Letter to the Editor: Comparison and contrast to features in recent edition

Published 7:29 am Thursday, January 28, 2021

To the Editor:

I would like to do a little comparison from your January 10th edition. There is a cartoon with an old joke about the untrustworthiness of weather forecasts. Kind of stale to me, but hey, sense of humors vary. There is also 1/4 of a page with horoscopes.

Weather forecasting is based on using collected data of past atmospheric conditions to determine the odds of what future weather might be. As technology for collecting data and studying past weather conditions has improved, predictions have improved. Understandably, due to the interaction of the variables involved, weather forecasts become less accurate the further into the future the forecast goes.

Horoscopes are based on the alleged influence of celestial phenomena on individual personalities. There is no mechanism proposed to explain how this happens. When studied objectively it has been found wanting. The wording of horoscopes are vague enough to allow anyone who wants to find something there to find it.

Tests have been done where each sign’s profile was switched around and people still thought their sign’s profile applied to themselves. If one were to swap weather forecasts for the Outer Banks. Outer Mongolia and the Outer Hebrides, there would not be confusion.

So why the attention to what a horoscope says? And when was the last time you experienced a weather forecast that was really wildly off?

Harry Coughenour

Rochester, NY

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