Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Purging my Favourites File, I came upon astrologer Jayj Jacobs' Codswallop Detector. This dates from ten years ago, but remains very apt.

There's plenty of codswallop being written and spoken on the political front here in the USA, and some of the categories below, as well as being relevant to astrology, could equally be applied to the political scene - under an umbrella term - "spin".

After Hillary Clinton's win in PA last night the Obamamedia is busy spinning it down to an irrelevancy, the Clinton camp is overjoyed and confident. I think reality lies somewhere in between, but I can't help feeling buoyed up today!

Anyway, back to the subject in hand - the word codswallop itself may be more obscure in the USA than in Britain. The commonly used American term meaning much the same thing is "bullshit", although I always think codswallop is a little more benign. There's a proper definition and origin of the word codswallop here.

These are my favourites from Jayj's indicators of codswallop which can be found not only in astrology but elsewhere. The author forms "an objective assessment of faults, logical mistakes and spurious reasoning most apparent and seemingly inherent in astrology and astro-logic. By no means are these mental preconceptions limited to astrology or metaphysics; they are pandemic in western culture."

Authoritism: The dual beliefs that if it's in print it is true & that famous people are always right ('authors' are de facto 'famous'). The more famouser the more righter. "If I haven't already read, or heard of them, they are nobody, and know nothing."

Contraryism: The belief that only the generally unaccepted is worthy. Different and antithetical is better. The faith that conventional wisdom, and common sense, are always wrong.

Conspiritorialism: The conviction that the truth is being deliberately withheld from 'us' by 'them'. The fewer people that know it, or believe it, the truer it is. Denial is always evidence for, rather than against. [see related topic: Contraryism]

Nominalnomy: The belief that the name determines the meaning. It's based on the faith that astronomers, (etc.), have a god/goddess/force given infallible ability to name (celestial) objects with appellations appropriate to their mystical/metaphysical significance.

Hypotheosis: The belief that assumptions -- especially a priori ones -- are infallible. If you have even a shred of evidence, you have incontrovertible proof. This is an extreme example of 'Jacobs' Law of Increasing Certainty': "The thrust of every Hypothesis is towards an Absolute."

Venereism: The belief that nice is holy (and the truth is pretty). Therefore 'thou shalt not critique or criticize another' -- especially an astrologer. Manners matter more than meaning, and properly polite is superior to perceptively precise. AKA Venerean Disease.

Lalalalogy: The belief that more lyrical sounding something is, the truer it is. The prettier the poem, the truer the message. It is assuming that the pleasant prevails, and that "The truth rhymes."

Cosmenology: The belief that whatever makes the universe seem pretty, kind, caring, etc., is correct. "Beauty is Truth." [reference Robert Pante, "If you look good, and dress well, you don't need to have a purpose in life."]
Audiblation: The assumption that volume makes right. The louder (and meaner) you say it, the truer it is. Capitalization Convinces.

Spuriousism: The assumption that if you can make it seem to work for you once, it does indeed work -- and must be used by everyone.

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