YouTube Algorithm and Astrology

Venus is in Taurus today and we three are feeling it.

S and I are getting together for a little self-indulgence later and it was S who first mentioned the astrological alignment. The universe is sending H love notes in the form of unsolicited side-quest research into one of her favorite subjects. Here I am, gabbing away with you about these interesting astrological coincidences, or maybe they are not coincidences at all. Algorithms are all around us and maybe they are getting wise to Astrology too.

It’s hard to provide definitive proof of astrological influence in a person’s life. We, as witches and witch-curious, can see the influence, but trying to gather up measurable, repeatable proof is like trying to catch smoke in a sieve. To the layperson, it’s like trying to explain how a complex algorithm works. Amazon, Google, and YouTube algorithms involve multiple factors in base functioning and then each user’s preference is painted on top of this computer generated base, and sometimes, the programmers tweak the algorithm on the developer side of things. So the YouTube algorithm is kind of like astrology, except that social media algorithms are changed by programmers, whereas your astrology is based on a single unchanging algorithm. That first algorithm of you is made visible in your birth chart.

In astrology each planetary body functions (exerts influence) separately, and our birth chart is the base of each one of our personal life-algorithms. The algorithm is set on your birth date, but because each body (including your own) is independently mobile, the force of exertion is changeable so no two people have identical lives, even twins. YouTube’s initial algorithm influenced all subsequent algorithms and would be more like your horoscope if it wasn’t tweaked by developers.

With me so far?

Functions are relationships: Complex functions are complex relationships. This is math. It is measurable and repeatable. It is the basis of every algorithm. It is the basis of all our social media feeds, the suggestions we receive from Amazon when we are shopping, and targeted ad campaigns we scroll past every day. It is also how astrology works.

Today, the planet Venus looks like it is moving through the constellation Taurus from Earth. That is a relationship, and we can call it a complex function because it maintains over time in a three dimensional plane. It is measurable and repeatable from a specific point (Earth). Over millennia, skygazers noticed that when Venus moves through Taurus most people seem more inclined to spoil themselves.

Some people, like those born when the Sun looked like it was moving through the Capricorn constellation spoil themselves with research into pet-projects. Some people, like those born when the Sun looked like it was moving through the Taurus constellation (naturally indulgent peeps to begin with), spoil themselves with #selfcare extraordinaire. Yet other people, like those born when the Sun looked like it was going through the Leo constellation, spoil themselves by sharing loudly. But these expressions of Venus in Taurus can mean different things for different people in the same sign, even astrological twins.

And that’s the tricky part about astrology.

The reason expressions look different for astrological twins is because the algorithm of astrology is static. It does not and cannot include experience. There is no developer watching your experience and adjusting star charts to make a one year old star chart, a fifteen year old star char, a thirty year old star chart and so on. Astrologers would need supercomputers to input that amount of data and get new charts based on your experiences.

This brings up the whole nature vs. nurture debate among scientist regarding the psychological makeup of individuals. For the purposes of this discussion astrology is part of the nature, and experiences are the nurture. Both nature and nurture influence the way a person expresses themselves. So, both astrology and experience influence the way a person expresses themselves.

If we take this combination effort into account we can see why H’s YouTube feed suggested she watch videos that are in her favorite areas of self indulgent study. H is highly attuned to the movement of the cosmos (by birth and by study) and so her YouTube algorithm picked up on this recurring pattern. YouTube uses this information to it’s advantage suggesting videos of interest as specific times, when the YT algorithm determined H to be more receptive.

So is YouTube’s algorithm inadvertently using Astrology to target users with videos, or is it more purposeful? What do you think? What would happen if the YT developers used Astrology intentionally? omg that would make their suggestions even more accurate. Maybe that’s why they ask for our birthdays??? 👀

Thanks for sticking with me on this winding journey to center and back again. I hope you have a shimmery shiny Wednesday and we’ll see you next time on Historical Witchcraft.

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