Thoughts on economics and liberty

Crispian Jago’s fantastic Venn Diagram of Irrational Nonsense

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Crispian Jago (pictured below) is a UK-based skeptical blogger at The Reason Stick.

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Sanjeev Sabhlok

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31 thoughts on “Crispian Jago’s fantastic Venn Diagram of Irrational Nonsense
  1. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Astrology is total bunk. Provide me well proven scientific textbooks on the theory or empirical evidence re: astrology. 

  2. Supratim


    Of course, astrology is entirely scientific – based on its own venn diagrams and charts of the earth at the centre of the solar system, with 6 planets (which includes our moon, now upgraded to a planet) orbiting around the earth. Depending on your longitude, lattitude and time of birth, these planets create positive or evil energies for you. The latter can then, of course, be rectified by wearing the appropriate gems/precious stones on designated fingers (which takes the expression “giving the finger” to an entirely new level!)

    Oh, and so easy to classify via sun-signs – 6bn people of the Earth, divided into 12 equal, easy to read containers of characteristics.


    BTW, Crispian missed out on Gemology and the power of specific healing springs.

  3. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Yes, Rajeev. Kindly show me any textbook on this subject that shows its foundational principles and PROVES them.

  4. Rajeev

    So you are talking about absence of evidence. if you are a man of science you should know that “absence of evidence” is not enough. There should be “evidence of absence” to debunk something. Do you have any PROVEN “evidence of absence” in any of the science textbooks? Show me that and then I will take you to the next level.

  5. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Rajeev, don’t waste my time. I need positive scientific, replicable EVIDENCE in favour of astrology, else please go home and continue living in your delusional state. Plenty of people like you to keep you company. Why try to debate when you have NOTHING to offer?

  6. Rajeev

    If you don’t have answers and do not have the capacity to get into discussions, why have you opened the comments section? You do not approve the questions asked. The frustration of ignorance is showing in your reply. These self proclaimed quacks of science are the biggest menace to the society just like the quacks of astrology or any other scientific/ non-scientific field. The younger generation scientists have a bigger role to play i.e. to kick out such sanctimonious old goats.
    Let’s do a controlled trial. 100 individuals. We will give their kundlis to astrologers. According to you the kundlis are total debunk. So they should not give any information. So assuming you are correct the astrologers will make some random predictions. On the other side, you use science and make predictions. Then we will compare. You should be more precise than the astrologers in the end. That will prove that astrology is total debunk and you are scientific. Ready for the challenge?

  7. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Rajeev, the moment you use foul language, your comment is eliminated. Plus I publish a VERY few comments, only those that add value. That’s my comments policy.

    Now re: your “test” of astrology, I have no intention of doing any such thing. This is not my priority. I don’t have time to debunk every stupid thing under the sun. 

    I am only interested in reviewing peer reviewed studies done by RIGOROUS scientists on this issue. There are NONE. So please don’t send me any more comments on this subject. Do your study and then return with SOLID PROOFS. Else I’ll reject all your further comments on this topic.


  8. Rajeev

    The same thing I am telling you. There is no solid “Evidence of Absence” either. So do not live under false denial. False denial is worse than false acceptance. A scientist’s main quality is open mindedness and ability to provide proof before jumping to conclusion. You do not have that scientific temperament. you are just short tempered who doesn’t want to hear what can not answer. Looking at your immature behavior, I suspect that your mind (moon) is afflicted by Rahu- Ketu. LOL…Why don’t you consult an astrologer and check how your moon is posited in your chart – is it really afflicted by Ketu? I am not telling Ketu is exactly sitting on Moon….but just around (+/-) moon. Now do not say you have no intention. Be a sport and do it. Let’s see.

  9. Supratim

    @ Rajeev –

    The Rationalists Society of India has had an open challenge to astrologers for years – with a prize of Rs1.0lac attached (if I remember correctly, the prize may have been enhanced by now).

    They will provide a date of birth, latitude and longitude of a person in a blind test to any astrologer wishing to take up the challenge to come up with some data about the person’s life history.

    No astrologer has even taken up this challenge, leave alone winning it.

    What does that tell you?

    PC Sarkar, the eminent magician of India, had a similar challenge to all godmen of India, including the noted Sathya Sai Baba – that he could replicate all their “godly” tricks. Could they replicate his?

    No “godman” ever accepted his challenge.

  10. Supratim

    And, Rajeev, if you do want to believe in something blindly, you should join us, the Pastafarians.

    His holy, noodly appendage touches us all !!!

  11. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Rajeev, I wrot this accidentally on a wrong blog post. Posting in the right place now.

    Re: “A scientist’s main quality is open mindedness and ability to provide proof before jumping to conclusion. You do not have that scientific temperament. you are just short tempered who doesn’t want to hear what can not answer.”

    No, this is not to do with ‘temper’. You are wrong again. I have value of my time and if people don’t listen I block them comletely (i.e. ALL their comments go automatically to spam).

    The scientist always asks QUESTIONS and demands PROOF, even from “God”. There is no science without HUNDREDS of years of solid testing, replication of results, and well-established proofs.

    Now, if you write once more without providing me with solid proofs, I’ll redirect all your comments to spam. Do you get it? I mean it. Thanks.

  12. Rajeev

    Science is of two types. Observational and Experimental. The observational science develops from correlation, the way we have so many concepts in health and medicine based on pure observational science. Here experimental models are difficult to construct. Science is not solid enough at all places to allow us construct experimental models. So all the astrology books written based on observational science and correlation prove as the evidence. Read BV Raman’s books. Highly scientific and based on so many correlations. If you are thinking about cause based relations let me tell you that there are multifactorial risk models where the strength of association shows the influence on other things. It’s all about association and correlation and not about causation.
    Now can you tell me sone thing about the “Evidence of absence” that you have been avoiding to answer all the while.

  13. Rajeev


    That’s what I’m telling you. Let’s test the rationalists too, simultaneously. Let’s take some cases. Give them to both groups. One group uses astrology and the other group uses anything they think is rational. Which ever group comes closer to the truth, wins. Very simple. It will be a proper trial.

  14. Rajeev

    If you just focus on Absence of evidence, it leads to a Black Swan. We need to avoid that. For which we need tp have Evidence of Absence. Till then, you can’t debunk conclusively.

  15. Rajeev

    Please read Black Swan to understand bias, uncertainty, and risk. Risk assessment and management is a complex process. Science and scientific models alone can not help in this regard. In fact they may render the whole process meaningless. Let’s read his own words as he talks specifically on financial risks and what happens if you use science alone. “It is the ‘science’ of risk management that effectively turned Wall Street into clueless robots. We replaced so much experience and common sense with ‘models’ that work worse than astrology, because they assume that the Black Swan does not exist. Trying to model something that escapes modelization is the heart of the problem.”

  16. Supratim

    @ Rajeev –

    “Let’s test the rationalists too, simultaneously. ”

    Nice attempt to dodge – really funny.

    The Rationalists have nothing to be tested on – they are not making any claims – if you give them birth date, time and location, they will tell you this is just data, useless for any prediction purposes.

    The astrologists are the ones making the claim that they can come up with kundlis, horoscopes, tell your future, blah blah blah.

    So, up to them to take up the challenge – or slink away into the darkness, with their tails between their legs.

    Tell *all* your astrologist friends – here is a quick and fun way for them to make some money – how many do you think will step up?


    And, there is no us – it is only you, who is propagating the myth of astrology here – I have nothing to prove.

    And, don’t give me that nonsense about “evidence of absence” – that can never be proven, except in a controlled experiment. But, you are saying prove it at large – that is an absurd and illogical expectation.

  17. Supratim

    Black Swan event – I am so fed up of this term. Nassim Taleb did science and maths, specifically no favours by making this into a pop culture term. Now everyone on the street wants to pontificate about black swans.

    Here are some questions for you:

    1. What is meant by a Black Swan event?

    2. How is it defined in statistical terms, if we are building a statistical model?

    3. Since you pinged the Wall street, how many true black swan events have occurred in the financial world in the last 30 years – say between 1985 to 2014.

    Pls talk about black swans only after you have answered the above 3 Qs.

    And yes, I can answer these questions to meet a Ph.D level dissertation requirement.

  18. Supratim

    BTW, Nassim Taleb is like Thomas Picktety – writing for the masses and mathematically illiterate. Pop culture icons, not writers that scientists would take seriously. Picktety is worse, since it is now proven that he selected data to support his assumptions – making the facts fit his theory, rather than a theory to fit the facts. A charlatan.

    The above quotation of Taleb is apt – it sounds great to everyone who is not actually a quant guy or a trader.

    One does NOT model “black swan” events because:

    1. If you try to do so, then you can never trade – since you are no longer willing to take ANY risks

    2. Actions in the market place to mitigate risks changes the risks themselves – so, if you are trading, your model has to be dynamic, not static. Static models are useless, dynamic models are only as good as the original algorithm used to code it, and hence the brain power of the math nerd who did it. That is why “artificial intelligence” is supposed to be the last frontier of algo trading – an algo so sophisticated that it keeps learning and adjusting on the fly, as it keeps assimilating new data.

    3. Do you know what will cause a black swan event? If you could, you would avoid it, nah? So, a fail for Taleb for using circular logic.

    Black swans, forsooth!

  19. Rajeev


    I’m not trying to propagate astrology. It is you who is trying to debunk it. So I’m asking you an evidence that is convincing enough to debunk it.

    Secondly, is there any alternative you have for astrology to forecast things? If you have no evidence agsinst and no credible alternative, whatever you speak is just an opinion. That’s not enough to debunk it. Even if you write 1000 blogs based on your ‘logic’ you will not produce a convincing arguement. That’s the reason science has not been able to debunk it. The correlations drawn between different events themselves form observational science.

    Those thousands of cases that have been published ‘before’ the event occurred and the event took place exactly, are the “proof of principle”.

    You are not testing the success rate here. You are debunking it totally. So show me one evidence that convinces against proof of principle.

  20. Rajeev


    I’m telling you again. You have ketu around your moon. Why don’t you test my claim? LOL. Why this hesitation? Just download any astro app n put your chart. Or you give me your birth details. I will make your chart and tell you.

  21. Rajeev

    Black Swan event is something that cannot be predicted, since constructing a model to predict them is very difficult. They are rare. They can only easily be studied retrospective.

  22. Rajeev


    Controlled experiment is an illogical experiment and expectation? Then what is a logical experiment? Come on this.

    So if astrologers predict on 100 people and that prediction happens to be less random, more coherent and more precise than others who will predict the same 100 cases using any scientific tool other than astrology, your claim itself would be debunked.

    On the other hand, if non astrologers give a more coherent and more precise prediction in those 100 cases, even then you wouldn’t be able to debunk astrology cos it only means the scientific tool employed was more robust. It means that there is a tool that’s more reliable than astrology.

    Provide me a tool that’s better and more reliable, the world will follow that wholeheartedly. Cos we need tools to forecast. It’s not astrology but the need to forecast. So people need a tool and they will continue with astrology. Simple!

  23. Supratim

    @ Rajeev –

    “Black Swan event is something that cannot be predicted, since constructing a model to predict them is very difficult. ”

    Okay, so would you consider getting hit by a truck or a bus as you step off the footpath a black swan event?

  24. Supratim

    “You have ketu around your moon. Why don’t you test my claim? LOL. Why this hesitation?”

    Why bother? I am shani incarnate.

    And, happy that way.

    So, sucks to the astrology apps.

  25. Supratim

    On a serious note, Rajeev, you should move on – your bluff has been called and you and your fellow astrologists have been found wanting and spouting illogical stuff.

    So, go on now and prey on some poor, gullible person, as is the general creed of you astrologers.

  26. Sanjeev Sabhlok


    You don’t need “others”. The control can be mathematically randomised. Now go do it (assuming you understand what I just said).



  27. Rajeev

    Sabhlok and Supratim,

    Give a tool which is better, more precise and more robust than astrology and that is verified and validated by science. Till then astrology will continue. And keep your emotional outbursts of gullible people etc with you only.

  28. Supratim

    Can you read, Rajeev?

    This is what I had written:
    “And, don’t give me that nonsense about “evidence of absence” – that can never be proven, except in a controlled experiment. But, you are saying prove it at large – that is an absurd and illogical expectation.”

    Your understanding was this:
    “Controlled experiment is an illogical experiment and expectation? Then what is a logical experiment? Come on this.”

    You scored 0/100 on comprehension

  29. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Rajeev, all I can predict for SURE is:

    – all those born will die.

    – the earth will burn up in a few billion years, and the solar system too.

    I can also predict that India will remains a THIRD WORLD THIRD RATE country so long as its people believe in nonsense like astrology and mythologies of all sorts including plastic surgery done on Ganesha. 

    Beyond such (similar) broad and well documented facts, grounded in everyday observation and science, NO ONE can predict the future. Astrologers can’t even predict their own future (if they could predict ANYTHIGN, they’d buy the best shares in the market and become rich: most are hopelessly poor). 

    Since NOTHING can change your mind I will now transfer all your comments to spam.

    See you when you have learnt to think.