Thursday, March 19, 2009

Shaping the Future ~Stephen Wolfram & Ray Kurzweil

Stephen Wolfram, present-day genius, grown from child prodigy. At age 16 he published an article on particle physics, entered Oxford University age 17 and wrote a widely cited paper on heavy quark production at age 17. Wolfram's book "A New Kind of Science" has been highly acclaimed.

Mr Wolfram is currently engaged in the development of "the next big thing" for the internet: Wolfram Alpha, a program which will answer questions. It's reported to be unlike either Google or Wikipedia, which simply provide source information. The new application, due for unveiling in May, will actually provide answers to questions.
Stephen Wolfram's website.

Raymond Kurzweil, inventor, futurist, a pioneer in the fields of optical character recognition, text-to-speech synthesis, speech recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments. He is the author of several books on health, artificial intelligence, transhumanism, the technological singularity, and futurism.

In his book "The Singularity is Near", Kurzweil explores his concept of exponential growth, radical life expansion, and how we will transcend our biology. Wikipedia reports that while being interviewed for a February 2009 issue of Rolling Stone magazine, Kurzweil expressed a desire to construct a genetic copy of his late father, Fredric Kurzweil, from DNA within his grave site. This feat would be achieved by deploying various nanorobots to send samples of DNA back from the grave, constructing a clone of Fredric and retrieving memories and recollections - from Ray's mind - of his father. All very sci-fi indeed!!
Kurzweil Technologies website.

It was an article of Mr. Kurzweil's which discussed and argued with some of Mr. Wolfram's theories put forth in "A New Kind of Science" which led me to compare the natal charts of these two brilliant intellects.

I suspect that these two, if so minded, could between them solve the mystery of astrology (more on this later).

One thing these men have in common: they are both children of Jewish immigrant parents. The Kurzweils escaped to New York from Austria at the start of World War 2. The Wolframs emigrated from Westphalia to England in 1933. I often ponder of why it is that the Jewish race produced and still produces so many brilliant minds. DNA, I guess.

Anyway - the charts! I'm expecting to find Uranus and Saturn closely involved. Aquarius too. Uranus represents all things new and futuristic, technology, cybernetics etc. Saturn relates to the mathematics and disciplined thinking necessary to approach the subjects in which these men specialise. Aquarius is the modern home sign of Uranus, so is quite likely to be highlighted.

Let's see:

Stephen Wolfram born 29 August 1959 in London, UK.
Raymond Kurzweil born 12 February 1948 in Queens, New York.

I'm looking here only for factors relating to the topic at hand, not trying to fully interpret their personalities. The charts are set for 12 noon as no times of birth are available. We can't know the rising signs of the two men, nor the exact degree of the Moon, but there's enough here to suffice.

Stephen Wolfram has no Aquarius, unless from the unknown rising sign, and surprisingly no Air signs emphasised in his chart. What he does have though is Sun conjunct Pluto in Virgo, with Mercury conjunct Uranus in Leo, and Saturn in Capricorn in trine to Sun/Pluto. What does this signify? Sun and Pluto in Virgo - powerful, discerning intellect, incredibly close attention to detail, passion for anything he touches. Mercury conjunct Uranus: an inventive, potentially genius mentality.

Saturn in Capricorn, its own sign, trine Sun/Pluto: provides the structure and discipline to make the rest of this configuration work. Without this crucial harmonious link to Saturn, Mr. Wolfram might have developed into a haphazard genius eccentric who, in the end, achieved nothing.

Raymond Kurzweil's chart is nearer to the simple line-up I expected to see - Sun in Aquarius closely trining Uranus in Gemini. The two mentally oriented signs highlighted with Aquarius's modern ruler closely linked to the Sun. Mercury in mystical creative Pisces gives Mr Kurzweil a rather different mindset from Mr Wolfram's. The trio of planets in Leo, Pluto, Mars and Saturn are opposite Aquarius Sun, providing a balancing act between an inventive Aquarian Sun, the discipline of Saturn, power of Pluto and energy of Mars. Whereas Wolfram's conjunction blends Sun and Pluto, Kurzweil's opposition balances the two symbolic energies.
The same planets are highlighted in both charts in different ways, Pluto, Uranus and Saturn adding their strength to personal planets by aspect.

A couple more points worth noting: Mr.Wolfram currently has a Saturn transit to his Virgo planets, and a Pluto transit to his Capricorn Saturn - is there any wonder he has a new project ready for launching? Mr. Kurzweil had January's lunar eclipse hit his Sun/Saturn opposition; perhaps there'll be some extra interesting times ahead for him this year.

As for how the work of these two brilliant minds might, one day, affect astrology - this article is well worth perusal:
Planet Mandalas and a New Kind of Science:
The Relationship of the work of Stephen Wolfram and
Ray Kurzweil to Cosmic Cybernetic Theory
by David Cochrane


anthonynorth said...

These are the kind of guys I've real respect for - thinking ahead and out of the box.
Can't do something? Why not? Just do it. The best attitude to knowledge.

Kathryn said...

Fascinating stuff. I'm interested to see what happens with this guy's technological developments. Could be the next thing that changes the Internet world.

Twilight said...

AN ~~~ Truly! Why can't they be seconded to sort out the financial quagmire we've wandered into. Bet Mr. Wolfram could do it with one hand tied behind his back. :-)

Twilight said...

Kathryn ~~~ Hi there!

Indeed! And perhaps if these two got together they could change the real world as well as the internet world.

That's an interesting article on child prodigies you have on your site. It's a very stange phenomenon, and seems to emerge at random in all eras.