Thursday, 27 March 2014

Quest for truth behind sun signs using facebook & social networking

This blog is not an attempt to make anyone believe in sun signs(zodiac signs) but lists few reasons why I think it possibly helps people to position better in their day-to-day life.

It is always an element of curiosity about future that keeps attracting people to this topic and is often exploited by few who use it for wrong reasons.I would like to throw some light on how I started exploring the truth behind sun signs (which is still ongoing).I'm a software professional and my passion had always been around the latest trends in information technology like 'cloud computing' and it is only surprising to me that I chose to go over the clouds and started thinking about sun signs and finally wrote a Facebook application Affinity to seek the truth behind sun signs by offering people an opportunity to compare predictions with real world evidence.

My wife is good at analyzing people's character and correlating behavior with their sun signs. She had started her informal research on this topic years ago from her college days. She has a unique trick to find out the birth date of a person she meets and from that moment onward the interactions between her and this person can be a subject to her analysis. Because me & wife meet lot of people in common and have several mutual friends, my attention to her hypothesis increased over a period of time as I could see a higher success rate. This had nothing to do with 'predicting future' but it was all about 'predicting the nature' of a person. 

The more I learned about sun signs the more it increased my curiosity. I consciously did not want to believe that there is an absolute truth in sun sign predictions even though there were some very good examples.In general nothing makes people believe better in something other than facing it in their own experience and when that happens majority of people do not even look for any scientific evidence. My own experiences were good enough to increase the interest in this topic but I chose not to become a believer rather be an explorer. 

To take this quest to the next level I seriously considered writing a software which can match predictions with reality and produce statistical evidence for someone to believe or not believe in sun signs. To me developing a software using my personal time needed a 'good reason' rather than a 'good business case' in this instance.Having a closer look, I realized that there are several benefits of knowing the character of a person in advance as it is the best tactical input to deal with a situation.Very often the biggest problem someone would have to face to solve a problem is dealing appropriately with the person associated with it. If you know what is the best way to deal with that person then you partially solve problem. 

Science cannot predict how an individual will react to a problem.The way someone would react to a problem depends a lot on the character of that individual. Now the question is what is character ? Well .. that depends on hundreds of variables. Character is a bundle of traits and very often comes in a package.It is interesting to see how this package looks like and that is what sun signs are trying to explain. They make an attempt to predict the character package based on your birth date.For non believers it might initially sound funny. 

There are two things people generally do when they are unable to understand things 
1. believe in god and leave the problems to god 
2. do not believe in anything other than your eyes

People in second category think they are smart.. but remember... you cannot trust your eyes completely especially when there are several dimensions to a problem.I'm not advocating for how sun signs predict the traits of a person. But interestingly 'birth date' represents time and it is the most powerful variable which explains change. Everything keeps changing over a period of time and most of the changes keep happening in loops - like how earth keeps revolving around the sun. In software engineering smart encryption algorithms use time as a variable to hide secrets.It could very well be the choice of god as well to pick a secretive time based algorithm to decide people's character and thereby maintain equilibrium on earth.  

The word 'equilibrium is the key .. I just can't imagine the world full of 'stubborn' people.. there should be someone to forget and forgive, how many world wars we would have fought otherwise?  The choice of earth to maintain equilibrium for climate was to keep revolving around the sun..similarly distributing character as a packaged bundle for each new born and choosing appropriate bundles in loop based on time could be a smart algorithm from god to save earth.  

For these type of complex problems, pattern matching & statistics can prove to be helpful.It is also important to have a 360 degree view around subjective opinions. What I think as good may not be good to someone else. This is exactly the same way character of a person is also perceived. You never get a unanimous opinion about someone. If somebody wants to assess how is my character the best approach is to ask my friends. Their opinions could vary , but you soon you would see a pattern emerging in their feedback.That is the reason why I chose to use the power of social networking to a topic such as sun signs.  

The Facebook application which I wrote takes the below steps

1. Predict your character & friend's character using the sun sign philosophy and allow people to do sun sign compatibility check.
2. Allow users to endorse the qualities of their friends by sending a badge as a token of appreciation of their trait.
3. Each user can see the number of badges each of your friend has received for their various qualities which helps to match character predictions with reality. As more and more people gets involved the more accurate it becomes.

Affinity was released only few days ago and  it is my pleasure to invite you to join this quest. This facebook application will help everyone to check sun sign compatibility with their facebook friends. Affinity will automatically read the date of birth of the friends, identify their sun signs and automatically generate an affinity/compatibility report with all the friends. This would help to get a very good understanding of the sun sign predicted traits of a person. Your can easily match this report with your personal experience.

Attaching some snaps of Affinity for reference.