feel today. Google "horrible injury" and dare myself to look at the image results. Am not able to. Still a wuss.
Points: one more for me.
6:00 p.m.: Realize that as long as there are no surprises for the rest of the day, and I avoid dancing, sports, leadership, and generosity, I will win this.
Points: tentatively giving myself the win.
* * *
I was able to stay in a holding pattern for the rest of the day, but now I'm wondering: by proving that it is not impossible to disprove a horoscope, am I in fact proving that they aren't written so as to be vague enough not to be disprovable? And even if I hadn't succeeded in disproving it, would that have been a sign that they were written vaguely, or just that they were correct? I'm even more confused than ever, but in my heart of hearts I know that while I'm perhaps not the best at the empirical approach, I do know bullshit when I see it. And horoscopes are some bullshit.