Jun

29

 There are two interesting articles about people’s attitudes towards superstition and the role it plays in our daily lives. One appears in Live Science:

"Those superstitious types who freaked out last year when the calendar read 06/06/06 will have something to smile about on the 7th day of the 7th month, 2007. Believing the triple appearance of the number 7 will bring luck, many people are planning important events for this first Saturday in July … Just as some people wouldn't dare get married on a Friday the 13th or live in a house with the address 666, believing in the positive influence of the number seven is just another technique humans use to have some jurisdiction over the chaotic world around them, said Frankfurter. "In our modern American society we have a tendency to look for magical ways to control the world or fate, so numerology is especially important for us," Frankfurter said. The obsession with numerology-and other para-sciences like astrology-tends to get stronger especially during significant life events … "It represents Americans' rather weak (compared to Asian cultures') attempt to exert some numerical or calendrical control over important life-cycle, transition, or other crisis situations,"…Lucky numbers also vary from culture to culture, proving, skeptics say, that coincidental connections between an event and the influence of a number can always be found if you're looking hard enough, no matter what the digit…" 

Another appears in the Wall Street Journal.

"In January 2005, NyLon Capital LLP of the U.K. launched with much fanfare a $1.2 billion high-profile hedge fund, backed by a blue-chip bank and run by some of the brightest stars of London's financial community. Within 15 months, the shine was gone…Claims lodged in the U.K.'s High Court allege that business decisions taken by the fund's top manager were influenced by an astrologist and a feng shui expert and this destroyed the relationships between the partners. The fund acknowledges that a consultant in feng shui, a Chinese geomantic practice, was employed and says the top manager is acquainted with an astrologist…Mr. Crapanzano alleged in another document filed in the U.K.'s High Court in February of this year that some of Mr. Burnell's business decisions relating to the other partners were influenced by France Jacoubet, a French astrologist. He said Ms. Jacoubet drew up horoscopes of all the fund's partners and employees to see whether they would fit into the company. Reached by telephone, Ms. Jacoubet declined to comment. Mr. Crapanzano also alleged that Mr. Burnell hired a feng shui consultant to conduct "good fortune" assessments of the fund's offices and oversee spiritual cleansing rituals, which involved placing small figurines of trolls, or ogres, in desk drawers and placing piles of sand and pebbles in the corners of the office…" 


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